To Janey Larkin, the blue willow plate was the most beautiful thing in her life, a symbol of the home she could only dimly remember. Now that her father was an itinerant worker, Janey didn’t have a home she could call her own or any real friends, as her family had to keep moving, following the crops from farm to farm. Someday, Janey promised the willow plate, with its picture of a real house, her family would once again be able to set down roots in a community.
Blue Willow is an important fictional account of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, and has been called The Grapes of Wrath for children. It won a Newbery Honor and many other awards.
Doris Gates was a librarian and writer of children’s fiction. Blue Willow was groundbreaking in its use of realistic storytelling for children. Doris is also known for her collections of Greek mythology, including A Fair Wind for Troy.