Friday, July 18, 2014

Flashback Fridays: The Turbulent Thirties

Our journey into the past continues as Kady looks into the decade of Dust Bowls, The Great Depression and other more uplifting things... the 1930s!

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby
A Circus! Sideshow freaks! A dark and twisted ringleader! And, caught in the middle, a normal girl who just wants to find her father.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
So you're living in 1930s Germany and life is good. You've got a sweet and doting Uncle Dolf (the world knows him as Adolf Hitler) and a great best friend in Eva, who is really sweet even if she does have a weird crush on Uncle Dolf (Eva Braun, Hitler's eventual girlfriend). Your father died as a martyr for the National Socialist cause so you and your brother have always been treated like royalty. What could possibly go wrong? 

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel
Have you ever seen news clips of the great dust storms that destroyed the heartland during the 1930s? They're terrifying and it's easy to see why so many people packed it in and headed towards greener pastures (or at least California). Callie's mother is not one of those people, she refuses to leave their tiny Kansas town until Callie's father- who Callie has never met- comes home. But it's not just dust that Callie will have to endure and escape in Kansas, it turns out she's half fairy and now that she's seeing weird and mysterious things in the dust, who can she turn to? Who can she trust?

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
And of course, a book actually written in the 1930s. Steinbeck is the master of the Dust Bowl lit genre and while The Grapes of Wrath may make it onto more school reading lists, for my money Of Mice and Men is where it's at. Read it for the lush California setting, a direct contrast to so many of the books on this 1930s list, or read it to finally understand the eleventy billion references to George, Lennie and bunnies that are floating around pop culture.

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