Followers of Literate Lives know that one of the reasons Karen and I started this blog was our fascination with Newbery Award winners. We shared the goal of reading the winners and honors every year and that brought us to where we are today, reviewing good books for kids.
One of my all time favorite Newbery books is Hattie Big Sky, a 2007 honor book. Never mind Newbery, it's one of my all time favorite books...PERIOD! It is the only book we've ever done twice for Grand Discussion and I still get it into the hands of my better readers as often as possible.
Two years ago, Kirby Larson visited Bailey and revealed to our Newbery Club that she was working on a sequel to Hattie. This was after much questioning from our group about what happened to Hattie next? As with most books they read the kids wanted more to the story, they needed closure. We have been eagerly waiting to find out what happens next for Hattie, and after finishing Hattie Ever After, I can honestly say, she done real good!
In Hattie Ever After, Hattie travels to San Francisco with dreams of becoming a newspaper reporter. She hooks up with a traveling Vaudeville show and arrives in San Francisco chasing not only her dream, but trying to solve some of the mystery behind Uncle Chester. Kirby Larson is a master of research and accuracy. Her description of San Francisco in the 1920s and Hattie's small town reaction to the city are wonderful and draw the reader into Hattie's next adventure.
As Hattie pursues her dream she is pulled into a mystery surrounding Uncle Chester and some shady dealings that he may or may not have been involved with. New characters help Hattie's investigation and career advancement, and of course Charlie is back and the on and off romance continues. The book is a little more romantic than the first, but true to Hattie's character, she doesn't give up her goals and aspirations.
I really liked Hattie Ever After, it's always fun to see what happens next for a favorite character. I'm thinking the kids that read the first Hattie are going to approve of what Kirby Larson has done with this special character. I'm pretty sure they will be satisfied with the ending and able to let her rest.