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Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
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Hattie Big Sky (edition 2008)

by Kirby Larson

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1,209886,612 (4.12)80
Member:Stevejm51
Title:Hattie Big Sky
Authors:Kirby Larson
Info:Yearling (2008), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

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Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
This was another book I received from the secret santa book exchange. It was a little slow at points but for the most part very interesting. In the authors note at the end she tells about how her great grandmother was the inspiration for this book and talks about all the research she did to make it historically accurate. I love when authors do that, it makes historical fiction so much more interesting! It is very similar to the When Calls the Heart series, however it doesn't end the way I was expecting. There is a sequel to this book which I will probably read at some point because the ending did leave a lot of things unfinished ( )
  KeriLynneD | Apr 5, 2017 |
A BOOK WRITTEN FOR YOUNG ADULTS, BUT INTERESTING AS WELL TO ADULTS. SET IN EASTERN MONTANA DURING EARLY SETTLER PERIOD. A YOUNG WOMAN INHERITS 320 ACRES OF LAND IN MONTANA THAT SHE MUST "PROVE UP". HER YEAR OF STRUGGLES AND HARDSHIPS ARE OFF SET WITH THE FRIENDSHIPS SHE ESTABLISHES. WHILE SHE LOSES THE FARM DUE TO HER CROPS BEING DESTROYED, SHE LEARNED VALUABLE LESSONS THAT CARRY HER WELL INTO THE FUTURE. ( )
  CheryleFisher | Mar 7, 2017 |
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson was a very pleasurable read. This story of a young woman homesteader had me smiling, sighing and yes, even crying. Written as a series of letters and diary entries the book is set in 1918 as Hattie, a teenage orphan moves to Montana after inheriting her uncle’s homestead claim. World War I plays a very important role in this story as Hattie writes to a young man who is off soldiering in France and watches her neighbours of German descent face discrimination, and violence.

Hattie, herself is hardworking and good-hearted, and soon learns to stand up for what she believes in and for the people she cares about. The descriptions of frontier life are interesting and the author expresses the beauty that can be found on this open range land wonderfully. The hard work and discipline that Hattie must do in order to prove her claim, from backbreaking fencing to planting and harvesting forty acres, was exhausting just to read about. And I was both delighted and amazed to discover, at the end of the book, that this story was based on the author’s great-grandmother’s life as a single woman homesteader.

Hattie Big Sky is a book about a very likable character who finds friendship, a home and most importantly, herself, during the course of the year that she worked the land in order to prove her claim. A powerful and inspiring tale for both children and adults alike. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 4, 2017 |
Summary:
Hattie never quite found her place in the world. After her parents passed away, she was bounced from relative to relative. After her friend Charlie enlists in the war, Hattie felt more alone than ever. That is, until she’s informed that her uncle has left her his homestead in Montana. As Hattie adventures through the trials of preparing and farming her land, she learns how tough ranching and growing up truly is.

Personal reaction:
Though historical fiction isn’t my favorite genre, I enjoyed Hattie Big Sky. While I followed Hattie’s journey through making her homestead, I began to grow close to her fiery spirit. Another aspect that I really enjoyed about this book is that the ending wasn’t necessarily happy and perfect. Hattie didn’t successfully complete her homestead. Everything didn’t end up exactly how it was “supposed” to; however, the lessons of hard work, tenacity, and optimism still shown through.
Classroom extension:
1) Being from an agricultural state, it is easy to tour real-life homesteads. As a class, tour a local homestead or drive to Oklahoma City to tour the Harn Homestead.

2) Like Hattie, many people moved to Oklahoma to acquire land. In a social studies unit, discuss the requirements of owning land in Oklahoma. Ask each student to bring a shoebox from home to create a diorama of a homestead and allow them time in class to complete “requirements” such as building a fence and creating a miniature chicken coop. ( )
  CaitlinHendy | Nov 26, 2016 |
A satisfying mix of excitement, history, & interesting, authentic characters, leavened with just enough natural humor. I doubt I'll read the sequel, though, as I'm just tired out from reading so much historical fiction.

(Larson was inspired by a real ancestor, but had to fill in so many gaps, apparently, that it's more valid to call this fiction than biography.) ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
Elizabeth Bush (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 2007 (Vol. 60, No. 7))
There’s not much future in Iowa for sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks, whose guardian aunt is urging her to quit school and take a domestic job, so the opportunity to prove up a Montana homestead claim left to her by a deceased uncle seems a longshot worth taking. She’ll have the better part of one year to complete the fencing, bring forty acres under cultivation, and raise the nearly forty-dollar fee to own the property free and clear. Neighbors welcome her and assist wherever they can—advising on crop choice, stretching fence wire in spare moments, donating a few chickens, sharing heaving equipment, and offering moral support and friendship. But Hattie’s particular closeness with the family of German immigrant Karl Mueller and his American wife, Perilee, catches the attention of Traft Martin, scion of a wealthy ranching family and head of a nativist contingent of townsfolk who whip up anti-German sentiments as World War I rages in Europe and claims the lives of American soldiers. Martin keeps Hattie wary and off balance—charming her with hints of romance one moment, cajoling her to sell her farm the next; reasoning with her about making ill-advised friendships, and then turning to thinly veiled threats. Hattie’s determination and loyalty to the Muellers is unshakable, but just when it looks like she will succeed, Nature throws a knockout punch worse than anything Martin or his ilk could devise. Larson’s tale is inspired by an ancestor who, as a single young woman, did prove up a Montana claim, but she turns to more common experiences of failure to fashion Hattie’s fictional story. With the literary Great Plains overpopulated by plucky 1800s girls on covered wagons, it’s refreshing to bring the homestead experience into the twentieth century and meet a strong-willed young woman who meets failure with dignity, shoulders her debts with good-natured resolve, and plans her future with cautious optimism. Review Code: R -- Recommended. (c) Copyright 2006, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2006, Delacorte, 289p., $17.99 and $15.95. Grades 6-9.

added by kthomp25 | editThe Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Elizabeth Bush
 
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December 19, 1917 Arlington, Iowa

Dear Charlie, Miss Simpson starts every day with a reminder to pray for you--and all the other boys who enlisted.
Quotations
I leaned back against the rough siding of Uncle Chester’s house and studied that Montana sky. I know the same sky hangs over Iowa – over Charlie in France, for that matter – but I don't think it looks like this anywhere else in the world. There weren't many trees or mountains to catch at that sky and keep it low. No, it stretched out high and smooth and far, like a heavenly quilt on an unseen frame.
My pa used to say that hell would be a holiday for someone from eastern Montana.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385733135, Hardcover)

Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle's homesteading claim.
For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie's been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends--especially Charlie, fighting in France--through letters and articles for her hometown paper.

Her backbreaking quest for a home is lightened by her neighbors, the Muellers. But she feels threatened by pressure to be a "Loyal" American, forbidding friendships with folks of German descent. Despite everything, Hattie's determined to stay until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After inheriting her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war being fought in Europe. Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle's homesteading claim. For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie's been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends--especially Charlie, fighting in France--through letters and articles for her hometown paper. Her backbreaking quest for a home is lightened by her neighbors, the Muellers. But she feels threatened by pressure to be a "Loyal" American, forbidding friendships with folks of German descent. Despite everything, Hattie's determined to stay until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home.… (more)

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