Reviews for Hattie Ever After


Booklist Reviews 2013 February #1
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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Montana homesteader Hattie (Hattie's Big Sky) follows a traveling vaudeville troupe to San Francisco to pursue her dream of becoming a reporter. Larson's excellent research makes the early twentieth century come alive: Hattie experiences an earthquake, flies in an airplane, and interviews President Woodrow Wilson, transforming from a "country mouse" into a confident, independent young woman.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
Fans anxious to know what happened to Montana homesteader Hattie after the Newbery Honor-winning Hattie Big Sky get their wish in Larson's big-city sequel. Hattie follows a traveling vaudeville troupe to San Francisco to pursue her dream of becoming a reporter (and to find out more about her mysterious deceased uncle, Chester). The city offers limitless possibility -- "each block we passed promised Grand Adventure" -- and Hattie soon leaves the troupe to work (as a cleaning woman) at the San Francisco Chronicle. Accomplishing her goals isn't easy: Hattie encounters sexism and betrayal in the newsroom; she's the victim of a con artist; and she constantly questions her decision to leave beau Charlie in order to live her own life. But her unflagging optimism and determination, along with her ability to take advantage of fortunate circumstances, propel her "from heavy lifting to headlines." Larson's excellent research makes the early twentieth century come alive: Hattie experiences an earthquake, flies in an airplane, and interviews President Woodrow Wilson in a broken elevator. Hattie's transformation from a naive, timid "country mouse" to a confident, independent young woman makes the story's ending -- in which she discovers where (and with whom) home really is -- all the more gratifying. rachel l. smith

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #2
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 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2013 August/September
This sequel to Larson's Newbery Honor book Hattie Big Sky (Delacorte Press, 2006) follows Hattie Inez Brooks as she explores who she is and what she wants in life. The story takes place over several months in 1919 and focuses on Hattie's experiences in and interactions with people she meets. Is she destined to be a newspaper reporter? Charlie Hawley's wife? Or both? An excellent historical fiction novel describing post-World War I life in the United States, it also addresses the impact of the war on the women who went to work outside their homes. The novel works as a standalone read. The Author's Note explaining how she researched the background forms a tie-in with Common Core State Standards. Esther R. Sinofsky, Administrative Coordinator, Integrated Library & Textbook Support Services, Los Angeles (California) Unified School District [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #3

Hattie Inez Brooks, the determined 17-year-old heroine of Larson's Newbery Honor-winning Hattie Big Sky, returns in this follow-up set in 1919. Her homestead claim having failed, Hattie soldiers through her menial job in a boardinghouse until a traveling acting troupe offers her a job that thrusts her into city life in San Francisco, giving her the chance to pursue her real dream: becoming a reporter. Larson deftly balances first-person narration with charming letters and newspaper stories written by Hattie. The city presents a colorful cast of characters, including an attractive reporter and a duplicitous con artist who pretends to be her ally. Hattie's struggle to become a journalist--working first as a maid, graduating to researching, and beginning to write--forms the emotional heart of the story, though there's a moving romantic undercurrent, as well, as Hattie contemplates whether she should settle down with Charlie, her love interest back home. Fans of the first novel will gladly reconnect with this memorable heroine, but the narrative stands firmly on its own, too. Ages 10-up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Feb.)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Hattie Inez Brooks, the determined 17-year-old heroine of Larson's Newbery Honor-winning Hattie Big Sky, returns in this follow-up set in 1919. Her homestead claim having failed, Hattie soldiers through her menial job in a boardinghouse until a traveling acting troupe offers her a job that thrusts her into city life in San Francisco, giving her the chance to pursue her real dream: becoming a reporter. Larson deftly balances first-person narration with charming letters and newspaper stories written by Hattie. The city presents a colorful cast of characters, including an attractive reporter and a duplicitous con artist who pretends to be her ally. Hattie's struggle to become a journalist--working first as a maid, graduating to researching, and beginning to write--forms the emotional heart of the story, though there's a moving romantic undercurrent, as well, as Hattie contemplates whether she should settle down with Charlie, her love interest back home. Fans of the first novel will gladly reconnect with this memorable heroine, but the narrative stands firmly on its own, too. Ages 10-up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 March

Gr 6-10--The feisty protagonist from Hattie Big Sky (Delacorte, 2006) returns. In 1919, the 17-year-old is working at a boardinghouse in Montana. The restlessness that she has been feeling comes to a head when a surprise visit from Charlie makes her see that she cannot contemplate settling down as his wife until she pursues her own ambitions as a reporter. Hattie travels with a vaudeville troupe to San Francisco. At first, it seems that her only exposure to the newspaper world will be as the night-shift cleaning woman for the San Francisco Chronicle, but perseverance and a few lucky coincidences allow her to achieve her dream of being a full-fledged reporter in a way that highlights the struggles of women in the workforce in the aftermath of World War I. Along the way, Hattie struggles with her decision to leave Charlie behind, especially as she is betrayed by people she thought were friends. As difficult as some of these incidents are, Hattie manages to find true friendship in surprising places. Larson's meticulous research brings early-20th-century San Francisco to life, and readers will feel that they are right there with Hattie in the hustle and bustle of a booming city. The way in which she achieves not only her professional ambitions but also personal growth and fulfillment leads to a wholly satisfying conclusion, and the author's note gives readers a good feel for the solid historical foundations of Hattie's story. While this novel stands on its own, references to characters and events in the earlier book may be confusing to those meeting Hattie for the first time.--Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

[Page 165]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2013 February
Hattie has finally paid off the debts left behind by her uncle Chester, working in a boardinghouse in Great Falls, Montana. Finished with the IOU, she is offered a serendipitous opportunity to join a traveling vaudeville troupe as the wardrobe mistress, which leads her to San Francisco. The city life is a stark contrast to her previous experience in Montana. She quickly finds herself aspiring to be a reporter for the newspaper and works diligently to see her own byline in print. Hattie makes new friends in the city but remains close to her old friends in Montana through letters. Charlie continues to pursue her romantically from afar, and even comes to visit. Hattie's quest to be a successful reporter in a field of work that is dominated by men is no small feat. As in Hattie Big Sky (Turtleback, 2008), she is faced with challenges that cause her to question her capabilities, but she learns much about herself while facing obstacles like shady business partners, a deceitful con woman, and more This sequel was well worth the wait. Larson captures the essence of the time period by describing the fashion, day-to-day activities, and architecture with detail that perfectly seasons an already rich story. Hattie remains a likable character to whom readers will relate as she navigates new territory while pursuing her goals. Larson's attention to detail is further explained in her author's note, where she describes some of the back stories for plot elements in the book. Hattie Big Sky fans will be pleased with the continuation, though reading the first book is not required to fully enjoy the tale. Recommend this book for historical fiction readers, and all ages would appreciate this lovely story.--Mandy Simon 5Q 4P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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