Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki

"The house is rattling and shaking, and I fear we will be blown away! Ruth asked what we did to make God so angry. I told her we didn't do anything, and God's not angry. I assured her the storm will pass and everything will be fine, but I wonder."
Grace Edwards[2]

Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards is a historical fiction book written by Katelan Janke, whom won the Dear America Student Writing Contest with the story. It is the twenty-ninth entry in the Dear America series. The book was published in November 2002 by Scholastic. The next Dear America entry, When Christmas Comes Again, was released at the same time.

The book follows Grace Edwards and her family trying to survive the Dust Bowl in 1935.


"With love for Annalee, my sister and forever friend."

Book description[]

"Sunday, April 14, 1935
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a storm grew on the horizon–a duster bigger and blacker than any we had ever seen. Mama sent Ruth to quickly pull the dish towels off the clothesline while Daddy rushed to the barn to secure the livestock and Brownie. I quickly helped Mama hang dampened sheets in the doorways and windows, a routine too familiar.
After a few minutes, Ruth had still not returned....
I panicked and I ran over the hill, searching. To my relief, Ruth was a few hundred yards away, chasing after a blowing white towel. I cried out her name and ran all the way to her. When I reached my sister... we were far from the house, and the storm was rolling closer and closer, swallowing up the sky as it came. I knew we couldn't make it home.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Survival in the Storm characters
  • Grace Edwards, the twelve-year-old daughter of farmers Edna and Gilbert Edwards. She copes with the problems of the Dust Bowl with a steadfast heart and a helping hand.
  • Ruth Edwards, the carefree and absentminded seven-year-old sister of Grace. She often annoys her sister by skipping out her chores to entertain herself with stories and games instead.


Main article: Katelan Janke

Katelan Janke is the author of Survival in the Storm. At age twelve, she won the Arrow Book Club / Dear America Student Writing Contest in 1998 with "Survival in the Storm." Janke was given the opportunity to expand it into a full book, which was published when she was fifteen. Janke drew inspiration from the story from her hometown, Dalhart, Texas. She extensively interviewed local residents, Portia Dees and Marguerite Green, about their experiences.


"My heartfelt appreciation to Portia Dees and Marguerite Green, retired schoolteachers and treasured friends, who spent countless hours sharing their Dust Bowl stories and patiently answering long list of questions; Melt White and Mary Bell Clements, who told about life in the 1930s Texas Panhandle; Nick Olson, curator of the XIT Museum in Dalhart, Texas; and Helen Bliss (Grandmother) who helped research Fort Worth historical information. Also, my friends at Scholastic: Amy Griffin, the most patient editor imaginable, whose suggestions were invaluable; Barry Denenberg, who got me off to a great start; and friend and mentor Betsy Howie.
I am especially grateful to those teachers throughout the years who have encouraged my interest in writing: Sandy Bledsoe, Sherolyn Chumley, Karen Towler, Patricia Harshey, Sharon Wilson, and principal Jack Boston. And, finally, Mum and Daddy, who've always supported me in pursuing my dreams and, most of all, in pursuing a life pleasing to Christ.


  • The portrait and background on the cover are both details of photographs licensed by Corbis.[3] The photographs are "Ozark children getting mail from RFD box, Missouri" (1940) by John Vachon[4] and "Dust storm approaching Lubbock, Texas" (1939) by Russell Lee.[5]


See also[]

Arts & Crafts

Dear America

A Journey to the New World | The Winter of Red Snow | When Will This Cruel War Be Over? | A Picture of Freedom
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
West to a Land of Plenty | Dreams in the Golden Country | Standing in the Light | Voyage on the Great Titanic
A Line in the Sand | My Heart Is on the Ground | The Great Railroad Race | The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow
A Light in the Storm | Color Me Dark | A Coal Miner's Bride | My Secret War | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
Valley of the Moon | Seeds of Hope | Early Sunday Morning | My Face to the Wind | Christmas After All
A Time for Courage | Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Survival in the Storm
When Christmas Comes Again | Land of the Buffalo Bones | Love Thy Neighbor | All the Stars in the Sky
Look to the Hills | I Walk in Dread | Hear My Sorrow


The Fences Between Us | Like the Willow Tree | Cannons at Dawn | With the Might of Angels | Behind the Masks
Down the Rabbit Hole | A City Tossed and Broken

External links[]