Larson, Kirby. 2006. Hattie Big Sky
Hattie Brooks is a sixteen year old orphan that has been passed around from one distant relative to another. She's always felt like she was 'Hattie Here-and-There'. A girl without a home. A girl without a family. All that changes when she receives a letter.
Being of sound mind, I do hereby leave to Hattie Inez Brooks my claim and the house and its contents, as well as one steadfast horse named Plug and a contemptible cow known as Violet. -- Chester Hubert Wright, Uncle to Hattie Inez Brooks P.S. H--Bring warm clothes and a cat.
Knowing that this could be her chance--her big chance--to find her place in this world, Hattie agrees to move to Montana and finish proving her uncle's claim. She expects the work to be hard, but she's used to hard work...even if it's not quite the same kind. Here she will deal with blizzards, livestock, plowing, planting, harvesting, fencing, etc. It seems the work never ends. But the strange thing is out here surrounded by the big skies of Montana she is not alone. She's never felt so alive. So welcome. So happy. Tired, exhausted, and happy...the months pass. Does Hattie have what it takes to finish proving the claim? Can she survive the harsh environment? Can she make it financially?
Set in 1918, during World War I, the novel presents what life was like at home during the war. Hattie corresponds with a soldier, a childhood friend, whom she ever so secretly wishes would be more than a friend when he returns. Also in her new home in Montana, Hattie befriends a German family. These neighbors know what it means to be in need. Yet they give wholeheartedly to their young neighbor. Their friendship teaches her so much. She cannot understand why the other neighbors openly despise this German family. Discrimination and prejudice are just the beginning. Life is becoming dangerous for Germans and German-lovers.
Hattie Big Sky is a great book. I loved it!
Interactive Reader's Review of Hattie Big Sky