Monday, December 4, 2017

Hattie On Her Way: A Review and TWO Giveaways!

Congratulations to Linda Phillips. Random.org selected her name to win an audio book off last week's blog.

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Several weeks ago I pulled one of the books I received at Highlight Summer CampHattie on Her Way (Candlewick Press, 2005) off my TBR shelf. Written by my friend and fellow blogger, Clara Gillow Clark, this girls' middle grade novel weaves together some troubling family situations in a very sensitive manner.


The Review

A sequel to Clara's first book, Hill Hawk Hattie, this book opens in April of 1883 with Hattie arriving at her grandmother's house. Right away, the reader hears her voice:
Pa said hawks don't crash into mountains or trees. He said they fly alert, watchful. But suppose a hawk got itself blown off course, ended up somewhere strange, somewhere it didn't rightly belong? Could it find its way home, fly back to its nest in the hills again? (p. 1)
The imagery of hawks and the theme of Hattie yearning for home repeat themselves. Surrounded by secrets, Hattie tries to get used to living with a grandmother she doesn't know in the house where her deceased mother grew up.
If she [Grandmother] thought we were on the same side together, she might share the shadowy secrets of Grandfather, and why the keys had gone missing and the silver was squirreled away, and why she didn't wear black, and where all the furniture and pictures had gone, and why she had hurried Pa away, and mostly why Ma had run off and never come back. It was a powerful lot to find out. And that's why I had to stay here and behave properly, though sitting so close to Grandmother made me even more lonesome for Pa and Jasper and my real home. (p.28)

A young next door neighbor, Ivy Victoria, pretends to befriend her. Ivy doesn't know that Hattie's mother is dead but relays the town rumor that her mother ran off with her father because her Grandmother killed her Grandfather. This theory only lends credence to Hattie's over-active imagination. 

Hattie's relationship with her Grandmother warms up when she sings Hattie the same songs she sang to her mother. That new closeness makes Hattie think,
Somehow I knew it better not to tell Grandmother about Ma's fairies becoming real to her. "Can you hear the fairies in the hemlocks?" Ma would say to me. All I heard was the wind. "See their gossamer wings?" All I saw were rainbows on raindrops or crystals of frost. She would tilt her head and smile. "They wish me to sing and dance with them," she would say. "Will you dance too, Hattie Belle?" The fairy make-believe was mostly enchanting.  But I didn't want to dance about in the clearing with invisible things or answer them like they were asking me questions or telling me what to do." (p. 63)
On the day that Grandmother unlocks her mother's bedroom, the two of them inspect her mother's dollhouse where she made up imaginary fairies rather than played with dolls. When her Grandmother finds little dresses and cloaks that her mother had made,
A sick feeling came over me like we were caught in a blinding snow together, and I shivered. "She sewed little dresses and bonnets for my clothespin dolls," I said. "She just liked to do it, sew dainty things." I reassured myself that Ma's fairy world had been make-believe and enchanting for both of us until just a few months before she died.
"Yes," Grandmother said slowly, thoughtfully as if she'd stumbled onto something a bit troubling and sad.  (p.121)
In the end, Hattie discovers the truth of the mental illness that plagued both her grandfather and her mother. This "madness" is dealt with in a very sensitive manner and enables Hattie to make an important decision. 

Girls in grades 4-6 will enjoy this historical novel. The only scene that may trouble some sensitive readers is a seance towards the end of the book.  

Two Giveaways

Clara is generously sponsoring this give away. The first winner will receive a Hattie doll plus an autographed copy of the book. The runner-up will receive an autographed copy of the book. What are you waiting for? This is a great holiday gift for the younger sister, daughter, niece, or granddaughter in your life! Please leave me a comment by December 8. Share this on the social media of your choice or become a new follower of my blog, and I'll never your name twice. PLEASE leave your email address and tell me what you did.


51 comments:

Gayle Krause said...

