Hitty: Her First Hundred Years

Hitty: Her First Hundred Years

4.5 18
by Rachel Field, Dorothy P. Lathrop
     
 

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Hitty is a doll of great charm and character. It is indeed a privilege to publish her memoirs, which, besides being full of the most thrilling adventures on land and sea, also reveal her delightful personality. One glance at her portrait will show that she is no ordinary doll. Hitty, or Mehitable as she was really named, was made in the early 1800s for Phoebe

Overview

Hitty is a doll of great charm and character. It is indeed a privilege to publish her memoirs, which, besides being full of the most thrilling adventures on land and sea, also reveal her delightful personality. One glance at her portrait will show that she is no ordinary doll. Hitty, or Mehitable as she was really named, was made in the early 1800s for Phoebe Preble, a little girl from Maine. Young Phoebe was very proud of her beautiful doll and took her everywhere, even on a long sailing trip in a whaler. This is the story of Hitty's years with Phoebe, and the many that follow in the life of a well-loved doll.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In this new adaptation of the 1930 Newbery Award winner, Rosemary Wells shortens and re-works the original novel into sixteen brief, fast-paced chapters, while preserving much of its flavor and charm. She explains in an author's note how she also created new adventures concerning Hitty's adventures in the South during the Civil War. Told in the first person, from Hitty's point of view, we accompany her to many places with a variety of owners, from her creation by a peddler in 1829 Maine, to voyages on a whaling ship, to a sojourn in the Shop of Dreams in 1929 watching an airplane flying over. The beautiful watercolors on every page add to the book's appeal. The many illustrations and large format make this book seem like a cross between a picture book and a novel and should make it suitable for a wide age range. A map of Hitty's travels is included.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
A book about a doll took top honors in 1930 when Rachel Field won the Newbery Award for Hitty. Now, Rachel's book has been reinvigorated by the talented team of Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers. The result is a grand adventure that children of this new century will enjoy. Hitty: Her First Hundred Years follows the original tale closely until Hitty is almost sent to a southern girl just before the Civil War. At this point Ms. Wells thought, "What would have happened if Hitty was sent behind Confederate lines? These new adventures fit tightly into the original story. Following Hitty's journey is living a slice of America's history through the eyes of this remarkable doll. The full color illustrations add a new dimension to the story. The combination of first-rate storytelling enhanced with detailed paintings giving the settings historic reality makes this a fine recommendation for family reading. 1999, Simon & Schuster, Ages 9 to 12, $21.95. Reviewer: Jan Lieberman
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Purists may balk at this revision of the 1930 Newbery winner, but many modern readers will be charmed by this repackaged memoir of a century-old wooden doll. Many of Field's characters, destinations, and phrases remain intact, and Wells does an admirable job of matching her voice. Hitty's story still begins with a peddler's carved gift for a sea captain's daughter and concludes with the doll's anticipation of future adventures as she views an airplane. Much, however, has changed. Wells shortens the chapters, edits the wordiness, omits the black dialect, and changes the South Sea "Injuns" to "Islanders," with the overall effect of a quickened pace and heightened action. She departs completely from the original after the outbreak of the Civil War. Hitty is now mailed south of the Mason-Dixon line and encounters her first violence when the post office blows up. Jeffers's full-page gouache paintings and the smaller details carry much of the meaning, portraying with dramatic perspective the danger of a storm at sea or using architecture, flora, and fauna to create locale. The generous use of space between lines of text, the sheen of the creamy paper, and the oversized format lend luxury to the telling. Hitty is in good hands for the next 100 years.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
New York Times Book Review
Hitty is charmingly illustrated by Susan Jeffers, with large, colorful pictues on every double-page spread that compliment the vivid historical dimension of the story.
—Elizabeth Spires

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689822841
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
208,337
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Rachel Field wrote A Prayer for a Child for her own daughter, before sharing it with children around the world. Rachel Field’s other books for children include Newbery Medalist Hitty, Her First Hundred Years; Calico Bush; and Hepatica Hawks.

