Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"




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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

Chinook. For a Pacific Northwesterner, that evokes visions of salmon. For a homesteader in Montana in the early 1900’s, that evoked a warming wind, something you were extremely grateful for during the freezing winter. Though when Spring arrived, you'd be grateful for a freeze that would end the constant mud. Come summer, freezing weather to counter the oppressive heat and humidity would make you mighty glad.

It took a lot of gumption to stake your claim and make it work. In Hattie Big Sky, a sixteen-year-old orphan, Hattie, found it worth her while to tackle this Herculean task and work the claim she inherited from her uncle.

In addition to the usual difficulties you might expect (and who hasn’t read Little House ?), Hattie has a conflict amongst her neighbors to contend with that makes homesteading look like the easy part. The United States is fighting WWI, and Hattie’s neighbor and best friend is married to a German. The local Civil Defense committee is making life miserable for German-born citizens or anyone they perceive as their sympathizers.

Hattie soon comes under their scrutiny, especially of their leader: Traft, a handsome young man. His interest in Hattie is only surpassed by his desire for her land and his anger which has its favorite outlet in bullying those he deems unpatriotic.

I’ve long wanted to read this book, and am so glad I finally got to it. Glad as a Chinook wind... Hattie is a virtuous woman with admirable qualities. She grows up quickly in her situation, and it is a delightful vicarious experience reading along…

The death of a child due to influenza might be hard for a sensitive young tween; I think most older tweens would be able to handle it...

Safety Rating: 3 Flags
Historical Fiction: 1917; WWI; America

3 comments:

Anonymous,  September 20, 2009 at 8:23 AM  

i really think ur website should have qiotes ok??? and im not a tween but i really think u should post quotes to help the other readers of ur website see what some of the other characters are like instead of just hattie. and im sorry but i really hate this book.:(

Tween Lit Crit September 30, 2009 at 7:26 PM  

Books are like colors, some are preferred, all add something to the spectrum, and delightfully, people can be attracted to all sorts. I liked it, but I expect not everyone will, and that's nothing to apologize for.

Quotes are a good idea. I doubt they'll make in the reviews, although I'll consider this. It's just that my reviews take a lot of time, something that is in short supply for a homeschooling mom. I'll probably not add quotes unless more time comes my way...

Anonymous,  November 24, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

this book is good!

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