An Owl on Every Post

by Sanora Babb

Paperback, 1994



Call number

CT275 .B11


University of New Mexico Press (1994), 240 pages


Sanora Babb experienced pioneer life in a one-room dugout, eye-level with the land that supported, tormented and beguiled her; where her family fought for their lives against drought, crop-failure, starvation, and almost unfathomless loneliness. Learning to read from newspapers that lined the dugout' s dirt walls, she grew up to be a journalist, then a writer of unforgettable books about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, most notably Whose Names Are Unknown. The author was seven when her parents began to homestead an isolated 320-acre farm on the western plains. She tells the story through her eyes as a sensitive, fearless young girl who came to love the wind, the vastness, the mystery and magic in the ordinary. This evocative memoir of a pioneer childhood on the Great Plains is written with the lyricism and sensitivity that distinguishes all of Sanora Babb' s writing. An Owl on Every Post, with its environmental disasters, extreme weather, mortgage foreclosures, and harsh living conditions, resonates as much today as when it first appeared. What this true story of Sanora' s prairie childhood reveals best are the values-- courage, pride, determination, and love-- that allowed her… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member AmronGravett
"[It was a] wild, lonesome land. And still we stayed. It laid its claim on our deepest mind while we but claimed its earth."

The author draws on her childhood memories to recount a difficult, poor upbringing in the southeastern plains of Colorado. Told from a candid, child’s perspective, the reader is transported into the family’s dugout shack during the dust bowl and Depression-era. It is a very moving account from this little-known, but fascinating author.… (more)
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
While the rest of the country was becoming more urban, with telephones, motorcars and electricity becoming commonplace, Babb's family decided to emulate Laura Ingalls (Wilder)'s family and spend several years breaking sod, suffering scurvy and living 5 in a one-room dugout severely isolated from schools or neighbors in eastern Colorado. I found it a bleak read, though some readers find it heartwarming, and the Babbs did, after all, survive.… (more)
LibraryThing member SoubhiKiewiet
I enjoyed this memoir of a young girl brought up on the Colorado prairie. In this modern world, I think it's hard for most people to imagine a life so dependent on nature's whims.


Original language



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