The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

Using beautiful illustrations, Brown tells the story of the formation of and devastation caused by the Dust Bowl. After the plains formed in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the Dust Bowl was the result of settlers’ continual tearing up of soil and poor farming techniques. The result was a ten-year long drought, and a storm of “dusters” (dust storms) which killed perhaps thousands and swept across the country. With Brown’s skillful artistry and and storytelling, the bleak world of the Dust Bowl comes alive in this historical piece accessible to all readers.

This is a very quick, very well-illustrated read. If you’re not a fan of history textbook reading (who is?), this might be a great pick for you when you are studying this era. Brown really does seem to make the time period come alive, and the graphic novel format helps readers to better understand just how miserable life in the Dust Bowl was. Though this isn’t an incredibly detailed piece (I really would have like more specifics about the Dust Bowl today), it’s a great place to start and there is further reading included in the back. Give it a shot — especially if you’re a fan of graphic novels!

*Rating: 4/5

*Maverick List, 2014
For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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