Once upon a time in America, half the people lost every dime they had. Then the coming of the Dust Bowl hit as hard as a prairie tornado. Reuben, just completing second grade in Ambler, Oklahoma, has grown up knowing the richness of farm life. Now his father, desperate to make ends meet, takes a job as a wingwalker in a traveling county fair. Uprooted from the life he's loved and afraid of his own shadow, Reuben needs a full measure of love and courage to get by.
Rosemary Wells waltzes us through the stubbly cornfields of a lost America — a land of small farms, distant radio music, and county fairs, where men and women of great faith danced on the wings of planes for a few dollars. Brian Selznick's sensitive, compelling paintings capture the majesty and grace of that world gone by.