HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson | Review
Hattie Ever After

Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson | Review

Elizabeth Varadan | The Children’s Book Review | June 17, 2013

HattieEverAfterHattie Ever After

By Kirby Larson

Age Range: 12 and up

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 12, 2013)

What to Expect: New opportunities, becoming independent, newspaper reporting, early 20th century challenges for women, making choices, learning to judge people

In this sequel to Hattie Big Sky, Hattie comes to San Francisco as a wardrobe mistress for a vaudeville show. But Hattie wants to be a newspaper reporter like Nellie Bly. She takes a job with the night cleaning staff at The Chronicle, hoping it will lead somehow to her goals. In an unpredictable way, it seems to do just that: Ned, a reporter at The Chronicle, takes a romantic interest in Hattie and helps her get small research assignments for the reporters.

Hattie also has unfinished business on behalf of the uncle who left her the farm she homesteaded in Montana. A note to Uncle Chester from a woman in San Francisco named Ruby Danvers hints at romance and suggests Ruby doesn’t know he’s deceased. Hattie takes it upon herself to look Ruby up and break the news. A fast friendship follows.

To complicate matters, Charlie Hawley, a high school friend, is becoming more than a friend. His job with Boeing takes him to Seattle early in the book. When an assignment brings him to San Francisco just as opportunities are unfolding for Hattie, she is pulled two ways.

“My heart had no right to take over like this. It was a hammer making crooked nails out of all my plans to be a writer. Not a wife. I shot a cranky prayer heavenward, demanding to know why the good Lord had given Charlie Hawley eyes that made a girl forget everything she was working toward.”

Details of 1919 San Francisco plunge a reader in the heart of the city with all it’s bustling wonders, and one of the book’s delights is the fresh imagery: Hattie, from country towns in Montana and, earlier, Iowa, sees San Francisco through a country girl eyes. The receptionist at The Chronicle is “gussied up”. People milling in the streets roil “thick and dark as a summer grasshopper hatch.” When Hattie runs out of ideas, her mind is “as dry as a summer field”.

Despite more than one betrayal, Hattie remains undaunted in her dreams. It’s hard to imagine this book is the end of the series, as Hattie takes on a new challenge at book’s end. This book will appeal to 12-to17-year old girls who like stories about independent, spunky young women and historical fiction with a touch of romance.

Add these books to your collection: Hattie Ever After and Hattie Big Sky

Hattie Ever After was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan.


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Elizabeth Varadan writes for children and adults. Her middle-grade mystery, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls (published June 15, 2015), is set in Victorian London and she is currently working on Book Two. Varadan loves to read and write about the Victorian Era and blogs about the many things she uncovers in her research. Visit: <a href="http://elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com">elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com</a> and <a href="http://victorianscribbles.blogspot.com">victorianscribbles.blogspot.com</a>

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