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Hattie Big Sky  By  cover art

Hattie Big Sky

By: Kirby Larson
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
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Publisher's Summary

For years, 16-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. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends, especially Charlie, fighting in France, through letters and articles for her hometown paper.

Her backbreaking quest for a home is lightened by her neighbors, the Muellers. But she feels threatened by pressure to be a "Loyal" American, forbidding friendships with folks of German descent. Despite everything, Hattie's determined to stay until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home.

©2007 Kirby Larson (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

  • 2007 Newbery Honor Book

"In this engaging historical novel set in 1918, 16-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks leaves Iowa and travels to a Montana homestead inherited from her uncle....Writing in figurative language that draws on nature and domestic detail to infuse her story with the sounds, smells, and sights of the prairie, [Lawson] creates a richly textured novel full of memorable characters." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Hattie Big Sky

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly excellent!

I am a librarian for a junior high school in Mesa, AZ. A colleague recommended this title to me and although historical fiction isn't my favorite genre, I trusted his opinion. I fell in love with Hattie and her determination and perseverance! The tale is full of lively characters and events. I could really feel what life was life for homesteaders in Montana. I like that it didn't have a predictable ending after I got over wanting one, Tim! I highly recommend this book to teens and adults alike.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor title, fantastic writing

I almost didn't buy this book because the title sounded contrived, but I'm glad I did. This is a wonderful book. As an adult reader, I appreciate the attention to detail and refusal to sugar-coat how tough things were. This book has complex characters (hard to find in the YA genre) and presents ethical situations in which the choices are stark. The prose is lyrical. And the narration is beautiful. The narrator's voice could not possibly have been more well-suited to the book. 5 stars

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hurray for Hattie

I downloaded Hattie Big Sky because it sounded like a good story for my kids. Of course I was just kidding myself. It was really a good story for me. Hattie Big Sky is one of those stories that wrap you up in location, history, and personality. Hattie is a western, but a western set in 1918. We live in Montana with Hattie, but we are experiencing the domestic side of WWI also. The author did a fine job of capturing the strength of the American people as seen in the homesteaders who bled out on the Montana plains; and the ugly side of Americans as seen in the mob mentality of those hating anything German. The author did a wonderful job balancing situation and charater. There were no "Disney" bad guys in the story (although there are people you won't like). The ending is fulfilling, but it surely isn't what you will be expecting. Hattie Big Sky is an engaging listen and expands your consciousness when you aren't looking. The narrator was fabulous.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I was with Hattie all the way while listening.

What made the experience of listening to Hattie Big Sky the most enjoyable?

Hattie's sense of humor, frankness, kindness, loneliness and stubborness. She and other characters are so alive and real! I enjoyed the letters written by Hattie to her uncle and Charlie, Charlie's letters to Hattie also.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hattie Big Sky?

I liked when Chase and Mattie happened to spend the night at Hattie's due to heavy snow. I was amazed with the cleverness of the horse. Mattie is such a lovely girl and reminded me how kids are open to love and favor of people. And Chase. What a wise and good-natured boy he is!

Have you listened to any of Kirsten Potter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have never listened Kirsten Potter's performances before but I think she is a wonderful performer. She made all characters so alive and real. Good job!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

You will find what you seek in life in this story. This is a story about home, family, friendship, neighbor and yourself.

Any additional comments?

The messages I received from this audiobook are that you are not alone even if your own parents are dead, you don't have a family of your own in usual sense, that you will always find friends, family, someone you love and what matters is that you love and live, not what other people think of you.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful and inspiring

I loved Hattie Big Sky! Reading it was like drinking a steaming cup of cocoa while being wrapped in a warm blanket. Following Hattie through her adventures and challenges was delightful, and yet realistic.

1 person found this helpful

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wonderful

What a great book loved every minute of it. thank you for sharing it with us.


1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I couldn't put it down

This writer has an amazing gift for stitching words together to form the most vivid quilt. Especially, her use of simile and metaphor provided an ongoing, first-person narrative, which made me, the reader, feel as though I was there experiencing it all. From elation to heartbreak to hope, I couldn't help but believe in the protagonist throughout the entire, beautiful story. I'm going right from here to the next in the series.

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Loved this book!

Such a wonderful story that covers so much of the struggles and emotion of the past and yet is so relatable for today.

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History in Homesteading

This is a beautiful story of working through hard times, growing up quick, with World War 1 as a backdrop as well as the life of homesteaders in the early 1920’s.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!!!

I love this book! Hattie is a true inspiration, and we should all try to work as hard as she did, love as well as she did, and show respect to those we don’t necessarily like.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zoe
  • 07-17-11

Come for the novel, stay for the narrator...

Kirby Larson's wonderful story about a young woman homesteading in Montana during the First World War is completely absorbing, heartbreaking and full of fascinating period detail (there's a reading list at the back for anyone eager to know more!). However, I've really been moved to review this title by the fantastic narrator, Kirsten Potter, who brings Hattie to life with warmth, humour and vivacity. I loved this recording and highly recommend this novel (in terms of similar material, I found that it filled the gap between Laura Ingalls Wilder and Willa Cather rather nicely, but that might just be me!).