Rose’s Journal: The Story of a Girl in the Great Depression

October 2001


The Samuels family is made of tough stuff. That’s a good thing, because it’s another trying year in the Dust Bowl. Weeks pass without rain, and it seems that all the plow stirs up is dust. But fortified with hope, love, determination, and ingenuity, eleven-year-old Rose and her family weather the toughest of times. And although Rose’s older brother, Floyd, prefers drawing to farming, he comes through when he is needed most, in his own special way. Carefully and poignantly rendered, Rose’s story will linger in the hearts and minds of young readers.

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2002 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People: National Council for the Social Studies — CBC Joint Committee


From Publishers Weekly

The latest installment of the Young American Voices series, Rose’s Journal: The Story of a Girl in the Great Depression, by Marissa Moss, covers the “Dirty Thirties.” Set on a Kansas farm, Rose’s pink-lined pages contrast with her handwritten account of dust storms and drought so severe that birds, lacking their usual materials, made nests of barbed wire. Captioned sketches and historical b&w photographs lend authenticity to this well-researched account. (Harcourt/Silver Whistle, $15 48p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-15-202423-9; Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5-In her first journal entry, Rose Samuels writes “good riddance” to 1934, and “I sure hope 1935 is a heap better.” Unfortunately, it isn’t. From month to month, she chronicles events on the family farm in Kansas as well as what is happening across the nation. The Bruno Hauptmann trial is in session, and Amelia Earhart has made her solo flight from Hawaii to California. Jack Benny and George Burns are favorites on the radio, but the Depression is so bad that hot cocoa and custard are foods Rose can only dream of enjoying. On the farm, nothing grows, and the cattle are so skinny that they have “washboard ribs.” And there is always the dust. The Samuels come to the brink of losing their land, but at the last minute, they are saved from foreclosure. Moss has done a fine job in research, and there is quite a bit of historical information packed into this short book. Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.