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Cover image for Dust girl
Dust girl



1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, ©2012.
Physical Description:
292 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
1. In a month called April a county called gray -- 2. I got the dust pneumonia in my lungs -- 3. She blowed away -- 4. It dusted us over and it covered us under -- 5. Got the Do-Re-Mi -- 6. Layin' in that hard rock jail -- 7. All the hungry little children -- 8. No home in this world anymore -- 9. Dust bowl refugees -- 10. Going down the road feelin' bad -- 11. I seen my people -- 12. They may beg you to go with them -- 13. What is a vigilante man? -- 14. Get away -- 15. Looking for a woman that's hard to find -- 16. Come and drag me away -- 17. Rattled down that road -- 18. Gone and left me -- 19. Whirlwinds in the desert -- 20. Shot -- 21. Ain't gonna be treated this a-way -- 22. Bound for glory -- 23. Gotta dance a little longer -- 24. Gonna bring proud house down -- 25. The little black train's a-comin -- 26. Kind friends this may be the end.
On the day in 1935 when her mother vanishes during the worst dust storm ever recorded in Kansas, Callie learns that she is not actually a human being.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades 5-8 4.6 10 Quiz 156908 English fiction.


Call Number

On Order



This new trilogy will capture the hearts of readers who adore Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series. Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she's never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone, when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in "the golden hills of the west" (California). Along the way she meets Jack a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company-there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there's also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.

Author Notes

Sarah Zettel lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-Calliope LeRoux begins hearing voices the day her mother vanishes into the swirling dust of the worst storm in Kansas history. From Baya, a mysterious stranger she rescues from the deadly tempest, Callie discovers that she must travel to California to find her parents. She also learns that her father, whom she's never met, is a fairy who aggravated a feud between warring tribes by running off with her mortal mother. Moreover, there exists a prophecy about a half-blood girl with powers to manipulate doors between worlds, and it seems that Callie fits the bill. As she is pursued by dangerous otherworldly creatures and accompanied by Jack, a hobo boy with his own agenda, her quest becomes increasingly deadly. Much weighs on her success. The story of warring fairy factions is not new, nor is that of the fae girl who is instrumental in their fate. Yet, Zettel puts a fresh, imaginative spin on the old tale. Period details about the Depression-era dust bowl supply an authentic, atmospheric feel, as does the first-person narrative. Nonstop action will keep readers hooked. Some loose threads remain, but these will hopefully be knitted together in sequels.-Alissa J. LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

"Were not in Fairyland! Were in Kansas!" exclaims Calliope, but as it happens, shes wrong and right. In this story, Kansas is Fairyland. The Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and Celtic fairy-lore come together when Callie, daughter of the owner of a small hotel in Slow Run, Kansas, discovers that when she really gives herself over to making music, the fairies come after her. Then her Mama is whisked away in a whirl of dust and magic, and Callie sets off to retrieve her. But as Callie and Jack, fellow traveller and companion, traverse the prairie fleeing supernaturally voracious locusts, a brutal "vigilante man," and starvation itself, Callie learns shes of royal fairy stock (her long-absent father being not just a charming African American jazz musician but a prince of fairyland). Zettel cleverly uses the folk songs and jazz of the period in this atmospheric 1930s Americanization of Celtic folklore. Racial issues are treated rather obviously (Callie is half black; Jacks Jewish), and the storys plot turns are at times both too familiar and too fabulous -- but even so this is an intelligent, imaginative concoction with a vivid setting and an engaging protagonist. deirdre f. baker (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A mixed-race girl in Dust Bowl Kansas discovers her long-lost father isn't just a black man: He's a fairy. Callie has been passing as white her whole life, helping her Mama in rundown Slow Run, Kan. But now it doesn't seem to matter that she keeps her "good skin" out of the sun and softens her "coarse" hair, because it seems everyone's left the dust-choked town. Even Mama is gone now, vanished in a preternatural dust storm that summoned a strange man who tells Callie secrets of her never-met father. Soon Callie's walking the dusty roads with Jack, a ragged white kid. If Callie's dad is a fairy, then the two young'uns will just have to go to fairyland to find him. Callie and Jack dodge fairy politics and dangers, from grasshopper people to enchanted food to magic movie theaters--but the conventional dangers are no less threatening. Plenty of run-of-the-mill humans in 1935 Kansas don't like black girls or beggars, hobos or outsiders. With a historical note and a Woody Guthrie soundtrack, this novel does a fine job of blending a splendidly grounded Dust Bowl setting with a paranormal adventure. It's really too bad that the cover art depicts a white girl with flyaway hair, rather than Callie as written, a mixed girl who stops passing as white halfway through the story. Callie learns to be open about herself but her own cover art doesn't. This cracking good mixture of magic and place will leave readers eagerly awaiting the sequel. (Fantasy. 12-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.