Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Turn the Page....Tuesday

This is my second go-round with Hattie Big Sky. I read it the first time for fun on my own. I tend to read a lot of possible books for future use. This one was so enjoyable that I decided to do a "read-aloud" with my daughter since we happened to be studying homesteading.

The story takes place during WWI and opens your eyes to the difficulties of "proving up" your land. I always feel proud of the men and women who worked so hard to make lives for themselves and their families. The work never ended...but neither did their dreams.

Americans weren't just struggling with the war but also their feelings toward Germans.

This story follows the life of a girl as she tries out her life on a homestead. She longs for a place to call her own and plans to work hard to accomplish the mandatory requirements within the deadline given her. Hattie is confronted with the emotions of her neighbors as they work on their own homesteads and as the hatred for Germans grows.

The story has provided many opportunities for discussion. It has also offered us a few laughs as the various characters reveal their natures. You'll find yourself hoping things work out for Hattie as she does her best with the rules she must follow, looming deadlines, weather conditions, kindly neighbors, threatening neighbors and the learning of many skills she's had no experience with in her past....all at the ripe age of sixteen.

To aid in your understanding of the war-times, Hattie corresponds with her school-friend, Charlie. As he writes to her from Europe, she begins to understand the changes taking place in both of their lives. Growing up quickly is no easy business, now or then.

I can honestly say that I really enjoy this book and would highly recommend it to anyone. Written by Kirby Larson in 2006, it won the Newbery Honor.


Adrienne said...

Sounds like a great book ... I'm off to check our library ;-)

Mary said...


What a wonderful review. It sounds like something I would like to read. I'm a history buff, as is my oldest grandson. I'm sure we both would enjoy reading Hattie's story.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting on Just Jane. Your name has been entered in the giveaway. It's a terrific read.


Stacey's Treasures said...

This sounds like a good book. It's amazing how the homesteaders started with nothing & built homes & farms.
I just read about a book about 20 single women homesteaders. "Staking Her Claim" by Marcia Meredith Hensley