Oil Field Brats

Author: Esely, Joyce

Subjects: American History; Family Relationships; Oil Fields

Age: 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 4, 5, 6, 7

ISBN: 978-0-88092-529-7

Order code: 5297

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Oil Field Brats Cover

In 1927, the oil field towns of the Texas Panhandle had no roads, houses, or schools. The riggers and their families lived in tent camps in a treeless landscape and had to cope with snakes and mice, the constant smell of oil, the bootleggers and ruffians, dust storms that lasted a week, and mudslides when it rained.

It is in this setting that we find the Petersons. The resourceful Peterson children are "oil field brats" who collect bottles and give rides in mud-sleds to contribute to the family "house fund," which they hope to use to move into a proper house with walls one day. Their papa sinks the money into gushers that don’t gush or that catch fire and take days to extinguish.

Betty Lou once saw a tap dance class, and the height of her ambition is to be in a place where she can learn to dance. That is her dream amidst the dust and danger and the itinerant lifestyle of the oil field pioneers.

By the end of the novel, the father of the Peterson children has taken a job at an oil refinery, the family has moved into a company town, the children have gone from being “brats” to “townies,” and Betty Lou is in a school where tap dancing lessons are part of gym class.  

Joyce Esely has won two Frontiers in Writing awards and a Beaux Arts award. She is also the author of Shining Star, published by Royal Fireworks Press. She is a resident of Fritch, Texas.

In 1927, the oil field towns of the Texas Panhandle had no roads, houses, or schools. The riggers and their families lived in tent camps in a treeless landscape and had to cope with snakes and mice, the constant smell of oil, the bootleggers and ruffians, dust storms that lasted a week, and mudslides when it rained.

It is in this setting that we find the Petersons. The resourceful Peterson children are "oil field brats" who collect bottles and give rides in mud-sleds to contribute to the family "house fund," which they hope to use to move into a proper house with walls one day. Their papa sinks the money into gushers that don’t gush or that catch fire and take days to extinguish.

Betty Lou once saw a tap dance class, and the height of her ambition is to be in a place where she can learn to dance. That is her dream amidst the dust and danger and the itinerant lifestyle of the oil field pioneers.

By the end of the novel, the father of the Peterson children has taken a job at an oil refinery, the family has moved into a company town, the children have gone from being “brats” to “townies,” and Betty Lou is in a school where tap dancing lessons are part of gym class.  

Joyce Esely has won two Frontiers in Writing awards and a Beaux Arts award. She is also the author of Shining Star, published by Royal Fireworks Press. She is a resident of Fritch, Texas.

Oil Field Brats Cover

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