Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson.
Delacorte Press/Random House: NY, 2006.
Newbery Honor 2007

Told partly through letters and Hattie's news articles, the story is powerful and thought-provoking. An orphan bounced from one relative to another, she is given a rare opportunity to strike out on her own by her deceased uncle. She spends a year trying to fulfill the terms of her uncle's homestead claim in Montana in 1918. She describes the hardships of the pioneers in letters to another uncle and her childhood friend who is a soldier in World War I. The book is about both the hopes and difficulties of the homesteaders and the reactions of American citizens regarding the war.

The story is valuable in its historical depiction and also in its analysis of events since there are parallel issues currently.

related-frontier and pioneer life, self-reliance, orphans, history of Montana, 20th century, WWI, United States history, letters, newspapers, prejudice, historical fiction

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