Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Hattie Big Sky

Hattie Big Sky (Hattie, #1)

Hattie Big Sky

By Kirby Larson

Blurb: 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.
Genres: Juvenile/YA, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Adventure
Published: September 26, 2006
Series: Hattie by Kirby Larson
My Rating: 5 stars!
There are some books that, when you are finished, seem like your best friend. You have laughed with them, cried with them. You have gotten to know them. Hattie Big Sky, for me, was that book.

I used to not like Historical Fiction. It seemed boring and repetitive to me, the same story being told time and time again, but with different characters. However, this year I started to read the genre more and more. Maybe it's just a phase, but it's really made history come alive for me. Hattie Big Sky does this superbly, and I think that even if I had read this when I hated historical fiction, I would have loved this book. It's not a cookie cutter WWI book. You get a unique look at prejudice against germans, not to mention the fact that it doesn't focus on WWI alone. A huge part of the book is Hattie trying to make her new life in Vida, Montana work.

Hattie was a wonderful character to read about. Her perseverance, her bravery, and her willingness to stand up for what is right made her a character that I could really root for. I also really liked that Kirby Larson started the book when she was still with her aunt and uncle. It gives you a taste of what her life is like, and why she would risk it all to go to Montana.

The other characters are no less charming. There are the Muellers, who have to face taunts and threats because they are Germans. There is Traft Martin, who seems nice at first, but who I had very mixed feelings about by the end. I could go on and on, but I will stop there.

This book isn't an action book. It isn't a mystery. It's not a love story with vampires and/or werewolves. It's a story about a girl's life. So, it won't be for everyone, but I loved it. Hattie Big Sky is a book that I won't soon forget.

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