Hattie could never have predicted how hard homesteading would be. Working against a ten month deadline, she must plant forty acres of crops, build a seemingly unending fence on her property, and pay a fee in order to claim the place. Those things are difficult enough, but Hattie discovers further challenges as she battles to own her home: snow, hail, heat, animals, heartbreak, persistent offers from an intriguing yet dangerous man, and discrimination against her friends with German ties.
Against a panoramic big sky backdrop, gutsy Hattie battles to save her new home. Along the way, she discovers much about herself as she grows and changes to face up to her challenges.
HATTIE BIG SKY won a prestigious Newbery Honor award; it is richly deserved. The book is funny, poignant, and impossible to put down --- an instant classic with evergreen themes including war and patriotism, friendship, loyalty, and independence. The characters are drawn in fine shades of grey, including a potential "bad guy" who has many admirable and human traits. Highly recommended.