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Hitty Her First Hundred Years by Rachel…
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Hitty Her First Hundred Years (original 1929; edition 1998)

by Rachel Field, Dorothy P. Lathrop (Illustrator)

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962228,994 (3.87)56
Member:The_Hibernator
Title:Hitty Her First Hundred Years
Authors:Rachel Field
Other authors:Dorothy P. Lathrop (Illustrator)
Info:Aladdin (1998), Edition: Original, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Young Adult, Dolls, Historical Fiction, Newbery, Maine, Fantasy, 19th Century

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Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (1929)

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» See also 56 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
In the early 1800's, a peddler carves a doll for a little girl of his acquaintance out of a sturdy piece of mountain ash wood. The doll is painted and dressed and given the name Mehitabel -- Hitty, for short. Over the course of her life, Hitty travels around the world by boat, by train, and eventually by automobile in the hands of various little girls (and sometimes, briefly, boys, men, and women). A hundred years later, she ends up in an antique shop, from whence she tells her story -- but are her adventures through? Hitty doesn't think so!

I was surprised at how readable I found this book. Though Hitty's adventures are episodic, I found that the plot carried me right along, always wondering where Hitty would end up next and how she would get out of whatever scrape she found herself in. I think that, if I had read this as a child, I would have enjoyed it immensely. After all, who doesn't imagine that their toys and dolls secretly come to life when nobody is watching? However, due to several problematic depictions in the book ("red injuns," "heathen savages," and African-American families speaking in an unflattering dialect, among other things), I probably wouldn't recommend this to children today, at least, not unless they were reading it with a good deal of adult guidance. ( )
  foggidawn | Jul 16, 2016 |
I enjoyed this almost as much as I did the (at least two) times I read it as a child. It's not pc, of course, but in the context it's fairly respectful and compassionate - in fact it's a good exploration of lots of different ways people have lived. The foreshadowing, especially in the beginning, got a little tiresome (little did we know...") but in the main it was gracefully written. If I do ever get into woodworking I will seek out mountain ash for crafts I want to last!" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
It took me awhile to get into the story of Hitty's hundred years, but once I did it was a fun journey from coastal Maine to the South Seas back to the comfort of a Northeast antique shop. Using a doll as narrator allows for a long view spanning many changes in fashion, transportation and behavior. It is also true that as these things have changed, a child's love for a doll has not, which may be why this 1930 Newbery Medal winner continues to be read today. ( )
  GReader28 | May 11, 2016 |
: HItty is a Newbery award winning novel for advanced readers. HItty a doll, writes her memoirs. She is a doll made of mountain ash and belongs to a little girl named Phoebe Preble, the daughter of a sea captain. With Phoebe, Hitty has many mishaps and adventures. They go berry picking were Hitty is forgotten in the bushes, crows carry her way, a few days later she is up in a tree near the Preble home. Her next adventure with mishaps is when the family set out on a whaler ship, which is burns and Hitty is lost at sea to be later joined with Phoebe on a island. From there she has many more adventures over a hundred years. She travels form a unknown island to India, lived with Quakers, hears Adeline Patti. She has her daguerreotype (picture) done, meets a Poet, travels to New York and so many more adventures. The way the description are given you can see the detail of what is taken place as Hitty travels through time, covering a hundred years in her memoir.
Personal reflection:
I enjoyed reading this book. I would have enjoyed reading this book as a 5th or 6th grade student. It might have helped me to like reading more. Do to the way the author described what was happening in the story; with each adventure, I could see it in my mind’s eye. I did not want to put the book down; I wanted read what was next in Hitty’s many adventures.
Extension ideas;
Have the students write or tell of an adventure they and one of their toys had together.
Have the students pass a toy to around to different family members for a month, have family write what they did with the toy, and then have students write or tell about the adventure the toy went on. ( )
  sparrowtlw | Apr 15, 2015 |
4.5 stars. Long time ago, back in 4th grade, a librarian recommended this book to me; I read it, and liked it, but didn't feel it had made a huge impression. Yet it kept coming back to me over the years, so I decided to give it a re-read.

Hitty the doll was about a hundred years old; this story, published in 1929, is getting close. Some things have held up fairly well; the story of a small, hand-carved doll, going from beloved companion to heathen idol to fashion model and more, is fascinating, and the device - told in first person from the POV of the doll - is probably one of the most unique literary devices ever. The illustrations, too, are charming, and help reinforce the idea that while the doll belongs to various owners, generally children, she herself is an adult, with a deliberately pleasant expression.

Other details, like Hitty's ash-wood complexion, became a little rougher with the passing of time. The author did not know about political correctness in 1929; some of the stories, like that of being carried on a whaling vessel, are fascinating, yet at the same time horrifying to those of us who understand whales to be sentient beings. The depiction of people of color - in India, and America isn't - QUITE - racist, but borders on it; the depiction of "heathens" as bowing down and worshiping the doll because she had jointed limbs is ridiculous.

I wouldn't hand this book to a child today without reading it along with her/him and explaining some of these issues. But there is a tremendous amount of entertainment here; it certainly stokes the imagination, wondering where the doll will wind up next. The revelations about human nature - some of the doll's owners prized her, for various reasons, otherwise were more lackadaisical, even abusive, are still applicable today. The descriptions of Maine and its foliage are also beautiful. And the doll's voice - a somewhat prim, stiff (well, she IS wooden) older lady - is wonderful. ( )
  writerbeverly | May 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rachel Fieldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lathrop, Dorothy P.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to the state of Maine and Abbie Evans
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The antique shop is very still now.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689822847, Paperback)

Hitty is a doll of great charm and character. It is indeed a privilege to publish her memoirs, which, besides being full of the most thrilling adventures on land and sea, also reveal her delightful personality. One glance at her portrait will show that she is no ordinary doll. Hitty, or Mehitable as she was really named, was made in the early 1800s for Phoebe Preble, a little girl from Maine. Young Phoebe was very proud of her beautiful doll and took her everywhere, even on a long sailing trip in a whaler. This is the story of Hitty's years with Phoebe, and the many that follow in the life of a well-loved doll.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In this classic tale, young readers can follow the adventurous and life of Hitty (or Mehitabel), from her beginnings as a piece of ash wood in Maine, to her transformation into a favorite doll and playmate of a young girl living in the 1800's.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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