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Hattie Big Sky (Hattie #1)

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3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  13,296 Ratings  ·  1,805 Reviews
Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle's homesteading claim.
For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie's been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards
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Audio, 0 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published September 26th 2006)
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Jules Father died when hattie was 2 and mother died when hattie was 5.
Regina This book takes place during World War One when Germany was one of the United States' enemies. They treat Karl badly because during WWI everyone…moreThis book takes place during World War One when Germany was one of the United States' enemies. They treat Karl badly because during WWI everyone assumed that Germans were all bad even though that was not necessarily true. They are basically just segregating against Germans.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Donalyn
My only regret? Why didn't I read this sooner? I can't wait to share Hattie with kids.
Mary
Apr 10, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Ages
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tatiana
The novel reads young (middle grade), but, still, it was a great pleasure to read this sweet, simple story of a 16-year old girl homesteading on Montana prairie during WWI. Hattie works hard, helps her friends, perseveres against many adversities.

Willa Cather for kids.
Luann
Hattie is a sixteen-year-old girl who has been shuttled from relative to relative for most of her life after the death of her parents. When her uncle leaves her his homestead claim in Montana, she decides to make a go of it. Instead of being Hattie Here-and-There she wants to be Hattie Homesteader. In order to keep the place, she must prove the claim with enough fencing and farming to satisfy government specifications.

What a great story! I loved Hattie and her amazing spirit and determination. K
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Naomi Sarah
Wow. I really liked this. I was SO close to rating this five stars but some things made me not. Basically because of the following one reason (which is not a fault):
1. There's slightly too much about dirt+animals+prairie problems for me to love it enough to rate it five stars. I like luxury-books, and pretty-dress-books, and library-books. :-P

But I loved it. I KNEW I would.
1. HATTIE. She's a pretty brilliant heroine. Gah, I love her. And I take my hat off to her... I just love her.
2. CHAR
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Jessica
Feb 20, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: award-winners
A well-researched look into claimstaking land. This is based on the author's grandmother's experience as a teenager, staking her own claim and farming the land by herself, and I can't even begin to say how impressed I am by all this. Also, I always thought of settling the west as being a pre-1900's thing, and this takes place at the end of the First World War. Fascinating read, with great characters.
Lars Guthrie
Jul 11, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teenagers are perfect protagonists for historical novels. Two historical novels for adults that really impressed me recently, 'The Children's Book' and 'Wolf Hall,' feature adolescents as central characters.

The rite of passage from child to adult is universal. And as Hattie shows in Kirby Larson's touching story, young adults' ability to bridge the divide between world of the kids and the world of the grown-ups allows the reader to enter both.

The time is 1918, just after America's entry into t
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Karen
I was doing the good reader thing, plugging along and enjoying the story. The setting of a Montana blizzard was quite appropriate at the time. The book had me going.

Then I did the naughty reader thing. My curiosity got the better of me, and I skipped and skimmed my way to the ending to find out what happened. Having done that, I lost interest in reading the rest of the book.

I do that sometimes.

I see this as a worthy book; themes of struggle against the elements, youth taking on responsibility, i
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Cindy
Dec 03, 2008 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cindy by: Luann, Hollie
I don't remember who recommended this one to me, but thank you! I loved this story of Hattie Brooks, an orphan who has never had a real home of her own. She finds out that her uncle, whom she has never met, has left her his homestead in Montana in his will. If she can meet the requirements, the land is hers.

The trouble is that she has only 10 months to do it, and most of it by herself. The requirements are pretty tough, but Hattie figures with a good year, she just might have a place to call hom
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Rebekah Morris
I'm not sure how to review this book. I enjoyed parts of it, got mad and ranted over other parts, cried at some, smiled at others, and cringed at some things.

What I liked:
I liked Hattie. She was trying to find who she was and where she belonged. I liked her friends in Montana, except for one person's misuse of the Lord's name. The descriptions, the setting, the time period all made me eager to read the book. There was some talk about prayer, attending church, and "God moves in mysterious ways,"
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Carol
Year Published: 2006
Awards: Newbery Honor Award, ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book, ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies trade book for young people, Book Sense 76 Pick, Barnes & Noble Teen Discover Selection, Borders Original Voices for Young Adults Selection, Booklist Editor's Choice, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Age Level: 12-adult

This book is the story of Hattie Brooks, who is a young 16 year old orphan from Iowa. Throughout her life she has
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Kathie
Nov 30, 2010 Kathie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hattie Brooks inherits her uncle's Montana claim in 1917. As a sixteen-year-old orphan, the chance to have a place of her own proved to be the driving force behind her determination to prove the claim. Moving from Iowa to Montana, Hattie encounters plenty of obstacles during her first year in this World War I novel.

