Dakota Dugout

by Ann Turner

Hardcover, 1985



A woman describes her experiences living with her husband in a sod house on the Dakota prairie.


½ (9 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member victoriahaumesser
This book is about the living on the prarie and how hard it is. The couple lived in a make shift howse using the cut out of the side of a hill. They did not have very good accommadations. They were there for a while and built a proper house. The hard living taught them it was sometime better to be
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happy with what you have.
This book had wonderful illustrations that were in black and white. It showed the prarie living accurately. The characters were believable. This story could of happened making it real to the setting of the time. The theme was to show how to survive when you start your life with nothing but a piece of property.
In the classroom you could have the students to make a picture of what they believe their house would look like it they lived at this time. Have the children write a reflection on what they thought of the story.
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LibraryThing member Mrs.Reynolds
Language is rich and poetic. It is a beautiful portrayal of nineteenth century prairie life.
LibraryThing member slmturner
The story is about a woman who is retelling her life to a child. At first she was shocked by the conditions she had to live with; a house made out of the earth. She tells about the hardships her and her husband faced when they were trying to start their new life. She also tells how their way of
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life changed when they finally succeeded on their farm. She realizes that even though things were not easy, she misses the simplicity and connection with the land.

The text is quite short, but what is does say, combined with the wonderful illustrations, says a lot. I like that it is done by a woman's point of view. She appreciates the finer things in life, but after her toils and tribulations, she comes to be one with nature. The story is told very simply and to the point. I like that. I can almost imagine what it wold be like to live in a dugout by the descriptions she gives.

This would be a good story to use when studying about life in the old west. It would be a good book to read to supplement the curriculum. It would be good to give the students another point of view about that way of life. The students could also write about life back then by using the pictures in the book to tell their own story.
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LibraryThing member malinacoulter
This is about a young couple who spent their first years of marriage living in a sod house on the Dakota prairie. The young bride was not happy when she first saw the home she would be living in. The house was cold and no light was able to come in. The first year was horrible; cold and harsh, with
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no crops.

This book would not be a very good read aloud book. It was a little hard to follow and not very interesting. It did however paint a good picture of what life on the prairie would have been.

In the classroom I would like for each student to write their own story of what they believe it would have been like to live on the prairie and also make a picture to go along with it.
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LibraryThing member BNededog
Dakota Dugout starts out with an older woman telling a child about the prairie years. It began when she received a letter from Matt that said come. She packed up here stuff and rode the train to Matt’s cave. Matt cut the earth into bricks and stacked them a long a hill, this was their first home.
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She wasn’t happy with the way it looked on the outside or the inside. The inside didn’t have a good window and the door was only a buffalo hide that could not keep the wind out. All day she would help Matt in the fields, but no one else was there. When the winter came they lost twelve of their cattle. The first summer the corn began to grow, but was baked dry by the hot wind. When the corn finally grew they built a house with windows, floors and rooms. She never really thought that she would miss the Dakota dugout, but she realized that sometimes the things that we start with are best.

I enjoyed this books picture because they were sketched in pencil. They give you that old time feeling and take you back. This book was a short and sweet book and I liked that about it. I liked how it teaches a moral at the end; that sometimes what we start with is better than what we end up with.

One activity would be to make a circle with the four different seasons on it and draw an item that reminds them of that season. The second activity would be to have each student build their own cardboard dugout. They would have to make it like the books first home was made.
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LibraryThing member cindylansdale
This is a children’s’ book written as a story being told by a grandmother her to her grandchild. The grandmother tells what it was like to come to the Dakota’s and move into a sod-dugout home as young bride in the late 1900's She tells of her about her train trip and her first reaction to the
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dugout home and about the hardships that she and her husband endured living on the prairie. Eventually the family prospered ad built a nice home. But the grandmother reflects about what her family had begun and realizes those times were actually the best.

This book is illustrated with what appears as black and white pencil drawings which gives it a more dramatic effect, like that of looking at someone’s personal journal. I felt that this was a very awesome book and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
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Simon & Schuster (1985), Edition: Ex-library, 32 pages




0027897001 / 9780027897005

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