Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 39

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 39

Birthday

  • It's Billie Jo's birthday, and pretty much the worst one she's ever had. So to get away from the memory of Ma and the baby, the lost wheat crop, and her father's depression, she goes to town.
  • On the way, she notices how bare the landscape is and thinks about her deformed hands that can no longer play piano the way they used to.
  • She goes to Arley's house, where she hides in the backyard and listens to him play.