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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hattie Rocks!

By Raechel Kelly and Jan Pease

In May of this year, my young friend Raechel wrote a review for us, and she’s done it again.  I love to read what Raechel has to say.  Raechel read Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson, and the sequel, Hattie Ever After. Raechel is 17 now, and it’s a pleasure to watch her grow as a writer.

Raechel’s words: I read this book a few years ago, but I was nonetheless eager to read it again, from a little different perspective.  Despite my age difference from when I read it the first time till now, I greatly enjoyed it both times, and believe I’d read it many more times in the future.
The main character, Hattie Inez Brooks, is a young girl of 16 years old who was orphaned at a young age and shuffled from one relative to the next.  While she is staying with a very distant uncle and aunt in Iowa, Hattie receives a letter from her mother’s brother, her late uncle.  The letter informs her that her uncle, Chester, left his homesteading claim in Vida, Montana to Hattie after he passed away.  Ready for change, a place to belong, and adventure, Hattie packs up her few things - including her cat - and heads out to Montana where her homesteading journey begins.  Written in first person, Hattie’s adventures are wonderfully captured and you feel as if you’re right under the Montana sky with her.

One thing I did note, that sort of disappointed me, was how Hattie’s relationship with God was portrayed.  She would pray earnestly to the Lord, but then immediately afterwards would doubt He’d answer her in any way, and kind of just cast it away.  I understand all that, and that the relationship was a bit broken, but I was hoping for it to be restored or even touched on in the end, which I didn’t really find. 
    
Hattie Ever After is the sequel to Hattie Big Sky and I was very much looking forward to reading it after having finished the first book again recently.  I must say I am thoroughly impressed with Miss Larson’s writing!  When I began reading Hattie Ever After, I was at first a little bummed because of the perspective she took on Hattie’s life.  Hattie wants to follow her own dream and focus only on what she can do for herself, when her dear friend, Charlie, just wants to be part of her life.  Though I was not overly thrilled with that aspect of it, I was thrilled with the theme of it – reporting!  Hattie’s big dream is to be a reporter; she is an avid writer.  I have always loved books that are set in the 1920’s and include newspapers and reporters, maybe because I wish I could have been part of that.

But anyway, this book was really well written.  In the beginning I was hoping for a certain ending, but then I was so increasingly happy with the ending.  It was perfect, and was even not what I was expecting.  I won’t give anything away but I will say I would love a third book to continue where this one left off.   The book has magnificent plot twists as well; some you would never have guessed.
I wasn’t too disappointed with how Hattie reverenced God in this book, as I was with the first.  Not a whole lot was included, but what was included I thought was good and more respectful.  All in all I really liked Hattie Ever After and hope to add it to my own collection of books. I give it 4.5 stars.


Thanks, Raechel, for reviewing these books.  I can add that Hattie Big Sky and Hattie Ever After are both very popular with young adult readers.  If you want to add your name to the list, contact Litchfield Library or request them through the online catalog at litchlibrary.blogspot.com.