Hattie Big Sky
Hattie Here-and-There is an orphaned girl of 16. She has been moved from one distant family to the next since her parents died when she was a child. She finally lands herself in Arlington, Iowa with a very distant Uncle Holt and his wife, Ivy. Aunt Ivy, who took Hattie in because it was her Christian duty, is constantly finding faults in Hattie and wants to send her to work at a boarding house. Hattie catches a break when she receives a letter from an Uncle she never knew. His name was Chester Wright and was her mother’s brother. He had died but left everything he had, which was a claim in Montana that needed to be proved up, to Hattie. This book is about Hattie’s quest to find a home-a place where she belongs. It is an adventure of finding herself.
I can relate to Hattie fairly well. Although I have grown up in the same town all my life, I never really felt like it was where I belonged. I have had to go through times of struggle, grief, laughter and joy, to find myself and know that I belong wherever the Lord has placed me. Your home is not where your house is, but where your heart is.
Many things that Hattie had to face are things people face daily. Should she do what is popular… or what is right? I have found myself in those shoes countless times, as I know everyone does. It will be good for students to read and see the injustices that occur as a result of fear. For example, the fear of the war caused people to turn on their neighbors, even if their neighbors are good people.
This book also causes people to see about the unfair treatment of German’s and those who befriended Germans during World War I. So often we hear about the cruelty and inhumane things that happened during the Civil War, but forget what happened to others in the United States during other times of war and distress. This book opens a person’s eyes to matters of that time, to matters of the west and homestead life, as well as friendship, love and doing what is right rather than what is popular. It is a great story to use for character education in the schools. - AF