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Potato: A Tale From the Great Depression
Kate Lied
During the Great Depression, a family seeking work finds employment for two weeks digging potatoes in Idaho.

Saving Strawberry Farm
Deborah Hopkinson
During the Great Depression, Davey learns that a neighbor's property is about to be auctioned, and he rallies his friends, neighbors, and family to help save Strawberry Farm.

The Babe and I
David Adler
While helping his family make ends meet during the Depression by selling newspapers, a boy meets Babe Ruth.

Lu and the Swamp Ghost
James Carville and Patricia McKissack
During the Depression in the Louisiana bayou, a curious young girl helps the "Swamp Ghost" that her cousins warned her about and finds herself with one good friend.

The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll
Patricia McKissack
During the Depression, three young sisters get one baby doll for Christmas and must find a way to share.

Tree of Hope
Amy Littlesugar
Florrie's daddy used to be a stage actor in Harlem before the Depression forced the Lafayette Theater to close, but he gets a chance to act again when Orson Welles reopens the theater to stage an all-black version of Macbeth.

Dust for Dinner
Ann Warren Turner
Jake narrates the story of his family's life in the Oklahoma dust bowl and the journey from their ravaged farm to California during the Great Depression.

A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt
C. Coco de Young
Eleven-year-old Margo fulfills a class assignment by writing a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt asking for help to save her family's home during the Great Depression.

Cat Running
Zilpha Keatley Snyder
When eleven-year-old Cat Kinsey builds a secret hideout to escape her unhappy homelife, she slowly gets to know a poor family who have come to California after losing their Texas home to the dust storms of the 1930s.

A Long Way From Chicago
Richard Peck
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

Meet Kit, an American Girl
Valerie Tripp
When her father's business closes because of the Great Depression forcing Kit to make changes in her life, the nine-year-old responds with resourcefulness.

Nowhere to Call Home
Cynthia C. DeFelice
When her father kills himself after losing his money in the stock market crash, twelve-year-old Frances, now a penniless orphan, decides to hop aboard a freight train and live the life of a hobo.

Truth About Sparrows
Marian Hale
Twelve-year-old Sadie promises that she will always be Wilma's best friend when their families leaves drought-stricken Missouri in 1933, but once in Texas, Sadie learns that she must try to make a new home--and new friends, too.

Blizzard of the Blue Moon
Mary Pope Osborne
The magic tree house carries Jack and Annie to New York City in 1938 on a mission to rescue the last unicorn.

Bud, Not Buddy
Christopher Paul Curtis
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

Christmas After All
Kathryn Lasky
In her fictionalized journal, eleven-year-old Minnie Swift recounts how her family dealt with the difficult times during the Depression and how the arrival of an orphan from Texas changed their lives in Indianapolis just before Christmas 1932.

The Dollhouse Magic
Yona Zeldis McDonough
During the Depression, intrigued by the beautiful dollhouse they see in a house window, sisters Lila and Jane befriend its elderly owner and ultimately have a very different Christmas.

The Journal of C.J. Jackson: A Dust Bowl Migrant
William Durbin
Thirteen-year-old C.J. records in a journal the conditions of the Dust Bowl that cause the Jackson family to leave their farm in Oklahoma and make the difficult journey to California, where they find a harsh life as migrant workers.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Mildred Taylor
A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

Storm in the Barn
Matt Phelan
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.

More books that take place during the Great Depression:
Older Kids | Younger Kids

More books that take place in the 1930s:
Older Kids | Younger Kids


Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl
Albert Martin
Offers a review of the events that led up to and took place during this natural disaster in the Great Plains during the 1930s, and discusses the changes that were instituted in farming and land conservation as a result of it.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

The County of San Diego and the San Diego County Library disclaim any responsibility for the accuracy of the translations.