Friday, May 27, 2011

Hattie Big Sky [Audio]

by Kirby Larson

Read by: Kirsten Potter

First paragraph: " December 19, 1917
Arlington, Iowa

Dear Charlie,

Miss Simpson
starts every day with a reminder to pray for you--- and all the other boys who enlisted. Well, I say we should pray for the Kaiser---he's going to need those prayers once he meets you.

Review: Set in 1917, Hattie's parents died when she was very young. Since then she's been bounced from here to there among distant relatives. Finally, fed up with her current living situation and told she has no choice but to serve at a bordering house and abandon her studies just months before the end of the year, Hattie receives a mysterious letter. This letter opens up a whole new world to Hattie. She immediately sets off for Montana to help settle the land and prove her late Uncle's claim.

What a cute book! It was such an interesting way to learn about the history of the early American settlers and the racism that existed during the world war.

You really never know what you're going to read next. There were twists that obviously happened back then but you'd never expect Larson to do to one of her own characters.

But it's just further proof that these characters are real. They aren't all bad or all good. I really wanted to hate one of the characters in particular but he kept doing things that were decent. So I couldn't quite hate him but I definitely didn't like him.

The reader also did an amazing job. Her voicing never took me out of the story and made me feel detached like some readings do. I could just imagine the story taking place as I listened and drove along the endless stretch of road.

My only complaint was the ending. It was left so open-ended. But, at the same time, it was appropriate. She didn't give Hattie a big "AND SHE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER". It was a real ending with the possibility of the rest of her life stretched out before her.

Click Here for the Hattie Big Sky website.

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