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Hattie ever after
Book
2013
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Readers first met Hattie Brooks in the Newbery Honor Book Hattie Big Sky (2006). Now Hattie has left Montana for San Francisco, hoping she can somehow find a way to become a newspaper reporter. In quick succession, Hattie works as seamstress for a vaudeville troupe, a char woman at the San Francisco Chronicle, and then becomes a researcher there as she finds ways and people to help her work her way up the ladder. One of the best parts about this is the way Larson brings San Francisco, circa 1919, alive especially the opportunities and stumbling blocks for women. Less successful are a few of the plot points, including the introduction of a scammer, who seemingly spends more money on Hattie than the small change she is able to swindle from her. But fans of the first book will be thrilled to see the ups and downs of Hattie's romance with old boyfriend Charlie, while her relationship with another fellow leads to an interesting twist. This is reminiscent of Maude Hart Lovelace's later Betsy books, whose heroine also wanted to write. And that's high praise.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Plucky Hattie Inez Brooks, star of Hattie Big Sky (2006), returns to try to find her place in the world. Having spent a year trying--and failing--to make a go of Uncle Chester's Montana homestead, Hattie is now 17 and working at Brown's Boardinghouse in Great Falls. She decides to "[throw] a lasso around a dream even bigger than a Montana farm" and heads to San Francisco, aiming to be a reporter like Ida Tarbell and Nellie Bly and do Grand Things. And though Charlie Hawley wants to marry her, Hattie fears that "saying yes to him was saying no to myself." She needs to find her place in the world, a place she has concluded is "connected to the working end of a pen." Larson's prodigious research allows her to accurately recreate San Francisco between 1915 and 1920, and the city will come alive for readers as much as it does for Hattie, with crowds of people, clanging streetcar bells, the smells of China Town and 10-story-high skyscrapers. Readers will fall for this earnest, wide-eyed and strong-minded young woman who does indeed become a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, covering baseball, an airplane excursion and an earthquake and even interviewing President Woodrow Wilson. Historical fiction with heart. (Historical fiction. 10 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
After leaving Uncle Chester's homestead claim, orphan Hattie Brooks throws a lasso around a new dream, even bigger than the Montana sky. She wants to be a reporter, knowing full well that a few pieces published in the Arlington News will not suffice. Real reporters must go to Grand Places, and do Grand Things, like Hattie's hero Nellie Bly. Another girl might be stymied by this, but Hattie has faced down a hungry wolf and stood up to a mob of angry men. Nothing can squash her desire to write for a big city newspaper. A letter and love token from Uncle Chester's old flame in San Francisco fuels that desire and Hattie jumps at the opportunity to get there by working as a seamstress for a traveling acting troupe. This could be her chance to solve the mystery of her "scoundrel" uncle and, in the process, help her learn more about herself. But Hattie must first tell Charlie that she will not join him in Seattle. Even though her heart approves of Charlie's plan for their marriage, her mind fears that saying yes to him would be saying no to herself. Hattie holds her own in the big city, literally pitching her way to a byline, and a career that could be even bigger than Nellie Bly's. But can making headlines compensate for the pain of betrayal and lost love? Hattie must dig deep to find her own true place in the world. Kirby Larson once again creates a lovingly written novel about the remarkable and resilient young orphan, Hattie Inez Brooks. 
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