All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky - Joe R. Lansdale Lansdale's YA novel about three children orphaned and adrift during the Great Depression starts out as not very YA. In the first few pages, one child's father hangs himself, another father dies under a overturn tractor to the indifference of his daughter and son, and the three children are stealing a car. Lansdale was never a writer who would sugarcoat life and he doesn't do it here. Yet All the Earth, Throw to the Sky will thrill the teen who wants their protagonists to be full of life and smarter, if not always wiser, than the adults. Lansdale's depiction of Oklahoma and East Texas in the 30s is filled with dust, poverty, and shady characters. In fact, Pretty Boy Floyd makes an appearance and he is one of the nicest adults in the book. I caught a bit of Huck Finn influence in this story with Huck being played by a smart if not too honest little girl. In fact it is Jane, who steals most of the scenes with her smart-alecky ways and her refusal to give up her dreams even if she isn't sure what those dreams are. Compared to The Bottoms and The Hap and Leonard series, this novel will probably be considered a lesser work by most Lansdale fans. But I can see a lot of kids turned on by the prose and imagination of Lansdale and seeking out his more adult works. Wouldn't that be a school librarian's nightmare!