by S. L. Dwyer
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In 1933 the Great Depression and Dust Bowl brought devastation to thousands of people. For thirteen-year-old Sammy Larkin, it made him an orphan. Refusing to allow the state to take his seven-year-old sister, Birdie and himself from their farm, he decides to do the impossible—live as if his parents were still alive. Holding on to the pretense, Sammy and Birdie learn the art of lying and the terrible burden it carries. Fighting the elements and finding enough food to keep the hunger away, he discovers a strength he never knew he owned along with a mighty big dose of fear.
Learning to lie and steal, he finds help in the most unexpected places. Along with a mangy stray dog and new-found friends, he struggles to adapt to the world of adults, discovering the ugly side of life, all the while questioning why his parents left them.
Battling constant dust storms, known as black blizzards, a menacing drifter, and hunger, he fights to get through each day, hoping for a miracle. When circumstances dictate a change in his plans, he has to make a life altering decision.