Callie LeRoux has lived in the small town of Slow Run, Kansas for her entire life. Even though the constant dust that chokes her town threatens Callie’s health, her mother refuses to leave. She awaits the return of Callie’s father, who disappeared years ago and hasn’t been heard from since.

When her mother goes missing in a dust storm, Callie heads west to find her. She meets Baya, a mysterious Indian Man who helps her and then disappears. As her search continues, she befriends Jack Hollander, a young hobo who is happy to keep her company even as they encounter danger at every turn.

Callie is biracial, the daughter of a white mother and a black father—a dangerous situation in 1930s America. However, that isn’t the most unique thing about Callie; she also happens to be part fairy. In Dust Girl, book one of The American Fairy Trilogy, Sarah Zettel lays the groundwork for a complex fairy mythology. There are light and dark factions of fairies, animal-spirit guides and creatures who hide in human skins.

Dust Girl is also a complex novel of historical fiction. The Dust Bowl period—or the “Dirty Thirties”—is depicted with vivid imagery and complex detail. Whether readers are interested in the historical aspects, the magical elements or simply the well-woven tapestry of a story, Dust Girl is a mysterious and engrossing page-turner of a novel.

Read an interview with Sarah Zettel for Dust Girl.

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