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Muffet & the Dust Storm: Story of an Iowa Farm Girl during the Drought & Depression of the 1930s by Norma Elaine Hilding

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In Spring of 1936, massive dust storms from the Great Plains suddenly and unexpectedly invaded the farmlands of southwestern Iowa, carrying with them the red, wind-eroded topsoil of Texas and Oklahoma. Standing at the edge of his cornfield, a Swedish tenant farmer and his young daughter gazed in dismay as a horizon-hugging cloud swiftly approached their home, pushed along In Spring of 1936, massive dust storms from the Great Plains suddenly and unexpectedly invaded the farmlands of southwestern Iowa, carrying with them the red, wind-eroded topsoil of Texas and Oklahoma. Standing at the edge of his cornfield, a Swedish tenant farmer and his young daughter gazed in dismay as a horizon-hugging cloud swiftly approached their home, pushed along by a howling straight-line wind. Both father and daughter were aware of the devastation that Dust Bowl conditions had brought to their family relatives in Kansas... and now, the nightmare was about to come crashing down on Montgomery County, Iowa. In this book, eleven-year-old Norma Elaine Hilding - nicknamed Muffet by her uncles - recounts in diary entries that unforgettable week during the Great Drought and Depression when every daily chore seemed four times more difficult because of the diabolical orange haze enshrouding the family farm, when breathing was labored for the people and livestock bawled in fear as they suffered intense heat inside their sealed buildings. Early on in the story, Muffet retreats to her bed in sadness. Presently, Grandma Nan enters, sits on the edge and suggests that her talented granddaughter write a story all about her life so she can change it, just like magic, and make it into a tale of Camelot. A smile is quickly restored to Muffet's dimpled cheeks. Together, she and Grandma activate their imaginations, allowing beautiful mind pictures to soar high above the discomfort. In humorous and charming style, Muffet tells of the tough times (as the grownups call it). She writes about the sibling relationships that she, as an only child, enjoys with the barnyard animals. She praises her smart, frugal parents as they provide the basic necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter... and is quick to add that they do it with very little money. More than a child's tale; this is a story of survival and self-sustenance, of love and compassion; of a tightly-knit community in which people truly care about their neighbors while maintaining a strong reliance on their God - a savior whom they know will test their faith to the uttermost extremes solely for the purpose of building endurance. Farm families of the 1930s understood that tough times made them stronger and much more appreciative of life's little blessings. Muffet brings this message home in her delightful conclusion.


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In Spring of 1936, massive dust storms from the Great Plains suddenly and unexpectedly invaded the farmlands of southwestern Iowa, carrying with them the red, wind-eroded topsoil of Texas and Oklahoma. Standing at the edge of his cornfield, a Swedish tenant farmer and his young daughter gazed in dismay as a horizon-hugging cloud swiftly approached their home, pushed along In Spring of 1936, massive dust storms from the Great Plains suddenly and unexpectedly invaded the farmlands of southwestern Iowa, carrying with them the red, wind-eroded topsoil of Texas and Oklahoma. Standing at the edge of his cornfield, a Swedish tenant farmer and his young daughter gazed in dismay as a horizon-hugging cloud swiftly approached their home, pushed along by a howling straight-line wind. Both father and daughter were aware of the devastation that Dust Bowl conditions had brought to their family relatives in Kansas... and now, the nightmare was about to come crashing down on Montgomery County, Iowa. In this book, eleven-year-old Norma Elaine Hilding - nicknamed Muffet by her uncles - recounts in diary entries that unforgettable week during the Great Drought and Depression when every daily chore seemed four times more difficult because of the diabolical orange haze enshrouding the family farm, when breathing was labored for the people and livestock bawled in fear as they suffered intense heat inside their sealed buildings. Early on in the story, Muffet retreats to her bed in sadness. Presently, Grandma Nan enters, sits on the edge and suggests that her talented granddaughter write a story all about her life so she can change it, just like magic, and make it into a tale of Camelot. A smile is quickly restored to Muffet's dimpled cheeks. Together, she and Grandma activate their imaginations, allowing beautiful mind pictures to soar high above the discomfort. In humorous and charming style, Muffet tells of the tough times (as the grownups call it). She writes about the sibling relationships that she, as an only child, enjoys with the barnyard animals. She praises her smart, frugal parents as they provide the basic necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter... and is quick to add that they do it with very little money. More than a child's tale; this is a story of survival and self-sustenance, of love and compassion; of a tightly-knit community in which people truly care about their neighbors while maintaining a strong reliance on their God - a savior whom they know will test their faith to the uttermost extremes solely for the purpose of building endurance. Farm families of the 1930s understood that tough times made them stronger and much more appreciative of life's little blessings. Muffet brings this message home in her delightful conclusion.

9 review for Muffet & the Dust Storm: Story of an Iowa Farm Girl during the Drought & Depression of the 1930s by Norma Elaine Hilding

  1. 4 out of 5

    Blanca E. Hernandez

    Good story Loved everything about this story of was so good I had to read it in one sitting,just couldn't put it down.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Adrianne Onks

  3. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Andrews

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Logan

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary Halgrim

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  7. 5 out of 5

    L.M. Elm

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Overby

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb Pigman

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