Written in first person, Hattie Inez Brooks has called herself "Hattie Here And There" since her parents died. Passed around from one relative to the next, she jumps at the chance to
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Books are TARDIS
Sometimes, the simple things in life are also the most beautiful. I feel like this certainly holds true for this book.


This historical fiction about a young girl's ventures in homestead farming in 1890's Montana reads mostly like a well written and delightful middle-grade fiction. I really liked Hattie's voice in the book. It is an earnest and hardworking person's voice, with an undercurrent of spunk. There are a lot of interesting side characters and wonderful friendships to be had in this story
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Kris
Aug 19, 2016 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A refreshingly different "prairie" book. Unlike most stories I've seen, this homesteading book takes place in Montana, during WWI, and involves only one 16 year old girl trying to live independently. That in itself makes this book unique, as opposed to the children's Little House books or adult prairie romances.

The pacing felt a bit slow, but I still enjoyed seeing Mattie's wins and losses. The writing can be both cheesy or poignant at various times, so you just have to take it all together. I w
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Jessica
Jan 02, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson and I am glad that I did. The conflict that Hattie faces to prove up her homestead is believable. The troubles she encounters and the obstacles she has to find a way to overcome find their way to make the novel out to be very convincing. The setting enabled the book to be all the more intriguing, but was not overdone with all the unnecessary usual boring details. The sky is described often, and at first the title troubled me until I learned that ...more
Carolyn Haley
Nov 25, 2010 Carolyn Haley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although categorized as a Young Adult novel, I read this coming-of-age story in my 50s and found it terrific. The main character, Hattie (who refers to herself as Hattie Here-and-There), is 16 years old in the early 1900s but forced into an adult mentality by the circumstances of her life. Like many fictional protagonists, she is orphaned early and passed around among family members, coming to rest with a domineering aunt and marshmallow uncle who keep a roof over her head while trying to browbe ...more
Anne Osterlund
Sep 08, 2014 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hattie has never had a real home. She’s been here and there ever since her parents’ deaths during her early childhood. Then a letter arrives from Hattie’s uncle, who upon his death bed left his entire claim in Montana to Hattie. If she wishes, she has one year to complete the improvements on the claim and make it solvent before proving up on the land.

So at only sixteen-years-of-age, Hattie heads to the big sky country. In Montana, she battles one very hungry wolf, thousands of feet barbed wire f
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Ashley Perham
Oct 04, 2015 Ashley Perham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ohmygoodness! This book was amazing! I will definitely be on the look out for my own copy to reread over and over! Prepare for a fangirly review :D

Hattie is such a wonderful person, probably the kind of person I would want to be. She stands up for what's right and she helps her neighbors. She's brave, but realistic. The end made me so sad for several reasons.

I can't wait to meet Charlie. (If he's not in the sequel, I'm not gonna be happy...) I love when he writes Hattie and asks her if she's sw
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Shelby
Jun 08, 2016 Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars!
I don't really get into history stories, but this book was amazing. I have learned some things that I did not already kew before. It a great story about the time during wars that happened in America and what the people went trew. The writing is so good that I could really imaged everything. It was really interesting how and where the people had to move. I am so glad that I picked up this book. I am excited to get into the next book in the series.
Kim
Apr 25, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking forward to reading the sequel!
Alex Sanchez
I loved the strong, courageous, and vulnerable protagonist, as well as the realistic, complex resolution.
Tara Chevrestt
The year is 1917, World War 1 is in full force over in France, and in Arlington, Iowa, Hatti Here-and-There is about to become Hattie Big Sky.

