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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In 1917, Hattie Brooks was a 16-year-old orphan who had spent most of her young life passed from one relative to another. But a letter arrives from an uncle she never knew she had, and everything changes as she leaves for eastern Montana to prove her uncle's land claim.
Hattie was no tenderfoot when she arrived in Montana, but in her first year there, she's forced to battle the hazards of weather -- bitter winters filled with blizzards, and summers of drought and the threat of wildfires. Though homesteaders arrive anticipating a difficult road, one thing Hattie hadn't expected to confront was a seething prejudice among her neighbors. At the height of the First World War, the patriotism and loyalty of German-Americans was suspect, and Hattie finds herself at the center of an unsubstantiated hatred for one of her neighbors, a man who has shown her nothing but kindness.
Larson's Hattie is based on the life of her great-grandmother, who proved a claim in Montana when she was just a girl. Drawn from historical documents and the diaries of former area residents, Hattie Big Sky carries with it an authenticity akin to the Little House books, but with a more complex structure and themes suitable for an older audience. One thing we can promise: Hattie Big Sky will lay "claim" to the hearts of Larson's readers. (Holiday 2006 Selection)