Leah’s pony was swift and strong. Together they would cross through cornfields and over pastures, chasing cattle as they galloped under summer skies. Then came the year the corn grew no taller than a man’s thumb. Locusts blackened the sky. The earth turned to dust. Gone were the cornfields and pastures where Leah and her pony once rode. It was the beginning of the great drought. Now Leah’s papa faced losing the family farm. Set in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, Elizabeth Friedrich’s deeply felt story, vividly portrayed through Michael Garland’s stunning oil paintings, tells of one child and what she would sacrifice for love of her family.
“A fine example of successful historical fiction in picture book format. Leah’s parents are farmers in the Great Plains of the 1930s. … The oil paintings with subdued color values have great intensity, especially several that catch their subjects full-face and frozen at the peak of strong emotional reactions. Impact is enhanced by the starkness of the setting and the illustrations’ stillness. —School Library Journal, starred review