DESCRIPTION: A young African-American boy literally blows onto the property of a farming family in the midst of a windstorm during the drought of the 1970’s. He brings a special skill that may be the answer to a prayer for a desperate family and the key he needs to find the way home.
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Virginia Hamilton opens the window to an African American view on how drought impacted family farms during the 1970’s. Drylongso helps young readers gain perspective on how weather events change lives and force people to find innovative ways to survive. The importance of caring for the environment is effectively described in ways that are that accessible, culturally relevant and full of meaning. You can almost taste the dust that enveloped the farm and connect to the family’s desperate hope for life giving water in Jerry Pinkney’s brilliant illustrations. References to historic droughts in the nation’s past are woven effortlessly into the text and enhance the story being told. We have a tool within this beautifully written book to make history come alive through hands-on exploration and lively discussion. You’ll have young readers cheering for Drylongso to find that precious water, change the fortunes of the family that takes him in and eventually find the place where he belongs.