Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hattie Big Sky is outstanding book for young teens

When Hattie is orphaned at age 16, her uncle in Montana provides a home for her by willing his homestead to the young woman. She travels to the homestead on her own and begins the brave challenge of living on her own and surviving in wild Montana before the first world war.
The book is so well-written it won a Newbery Honor from the American Library Association this year. It is based on a true story from the family of the author, Kirby Larson, who sensitively reveals the triumphs and tangles of Hattie. Of particular interest is the sub-plot of neighbors who harass or shun those of German descent in the ranching community around Hattie and her friends. This is based on actual incidents and legislation resulting from accusations of sedition in the Dakotas and Montana at this period.

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