Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Dust

Middle Grade Author Shannon Whitney Messenger began Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays a while back. If you love middle grade literature, check out her blog for a list of other sites featuring MG books.

Today I’ll talk about Dust by Arthur Slade.

From Goodreads: Seven-year-old Matthew disappears one day on a walk into Horshoe, a dust bowl farm town in Depression-era Saskatchewan. Other children go missing just as a strange man named Abram Harsich appears in town. He dazzles the townspeople with the promises of a rainmaking machine. Only Matthew’s older brother Robert seems to be able to resist Abram’s spell, and to discover what happened to Matthew and the others.

From Vicki: In short, creepy, well-written, intriguing. I was interested in this one because of its Saskatchewan setting, thanks to a bestie who lives there. I wasn’t sure I’d like the whole dust bowl, Depression thing, but it worked so well with the story. The setting enhanced the ambience.

The story flowed beautifully and the mystery unfolded effortlessly. The creepy factor was up there with Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I may never think of butterflies the same way again. Ooh, my spine is tingling just remembering that part!

Like any good middle grade mystery, the main character has everything to do with whether the mystery is solved, whether the town is saved, and whether Robert ever sees his younger brother again.



Filed under Reading

14 responses to “Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Dust

  1. Oh gosh. The more you talk about this one the more I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Love that Saskatchewan. hee hee

  2. Makes me want to start reading middle grade. 🙂

  3. I haven’t heard of this one. The dust bowl has fascinated me and I enjoyed the creepiness of Coraline, so I might like this book.

  4. Catherine Johnson

    Ooh and I loved Coraline. That’s as dark as I can handle it. I’m not sure if I could read it right now with my Matthew being six. Hmm…

  5. I’ve had students tell me to read this one due to its Depression era setting. It sounds really interesting!

  6. lesliesullirose

    This sounds so unique. I want to check it out. Interesting with the Depression background and a creep factor.

  7. It sounds very Ray Bradbury-ish. Is it really only eight pages long? I’m happy to see it’s free to borrow on Kindle.

  8. pendragonwriter

    Creepy butterflies? I’m intrigued… if a little nervous!

  9. pendragonwriter

    Pendragonwriter = Margo Berendsen. One of these days I have GOT TO FIX my wordpress account.

  10. Vicki! It’s great hearing from you. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. The book you just posted sounds quite interesting- dark historical fiction can draw me in.

  11. Sounds like an intriguing read. You’re right, it is the basic plot of an MG, but with extras, which is great.

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