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Hitty Her First Hundred Years 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
I have been meaning to read Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (illustrated wonderfully in what I assume is pen and ink by Dorothy P. Lathrop) for a rather long time. Several years ago my mother bought me a reproduction Hitty doll by Robert Raikes (big deal carver of dolls and bears though he no longer seems to be making Hitty dolls). After buying the doll, and doing a bit of research, we found an edition of Field's novel with the original 1929 text and illustrations. There is another, newer, edition with updated text by Rosemary Wells and illustrations by Susan Jeffers. The newer book came out, I believe, to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Field's original novel. I never read this version, actually sending it back upon realizing it was an adaptation, but other reviewers' outrage at the changes suggest I was right to do so. If you haven't guessed already, Hitty fans are numerous and loyal. As the subtitle suggests, Hitty is already a centenarian at the start of Field's fictionalized account of her adventures. Safely ensconced in a New York antique store equipped with quill and paper, Hitty decides it is high time to begin setting her story down for posterity. What follows is a children's novel that truly deserves the Newberry Medal it received in 1930 for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." Hitty begins her life as a lucky piece of mountain-ash wood carried by an old peddler. In exchange for lodging during a particularly bad Maine winter, the Old Peddler decides to carve his piece of wood into a doll for the family's seven-year-old child, Phoebe Preble. Hitty and Phoebe have their share of adventures during their time together. More, it might be argued, than one doll could manage (including a section that reads very much like part of Moby Dick geared to a much younger audience). But, as readers realize soon enough, Hitty is no ordinary doll. As the story progresses, Hitty passes through many hands and a variety of owners. Like most things, some owners prove better than others in the same way that certain events of Hitty's life are more worthy of space in her memoirs than others. When you realize that this book is from 1929, well before any other doll novels were published, it becomes clear that Hitty is something special because Field did it first. At first, I thought the novel might come off as dated since it was written so long ago. But I was happily proven wrong and found that the text stood up to my modern standards as well as Hitty's chemise survives her first century. Many of the insights that Hitty expresses throughout the book remain very accurate to this day. Hitty's calm demeanor and buoyant spirit also help to make this doll downright lovable. Field's prose is wonderful. Even though I knew Hitty was safe in the antique shop, each new peril left me fearing for Hitty and in a state of suspense until I found out if she had survived. The people that Hitty passes during the course of her first century are equally well-realized in the text. In terms of classic children's literature (especially for a younger child), I can't think of many better examples. If, you want still more Hitty, you can check out Gail Wilson's website. This very talented (and expensive) doll makers features her own version of Hitty available both ready-made and as a kit.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Hitty is a doll that has been passed from its original owner to various other owners but has still kept her good nature. This teaches a child much in the way that your first learned behavior remains with you the rest of your life, as with Hitty. As with Hitty, I believe that if a child is taught good morals and etiquette, that even if they encounter bad people in their future, these good teachings will remain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hitty: Her First Hundred Years is a story young readers will enjoy. The story begins with Hitty sitting on a little wooden desk in an antique shop. In her own charming manner, she tells her story of over a hundred years. She has many owners, some treated her with love and care and made her beautiful clothes, while other owners weren't so kind. Hitty also talks about her adventures and you can see that by the way she describes her new owners and her surroundings that the times have changed. What I found interesting about this story is the way different people treated Hitty. Some were children and some were adults. Rachel Field did a marvelous job of writing this book. Hitty has a geniune personality. A wonderful book for any girl to read or to be read to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book! It tells the story of a doll who goes through many life experiences just as a person would. It basically talks about life from the perspective of a doll. There are also life lessons that are talked about in the book. These lessons are very clear and directly stated in the book which go along with the current situation. I loved reading this book because of all the adventures. I would highly recommend this book, it's a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hitty: Her First Hundred Years, as originally written by Rachel Field in 1929, is delightful. The story follows the adventures of a doll, carved by a peddler from a piece of mountain ash, as told in her own words. From being proclaimed a ¿heathen¿ goddess on a South Seas Island, traveling with a snake charmer in India, being alternately a fashion plate and a demure Quakeress in the midst of the Civil War, Hitty and her story are truly captivating. Rachel Field has given the world a wonderfully exciting and deeply touching glimpse at history through the eyes to this remarkable doll. The charm of this old fashioned story is enduring, powerful enough to endear itself to each new generation of readers that discovers it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hitty her First hundred years is an excellent read for people wanting a great adventure story. I picked up this book not knowing what to expect because I am reading all of the newbery books. I have to say I was well pleased with the way the story was written and the wonderful descriptions of the surroundings and feelings of the doll. I would recommend this book to anyone. I have read the old version and I do not think that it needed to be improved upon. It was wonderfully written. Why rewrite a classic?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Someone was asking me to reccomend a good children's novel and I immediately remembered this one. I must have read it at least 5 or 6 times as a child. I would reccomend to any young girl.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book and I hope everyone has a chance to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not quite done the book yet but I only have a few pages left to go. I chose this book because my friend reccomended it. I thought it would be about a doll with an ordinary life but it was nothing like that. Hitty was carved out of mountain ash wood which is-according to the story-lucky. She travels all around the world and has several owners who all love her and unfortunatley lose her at some point. It is a realistic-fiction book and I like reading that type of story.I liked the book because it had a lot of good discription of where Hitty was and it had detail. Such as "I thought I could not last even one more night like this with these twigs poking me all over, surely my dress is ruined for good."I think this is a great book to read and I reccomend it to you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book 17 years ago in a Language Arts class in 6th grade. I havent forgot it yet. The book has old world charm and is very eventful. I recommend this book to all little girls with a big imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book because my grandmother bought it for me. I am a couple years out of the age range they give but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Hitty a week ago, by going over to a friend's house, and dsicvoering it. The book was written in large font. 'It's a baby book,' Molly said. But I read on. The book was not a baby book at all. The story of Hitty's many owners, the sadness when I read that Hitty never saw her first owner again. I felt awful for her when she was stolen, and stuck in a glass case with some snotty French dolls. Throughout the story you can relate to Hitty the whole time. It's terrific. I have many dolls myself, but I think I'd love to have Hitty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hitty was a very special doll. She lived with so many different people, that there were almost too many to count. Hitty had a life full of adventure. Her life began when an old peddlar carved her out of mountain ash wood. She is said to be good luck. The old peddlar gave her to Phoebe Preble. To find out who she goes through all of her adventures with, you have to read the book!