Dust storms, rabbit drives, hobo camps, and riding on freight trains were all a part of life for many throughout the Midwest during the Great Depression. Polio and many other diseases had not yet been conquered and the huge dust storms that killed livestock and ruined crops also caused life-threatening respiratory ailments, such as asthma and pneumonia. In the spring of 1935, thirteen-year-old Brady Foster's family is forced to leave their "dusted out" wheat farm in southwest Kansas when his mother's asthma takes a turn for the worst. Deciding her only hope lies in California's cleaner air, Brady and his little autistic sister are sent to live with their grandfather, a county sheriff in the northcentral part of the state, until their parents can return. In his new school, Brady is bullied and ostracized, but he finds a friend in Eddie Peel, the son of the town drunk, a boy with a pet crow.
Selected for the Kansas State Reading Circle Catalog and Winner of the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award!
|Publisher:||Rowe Publishing and Design|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.64(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
During the Depression, Brady and his younger autistic sister are sent from southwest Kansas and a struggling wheat farm to live with their grandfather, a sheriff, and a great aunt when their mother’s asthma turns deadly because of the huge dust storms in the Midwest. While his father and mother seek a job and a cure in California, Brady struggles in a new school in northern Kansas, where he is bullied by the son of the town’s richest man, a smuggler of illegal booze by night, a banker by day. Brady befriends Eddie, the son of the town drunk, and his pet crow, Blackie. The three of them find adventure, trouble, and a few heart-stopping escapades, including time in a hobo camp and riding a freight train. Brady, full of self-doubt and worry, complements Eddie, who is almost too brazen, and Blackie, who matches wits with both of them and some of the scary people they meet. The writing is delightful, pulling the reader along, tugging at heartstrings and raising indignation. The complexity of the characters and realistic situations enfolded me in the summer with its storms, poverty, machinations of adults and Depression stagnation. The lives of two young boys and a crow taught me much about the mean-spiritedness but also the kindnesses of people and situations in the Midwest during these times. I highly recommend this book for adults and young adults.
Carmen Peone, Author The Summer of the Crow has taught me what Kansas in 1935 was like. I had no idea. I had heard about the dust bowls, but only until I have read Eunice Boeve's book could I really understand. Wet blankets on windows and ropes to find ones way. Her descriptive style is remarkable. Not only has she included historical accuracy in terms of the depression and the dust bowl, but autism in young Brady's little sister, prohibition, bullying, polio and abuse. I love the ending where hope prevails. Life is rarely fair and many times painful. Yet there is always sparks of hope that keep us moving forward in life's swells. and who would of thought to have a crow as a pet and how much a boy and a crow could love one another. I think this book needs to be in every school, not just Kansas. There is history filling its pages that is not in any text books. So much can be learned within these pages about life, friendship and what it means to be family. The adventure in The Summer of the Crow will surely keep young people turning the pages and learning with out realizing teaching is taking place.
In the Dust Bowl farmland of Kansas during the middle of the Great Depression, Brady Lee Foster and his family lead hard lives. Brady’s mom is suffering with asthma while his father can no longer grow crops and his sister Sarah is in a world of her own, imprisoned by autism. When his father makes the vital decision to take his wife to California in order to escape the dust storms that aggravate her condition, Brady is passed on to the grandfather and great-aunt he hardly knows. Living with them in the town of Sentinel, he makes friends with a boy who has a pet crow, and who is similarly an outsider from the school cliques. As various secrets of the small town unfold, Brady and his new friend Eddie hatch a plan that puts both their lives at risk. This is a novel chock full of history and adventure which keeps the pages turning. Boeve manages to teach without preaching about bullying, family, love and friendship. She also manages to educate the reader about this era in American history without it seeming like a history class—and with the added benefit of small details that school classes would never include. While school history classes might concentrate on wars and Presidents, Boeve has taken one small moment in time and made it come to life with extraordinary clarity. Her descriptions are so lucid and engaging that I was quite ready to hang wet blankets at my windows for the next dust storm. Yet even with this historic background, there are plenty of adventures that Brady and Eddie concoct to keep even the most restless young man or woman reading. Quite honestly, if I lived in Kansas I would be petitioning to make this required school reading. As it is, I cannot recommend it highly enough for ALL young adults—and their parents as well.