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You are here: Home > Recent > News > Until the Dust settles
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Until the Dust settles
18 Nov 2001    

by Dana
(JCO Editor)

The original book "Children of the Dust Bowl" was written by Jerry Stanley and appeared in 1992. It tells the true story of poor farmer families who had to move from Oklahoma and Texas to California in the 1930s in search of work. Escaping the dust storms that threatened their homes, most of the families were hardly educated and had children who had never seen a school from the inside.

The so-called "Okies" migrated to a relief camp called Weedpatch Camp (as originally portrayed in John Steinbeck’s novel ‚ "The Grapes of Wrath", 1939). With the help of Superintendent Leo Hart they were finally able to virtually construct their own school, and within a year, classrooms, a science lab, a working farm, shop, a curriculum and even a swimming pool were built. The school was such a success that it was incorporated into the local school district only five years later. It still exists today.

"Children of the Dust Bowl" is described as a moving story about prejudice and discrimination but also hope and compassion in a somewhat neglected period of American history. The book won numerous awards.

Although transforming the book into a movie is certainly interesting, the idea of Jim Carrey producing it somehow worries me a little. Exploring new grounds is essential to Carrey, but why this topic for a producer’s debut? Is that all-American, perhaps sentimental, journey into history merely being used as a career strategy, pushing Jim Carrey full force away from his comedian image that is still connected to his name? Not that I expected him to produce another "Dumb and Dumber", but "Children of the Dust Bowl" seems such an odd choice. I may be wrong here. And I really hope I am.

-- Many thanks to J.T. Carrey for the additional information on the book, and also to Catseye @ Laurie Land. Click to comment this article.

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