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Hattie Big Sky
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Hattie Big Sky
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This Newbery Honor winning, New York Times bestseller celebrates the true spirit of independence on the American frontier.For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one...
This Newbery Honor winning, New York Times bestseller celebrates the true spirit of independence on the American frontier.For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one...
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Description-

  • This Newbery Honor winning, New York Times bestseller celebrates the true spirit of independence on the American frontier.
    For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one distant relative to another. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she summons the courage to leave Iowa and move all by herself to Vida, Montana, to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim.

    Under the big sky, Hattie braves hard weather, hard times, a cantankerous cow, and her own hopeless hand at the cookstove. Her quest to make a home is championed by new neighbors Perilee Mueller, her German husband, and their children. For the first time in her life, Hattie feels part of a family, finding the strength to stand up against Traft Martin's schemes to buy her out and against increasing pressure to be a "loyal" American at a time when anything—or anyone—German is suspect. Despite daily trials, Hattie continues to work her uncle's claim until an unforeseen tragedy causes her to search her soul for the real meaning of home.

    This young pioneer's story is lovingly stitched together from Kirby Larson's own family history and the sights, sounds, and scents of homesteading life.
    AN AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS
    A SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK
    A BOOKLIST EDITORS' CHOICE
    NAMED TO 13 STATE AWARD LISTS
    "A marvelous story about courage, loyalty, perseverance, and the meaning of home." —Newbery Award-Winning Author Karen Cushman
    From the Hardcover edition.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • Chapter One Dear Charlie,

    Miss Simpson starts every day with a reminder to pray for you--and all the other boys who enlisted. Well, I say we should pray for the Kaiser--he's going to need those prayers once he meets you!

    I ran into your mother today at Uncle Holt's store. She said word is you are heading for England soon, France after that. I won't hardly be able to look at the map behind Miss Simpson's desk now; it will only remind me of how far you are from Arlington.

    Mr. Whiskers says to tell you he's doing fine. It's been so cold, I've been letting him sleep in my bedroom. If Aunt Ivy knew, she'd pitch a fit. Thank goodness she finally decided I was too big to switch or my legs would be striped for certain.

    You should see Aunt Ivy. She's made herself a cunning white envelope of a hat with a bright red cross stitched on the edge. She wears it to all the Red Cross meetings. Guess she wants to make sure everybody knows she's a paid-up member. She's been acting odd lately; even asked me this morning how was I feeling. First time in years she's inquired about my health. Peculiar. Maybe this Red Cross work has softened her heart.

    Mildred Powell's knitting her fifth pair of socks; they're not all for you, so don't get swell-headed. She's knitting them for the Red Cross. All the girls at school are. But I suspect the nicest pair she knits will be for you.

    You must cut quite the figure in your uniform. A figure eight! (Ha, ha.) Seriously, I am certain you are going to make us all proud.

    Aunt Ivy's home from her meeting and calling for me. I'll sign off now but will write again soon.

    Your school friend, Hattie Inez Brooks

    I blotted the letter and slipped it in an envelope. Aunt Ivy wouldn't think twice about reading anything she found lying around, even if it was in my own room, on my own desk.

    "Hattie," Aunt Ivy called again. "Come down here!"

    To be on the safe side, I slipped the envelope under my pillow, still damp from my good cry last night. Not that I was like Mildred Powell, who hadn't stopped boo-hooing since Charlie left. Only Mr. Whiskers and my pillow knew about my tears in the dark over Charlie. I did fret over his safety, but it was pure and sinful selfishness that wet my eyes at night.

    In all my sixteen years, Charlie Hawley was one of the nicest things to happen to me. It was him who'd stuck up for me when I first came to live with Aunt Ivy and Uncle Holt, so shy I couldn't get my own name out. He'd walked me to school that very first day and every day after. Charlie was the one who'd brought me Mr. Whiskers, a sorry-looking tomcat who purred his way into my heart. The one who'd taught me how to pitch, and me a southpaw. So maybe I did spend a night now and then dreaming silly girl dreams about him, even though everyone knew he was sweet on Mildred. My bounce-around life had taught me that dreams were dangerous things--they look solid in your mind, but you just try to reach for them. It's like gathering clouds.

    The class had voted to see Charlie off at the station. Mildred clung to his arm. His father clapped him on the back so often, I was certain he'd end up bruised. Miss Simpson made a dull speech as she presented Charlie with a gift from the school: a wool stocking cap and some stationery.

    "Time to get aboard, son," the conductor called.

    Something shifted in my heart as Charlie swung his foot up onto the train steps. I had told myself to hang back--didn't want to be lumped in with someone like Mildred--but I found myself running up to him and slipping something in his hand. "For luck!" I said. He glanced at the object and smiled. With a final wave, he...

About the Author-

  • After Kirby Larson heard a snippet of a story about her great-grandmother homesteading in eastern Montana, she spent three years working on this story. The author lives in Kenmore, WA.


    From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books foodluver - I absolutely love this book. It was very interesting. It was both happy and sad. I love historical fiction. I highly recommend this book.
  • School Library Journal, Starred ★ "Larson creates a masterful picture of the homesteading experience and the people who persevered."

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    Random House Children's Books
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