Monday, March 24, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Hattie Big Sky and Exciting News

Before I get to today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post, I wanted to share some exciting news with you all. My book, DUCKLINGS ON THE MOVE, is now available as an eBook from MeeGenius. For those of you who haven't heard of MeeGenius, it is a free app that gives parents access to hundreds of eBooks for kids ages 2-8. Click here for the direct link to my book. I don't think it has quite sunk in yet that I have a published book. It is a dream come true! But of course, now that I have one published, it makes me want to work even harder to get more out into the world. 

I also want to give a shout out to Rebecca Pry, who brought my book to life! Click HERE for some of her beginning sketches and HERE for some final illustrations.


Now for today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, a fantastic read by Kirby Larson that's been on my to-read list for a while now. I enjoyed another book by her, DUKE, that I shared with you this past fall, and knew she wouldn't disappoint.

HATTIE BIG SKY

by: Kirby Larson
Delacorte Books for Young Readers 2006

From Goodreads:
Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle's homesteading claim.

For years, sixteen-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.

A more modern version of "Little House on the Prairie," Hattie Big Sky is written with the sweeping grace of the big Montana prairie it describes. Hattie is a girl made of strength and resolve, one who just wants to find her place. Kids will love reading of life on the prairie, even though cars, running water, telephones and other technology can be found in the towns and cities so close to the hardworking claim holders. Girls will especially love reading of Hattie's life and adventures.

Once again I learned how important it is in writing to find the fine line between description and sharing the story can be. I was immediately drawn to Hattie, and later on her new friends in Montana, so much so that the tears flowed at the end. I can't wait to read the sequel!

One other note, this book would fall into the older middle grade category, although younger middle grade could read it if they already had an understanding of World War I and how German immigrants were treated in the US.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. Have a great week!