The Green Coat: A Tale from the Dust Bowl Years book review

It doesn't happen very often, but from time to time I find a book for young people that is so engaging and so powerful that I feel like I have to tell the world! The Green Coat: A Tale from the Dust Bowl Years from fine Catholic publisher Bezalel Books is one of those books. It tells the story of a family who is forced to make some tough choices due to the devastating drought in the Dust Bowl when twelve-year-old Tressa and her older brother must leave their parents and are sent to live temporarily as domestic servants with another family until their parents can send for them again.

Author Rosemary McDunn's main character, twelve-year-old Tressa, is real and engaging; a true role model for young girls as she learns to lean on God during hard times. The descriptions of the treacherous weather conditions in 1930s North Dakota were so real that I felt I was right there with Tressa, battling the heat and drought, as well being inisde the cozy kitchen in the middle of a raging blizzard.

The bravery of this young heroine who was forced to leave her childhood abruptly behind during the Dust Bowl years is remarkable. McDunn's writing talent shines on every page with true-to-life dialogue and exquisite details of the pain and hardship people had to endure during this difficult time in American history.

"I was beginning to understand with tremendous clarity that success in life comes from the ability to accept change," says young Tressa. A poignant sentiment, and one for all ages.

I highly recommend this novel for classrooms and libraries, and encourage educators to consider this fine work of historical fiction for their students. There are even lessons in the back of the book for teachers and parents.

Well done!

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