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The Storm in the Barn (Scott O'Dell…
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The Storm in the Barn (Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction) (original: 2009; edição: 2009)

de Matt Phelan (Autor), Matt Phelan (Ilustrador)

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4655639,657 (3.84)24
In Kansas in the year 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father's failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. Certainly a case of "dust dementia" would explain who (or what) Jack has glimpsed in the Talbot's abandoned barn - a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, it's hard to trust what you see with your own eyes, and harder still to take heart and be a hero when the time comes.… (mais)
Membro:CindyMcClain
Título:The Storm in the Barn (Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction)
Autores:Matt Phelan (Autor)
Outros autores:Matt Phelan (Ilustrador)
Informação:Candlewick (2009), Edition: First Edition, 208 pages
Coleções:EDLM_436
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:HIST, YA

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The Storm in the Barn de Matt Phelan (2009)

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Phelan has illustrated other books, including a Newbery Medal winner. This is his first attempt at a graphic novel. Inspired by the “stark photography of Dorothea Lange and Arthur Rothstein” he decided to focus on the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

It’s a little bit of historical fiction, mixed with fantasy. Jack Clark is a young boy on a Kansas farm, bullied at school and not considered bit enough to really help by his father. He feels dejected and useless. In addition, the family is worried about his sister, Dorothy, who has a lingering cough and escapes reading various Oz books by Frank L Baum. When a neighboring farm is abandoned, he begins to notice odd occurrences in the shut-up barn.

There are some very spooky goings on in this book, with a fantastical Storm King that the young Jack must defeat in order to get the rains to come again.

The illustrations are marvelously detailed, and yet stark enough to give a feel for the desolation and destruction of the 1930s dust storms. They also lend to the feeling of uselessness and despair that Jack experiences.

The fight with the Storm King is terrifying enough, but the scene that really disturbed me (more hinted at than graphically depicted) is one where the men get together to kill the jackrabbits that are eating what little the farmers are able to grow. I know this is a realistic scene, as I’ve read other books that depicted this. But those books were for adults, and I find it really disturbing in a children’s book. At least Phelan shows that everyone feels remorse over their actions … even the mean bullies who participate seem to realize that they ‘ve been unnecessarily cruel, and shed a tear or two. ( )
1 vote BookConcierge | Nov 3, 2020 |
Advance copy ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
I feel so woefully uncool because I don't automatically love graphic novels. I find them lacking in depth, and I can't always tell what's going on. But I'm also willing to admit the problem might be with me and not with them.

Liked the story. Like the artwork. Had heard all the hype. Left me feeling a bit dissatisfied. ( )
2 vote amandabock | Dec 10, 2019 |
Here's another book which caught my eye for its illustrations, initially the cover and then its internal monochrome sketches (blue or sepia palette, full spectrum used rarely and then to emphasize emotion). What appears at first to be an historical picturebook on Dust Bowl-era small town living contains a lot more.

It may be the Storm King is Phelan's invention. This aspect of the book proved both unexpected and one of its most pleasing parts, which otherwise is quite historical and realistic. Both Weird and mythical in presentation, I couldn't trace the Storm King to any indigenous American myth (Raven King, Thunderbird, Lightning Bird, Rain Bird) or tall tale. Phelan in an Author's Note:

I began to imagine what the experience of living in the Dust Bowl must have been like through the eyes of a kid. Without the complicated explanation of the history of over-planting, soil erosion, and other factors, a young boy or girl would only know a world that could suddenly vanish in a moving mountain of dark dust. The rain had gone away. But where?

Phelan's spare drawings and layout (lots of white space) disguise just how complex a story is told. Part of the trick is Phelan focuses on the experience of one family, allowing their individual and collective experience of events to showcase myriad aspects of the Dust Bowl milieu, as well as interpersonal dynamics. In the end, The Storm In The Barn weaves together many tropes and facets of U.S. culture, from national and regional history, to tall tales, to family and peer dynamics recognisable to most modern citizens. It's remarkably dense for such a lean manuscript. ( )
  elenchus | Sep 19, 2019 |
Then there was The Storm in the Barn which I can only categorize as a Debbie Downer type of book. I'm not sure that this falls under any one genre. It's most certainly historical fiction as it depicts a little boy, his family, and his community as they struggle during the time of the Dust Bowl in Kansas circa 1937. However, it also contains fantasy elements of which I can't really go into without spoiling the plot... It's certainly rooted in reality because Phelan does not shy away from the harsh conditions that these characters face (don't even get me started on the rabbits). He covers bullying from both peers and parents. The protagonist is forced to watch a beloved sister struggle with a possibly fatal illness. The entire plot is fraught with tension and a dark cloud seems to hover over every page. What I'm trying to say is that if you're looking for a light read to send your tots to sleep at night then you should probably keep looking. BUT if you wanted to teach your kids about an era of history that's not usually dwelt upon in the classroom then this might indeed be the right selection for you. ( )
1 vote AliceaP | Nov 17, 2017 |
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For my dad, who shared his love of stories.
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In Kansas in the year 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father's failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. Certainly a case of "dust dementia" would explain who (or what) Jack has glimpsed in the Talbot's abandoned barn - a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, it's hard to trust what you see with your own eyes, and harder still to take heart and be a hero when the time comes.

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