Genre: Historical Fiction Point of view: 1st Person Style: Poetic, Free Verse Tone: Serious Theme: Survival & Forgiveness Characters: Billy Jo, Ma, Pa Setting: Integral, Oklahoma 1934 Conflict: Person vs. Nature, Person vs. Self
Karen Hesse Born in 1952, grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland, with a B.A. in English and minors in Psychology and Anthropology. Currently lives in Vermont with her husband, Randy and two teenaged daughters. She writes from the attic office of her home. When writing she surrounds herself with books, cozy places, and her favorite artwork.
Awards 1998 Newbery Medal, Out of the Dust Winner of the 1998 Scott O'Dell Award An ALA Notable Children's Book An ALA Best Book for Young Adults Recipient of a MacArthur Fellows Grant in 2002
“From the time I was ten I thought of myself as ‘good with words,’ thanks to a perceptive and supportive fifth grade teacher. Mrs. Datnoff believed I could be a professional writer some day and because she believed, I believed too. Though I gave up all my other career dreams, I never gave up dreaming of publication. It took more than thirty years to see that fifth grade dream come true. I don't know whether that makes me extremely patient or just plain stubborn.” - Karen Hesse