Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1097
Newbery Honor Book is an Amazing Read
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Sixteen-year-old Hattie is an orphan who inherits a Montana homestead claim from her uncle in 1918. Hattie is in search of a true home; she has lived with relative after relative, and secretly calls herself "Hattie Here-and There." Her tightest tie to Iowa is her best friend Charlie, but he has joined the army and is fighting in France. So Hattie leaves her unloving aunt's house to "prove out" her new claim.

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.
TM
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