Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hattie Big Sky

When I read Hattie Big Sky, I was filled with emotions both happy and sad. For example, I felt happy for Hattie when she recieved her claim and sad because I felt the same emotions Hattie did when others didn't do what she expected. The way that Kirby Larson based this far-fetched read aloud on her great grandmother own experiences was truly amazing.

Hattie Brookes really weaved through my head as I kept reading. I found myself say one rainy day, "Lucky Hattie! Her wish for rain has come true!" I found it fascinating how Kirby Larson used the dialog she used. It made it seem as if little Mattie, funny Rooster Jim, mean Traft Martin, or sweet Perilee were talking in the same room that I was reading in! I realy enjoyed reading Hattie Big Sky.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Interview with Kirby Larson / Hattie Big Sky

Thanks to Kirby Larson, the author of HATTIE BIG SKY, for answering the Bookaneers' questions about her book!

Bookaneers: If you got a claim for land and you had to go alone to get it, would you go for it?
Kirby: No!!! I am a big chicken when it comes to being alone on strange property. . . though, I am pretty stubborn and if someone told me I couldn't do it, I might try, just to show them.

Bookaneers: What was your favorite part of HBS?
Kirby: I do love the scene where the wolf gets Violet's tail. But I do think the favorite part was finishing.

Bookaneers: Do you think Traft Martin was really bad or just doing what he knew?
Kirby: I think Traft is like most human beings I know, including myself: he got caught up in something that he didn't really think through. Not that he's my favorite person in the world, but he's not all bad. I think he was frustrated by his mom making too many decisions for him and he took that out on other people.

Bookaneers: Would you stand up for the German-Americans and against the anti-German sentiment?
Kirby: I wish I could say I would but it's scary to take a stand. Once, in high school, I tried to stand up for a kid who was being tormented on the school bus and it got really ugly. The crummy thing is that doing the right thing doesn't always pay off when and where we can see it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it, however. One of the proudest moments in my life was when I was in New York visiting my son a few years ago. We got off the subway to go to his apartment; it was dark and creepy. I hurried up the stairs, past a homeless guy standing on the landing. (This is not the part I'm proud of.) When I got up to the street, I looked back and my son wasn't there. I backtracked and found him talking to the homeless guy, calling him by name, and giving him some money. I learned later that my son had taken that man to the hospital once when some kids had beat him up. I felt so proud that my son was so brave and good. So maybe I can't be as brave as I'd like to be all the time, but I have raised really good-hearted kids.

Bookaneers: What makes a good person?
Kirby: If I knew that, I could sell the formula!!! Seriously, don't you think it's all about trying to treat one another well, with respect? Some people call it the Golden Rule. Sometimes when I'm sharp with my family, I ask myself if I would treat a stranger the way I'm treating them. I think being a good person means trying to love people for who they are. In the case of someone like Traft, it doesn't mean saying that the mean things they do are okay, but it means recognizing that they are a human being -- just as flawed as everyone else.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hattie Big Sky--S.H., The Avid Reader's Review

Hattie Big Sky is a wonderful, splendid book. From the very first word of this fine novel, you cannot stop reading. As you read, the masterfully written story will unfold its plot, showing new surprises on every page.

The book all starts when 16-year-old Hattie tries to prove up a claim for land on her own. She meets a wonderful neighboring family who help Hattie whenever she needs it. There is also a character named Traft Martin, a devious young man. On Hattie’s road to hopeful success in proving up her claim, Traft tries to stop her and Hattie’s neighboring family suddenly gets sick. Soon Hattie learns the true meaning of friendship and why life matters so much.

I loved this book because of the wonderful plot and the complicated characters. This book is realistic fiction. 10-16-year-olds should read this. If you liked this book, you would love The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman!

Thank you all and may peace be with you,

SH, The Avid Reader