Hattie is an orphan who has been shuttled from home to home, family member to family member only to find herself under her uptight aunt's care at the age of 16. When a letter from a long lost and recently deceased uncle arrives telling Hattie that she is now the owner of a homestead in Vida, Montana, Hattie jumps at the chance to get out from her aunt's c
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Cassy
My book club has forced me to pick up a lot of books that I've never heard of (and of course, some that I have.) Hattie Big Sky was one that hadn't even crossed my radar before my book club. Which is too bad, because it's a great book.

First off, I like that it's done during WWI. With the Holocaust, WWII pretty much gets all the attention, but no one remembers what a big deal the first World War was. It was called The Great War, and a lot of our men went off to die. Hattie Big Sky brings to light
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Cindy
Jan 18, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because it was a Newbery Honor winner from last year (2009), and I enjoyed it! I like books that have determined heroines who do whatever it takes to improve their lives. Hattie could hold her own in the company of Anne Shirley and Kit from The Witch of Blackbird Pond, to name a few. She is an orphaned young woman who is shuttled from relative to relative, and so, when she discovers that she has been left a homestead in her late uncle's will, she makes the choice to leave for th ...more
Lesli
Oct 06, 2009 Lesli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was so fun. About 3/4ths of the way through I thought this book is much higher caliber then other books I've recently read, then I realized it is a Newbery Award book, so of course it is better. Its about a 16 year old trying to make it on her own on a homestead in Montana during World War I. I enjoying the homesteading stories, but also the political commentary. The book reminded me of my pet peeve in life. I hate how politicians uses patriotism to define nationalism. And ...more
Beth
Apr 25, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a YA, this was more moving and engaging than I was expecting. Larson did a great job of addressing the hardships of homesteaders during WWI, as well as the anti-German climate in the US at that time. Hattie as a character is inspiring and witty, and I found myself at times wondering if I would have had the ability to do that, and at times yelling at her for her inaction. However, I think Larson hit the nail on the head in terms of the expectations of how a 16 year old girl in 1918 would be b ...more
EmmiK
Sep 08, 2014 EmmiK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-enjoyed
I really loved this book. It was definitely different from my usual go-to but I loved it. From the first page to the last it made me feel like I wanted to be a part of that world, to read the happy and sometimes heartbreaking letters as my own. It's not as predictable as I thought it would be and I enjoyed that. A quick, totally worth-it read. Kinda reminded me of that Birdy song "I'll never forget you".
Kathryn
Jul 04, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I dearly loved this book. Hattie was quite the young woman, willing to tackle just about everything that came her way. She was a good listener, learner and friend. The ending of the book made me sad, both for how it turned out and that the book had ended. Yet, Hattie was looking towards the future and knew who she had become in the last year.
Chloe W.
Feb 01, 2017 Chloe W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews
I could attempt to write a review for this book, but it wouldn't be coherent at all. Just a whole lotta OH MY WORD CHARACTERS AND SETTING AND IT SEEMS LIKE YOU CAN PREDICT THE PLOT BUT YOU CAN'T AND HISTORICAL FICTION AND I PROBABLY SHOULD RE-READ IT AGAIN BECAUSE I LOVE HATTIE INEZ BROOKS SO MUCH...I'm sorry.
April
Mar 19, 2016 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I toiled, sweated, lost, loved, and hoped right along with this brave and charming young lady. What a fascinating story. Found myself engaged from beginning to end. Learned about WWI in the US, something I knew very little about. Now on to book two to see what happens in the second chapter of her life!
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Isn't this one of the best books? 26 114 Aug 25, 2016 03:25AM  
The Young Adult H...: Hattie Big Sky - March Group Read 8 15 Mar 24, 2016 05:19PM  
Young Adult Book ...: Hattie Big Sky 1 4 Jul 11, 2014 10:57AM  
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Kirby Larson went from history-phobe to history fanatic while writing the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, HATTIE BIG SKY. Her passion for historical fiction is reflected in titles such as THE FENCES BETWEEN US, THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL, as well as the sequel to HATTIE BIG SKY, HATTIE EVER AFTER, and her two latest titles, DUKE--which was nominated for 5 state Young Reader Choice awards as well as being a fina ...more
More about Kirby Larson...

Other Books in the Series

Hattie (2 books)
  • Hattie Ever After (Hattie, #2)

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“Hon, when someone's a true friend, there's no need to miss 'em." She patted her chest. "'Cause they're always right here.” 22 likes
“I will have to rely on that painful teacher, experience.” 17 likes
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