Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. New York: Delacorte, 2006.
Set 480 fence posts. Plant forty acres. Pay the final fees of $37.75.
That’s all Hattie Brooks has to do before she can call her late uncle’s homestead claim her own. She has ten months, and she’s up to the challenge. Why is a sixteen-year-old girl willing to work so hard? Hattie has never had a home. Her uncle’s claim is her chance for a home of her own. She says, “Here, under this big sky, someone like me—Hattie Here-and-There—could work hard and get a place of her own. A place to belong. Wasn’t that my deepest wish?” (91).
Hattie certainly has some hard work ahead of her. She has little farming experience, and she has to contend with the weather—a freezing winter, a mud puddle of a spring, and a scorching summer. She worries about rain, whether too much or too little. Hattie can’t help but worry about money. There’s a war on. Supplies are costly and money is scarce. Hattie makes friends and learns to be independent. But will it be enough? Can she prove up the claim? To find out you’ll have to read Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson.