Ruby’s Hope: A Story of the Girl in the Most Famous Photograph of the Depression

Page Street. Sept. 2019. 40p. bibliog. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781624148187.
Gr 2-5–This story is a fictional account of the family behind Dorothea Lange’s famous photograph, Migrant Mother. Ruby is a young girl growing up in Oklahoma during the midst of the Great Depression. Her family decides to go to California to become migrant farmers since their farm is nothing more than dust. They make it to their latest camp, coasting on fumes, only to have a frost destroy the pea crop. The family is stranded due to the fact that they cannot afford gas, and Ruby’s father and brother begin to take on odd jobs to earn money. Enter Lange, whose photograph of Ruby’s mother alerts the government to their plight. The illustrations, a mix of graphite and digital color, invoke a past era with their soft hues. Lange’s actual photograph is used in the story. The back matter includes more information about Lange and the actual migrant mother, Florence Owens Thompson.
VERDICT A great introduction to the photography of Dorothea Lange; a must-have for your Dust Bowl units.

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