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Month in review

Reviews:
The Art of the Dragon by Sean McMullen
Baby Dance by Ann Taylor and Marjorie van Heerden
The Case of the Climbing Cat by Cynthia Rylant
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones by Terrance Dicks
Fruits Basket Volume 1 by Katsuki Takaya
Girl on a Bar Stool by Tim Roux
The Great American Marble Book by Fred Ferretti
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Kampung Boy by Lat
The Lighthouse, the Cat and the Sea by Leigh W. Rutledge
Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison
Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars by Ellen MacGreggor
Myths, Magic and Legends of Sand Art by Suzanne Lord
On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss
Outside the Lavender Closet by Martha A. Taylor
Secrets Unveiled by Sheshena Pledger
Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye
Spaceman by Mike O'Driscoll
Testimony by Anita Shreve
A Token of a Better Age by Melinda M. Snodgrass
Tom and Pippo Read a Story by Helen Oxenbury
Thump Quack Moo by Doreen Cronin
Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
The Water Hole by Graeme Base
Wet Cats by Mario Garza
You Are Such a One by Nancy Springer


Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Hattie Big Sky

Hattie Big SkyHattie Big Sky: 09/04/09

Kirby Larson's great-grandmother Hattie Inez Brooks Wright had a homestead in eastern Montana and proved her claim. In researching the history of her great-grandmother, Kirby Larson began to realize she had a novel. To tell a more complete picture of homesteading during the 1910s she decided to create a very different outcome for her Hattie for Hattie Big Sky.

Fictional Hattie is a 16 year old orphan who has been jostled from family member to family member, never really finding a home as her own. When her late uncle's claim is willed to her she sees a chance to finally find a place where she belongs.

The novel takes place from December 19, 1917 to December 12, 1918. This is right during America's participation in WWI. Hattie quickly discovers the anti-German fears and hatred cropping up. By befriending a German American family Hattie puts herself and her home at risk.

Besides the war tension at home and having a good friend fighting over seas, Hattie has to deal with the elements (snow, hail, drought), rationing (flour, sugar) and quickly diminishing funds to homesteading expenses and mandatory war support.

The parallels between Hattie's life and our recent invasion of Iraq are intentional. Kirby outlines her reasons in the "Author's Note" at the back of the book.

I picked this book for two very shallow reasons: I loved the cover art and I liked the title. Hattie, of course, is short for Harriet, and I've been reading many books about Harriets now. I read some bits to my daughter and she enjoyed the pieces I read to her. I think when she is older I will get her a copy for her personal library. What I discovered was a well researched, fascinating, heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking novel about life in rural Montana. It was a book I couldn't put down for the two days I was reading it.

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