Very nice review, Carol. I already own Hattie's story and Clara's writing is wonderful. A historical piece that makes you feel like you are there. I highly recommend reading this book, so why not put your name in to try to win it. :)

Melody Balthaser said...

I really enjoy Clara's books and I'm excited to start my granddaughter's collection!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Melody. it looks like you shared this post too. Please leave me your email address and I'll put your name in twice.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Gayle. My copy is going to my grandkids!

Connie said...

Books were always a favorite gift for me to receive and I am still thrilled to get a book but more importantly, I am now able to pass my love of reading to my granddaughter. Thank you Carol for this great giveaway.
I am sharing this on Google+, Twitter and FB.
Blessings!
Connie
cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Connie. Your name goes in twice!

Kathy Wiechman said...

I enjoyed Clara's books even before I met her and we became friends. I like the idea of passing them along to a new generation.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Kathy. You're in!

Susan Couture said...

I love Clara's books! They are so well done

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks. Susan. Please leave me your email address!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thank you, Gayle, for the lovely remarks about Hattie on Her Way.

Clara Gillow Clark said...

So sweet of you to stop by, Melody! So glad you enjoy my books and want to share them with your granddaughter.

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thanks so much for your comment, Connie, and for spreading the word about this post around the web.
Blessings to you, too!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Kathy W., As always, thank you for your friendship and your always loyal support of books. And thanks for passing my books along to a new generation.

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Susan, I’m honored that you stopped to leave a nice comment about my books. Thank you!

jilannehoffmann.com said...

I just left a comment but am not sure if it was recorded.

I love how Clara gives life to the past in her Hattie books! They remind me of George's "Frightful" series. Cheers!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thanks, Jilanne, for the sweet comment about my Hattie books. I don’t know George’s “Frightful” series, but I will look for the books now.

ShultziePA said...

When I first read Clara's writing it was her HILL HAWK HATTIE novel.
Hattie is such a nicely developed character that, of course, one wants to read the sequel. And are we ever going to get another Hattie adventure?
Historic writing is a wonderful teaching tool for the younger generation.
What really got my attention with Clara's writing is her use of language; the way she crafts a sentence and uses words. I would stop and just reread the sentence sometimes because it was such a wonderful use of language. I appreciated the beauty of it.
Looking forward to reading more of Clara's writings.
And have to add, Clara is not self-impressed but has a healthy attitude of who she is. There is a humbleness to her that all writers do not have.
Treat your self to another one of her books, NELLIE BISHOP. You will be in for a writing treat.

And thank you to those of you who reminded me there are some middle grade girls in my life that I need to pass Hattie's Books on to (by them, not give them mine).

Clara Gillow Clark said...

You are always so kind and generous with your praise, Shultzie! Your words truly warmed my heart tonight and brought tears to my eyes. So thankful to have you for a friend for many years now. Blessings!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Schultzie, Pa for you comment. Your name is in the giveaway too!

Charlene Lutes said...

Clara is an inspiration in my life. I have all her historical middle-grade novels, but most of all I am so thankful to be guided by this talented and humble woman. She is my mentor and guide in this special genre. She is as full of grace as her novels. She is a model author for all of us who hope to inspire youth as much as she does. Thank you, Clara, for your patience and love of craft. Charlene, Traverse City, Michigan

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for stopping by, Charlene. Please leave me your email address in case you win!

Charlene Lutes said...

C.anne.lutes@gmail.com

Carol Baldwin said...

thank you, Charlene!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Mental Illness is not fun. It sounds like Clara handles it with respect in Hattie on Her Way.

Celebrate you and your caring ways.

Rosi said...

I can't resist entering this one. I love historical fiction and so does my granddaughter. I'd love to share this book with her. Thanks for the post.

janet Martin said...

I would love to receive this copy of Clara's book for my Granddaughter in middle school. Not only will she enjoy reading the story but will enjoy hearing my stories of her step father growing up neighbors with Clara and JJ!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thank you so much, Charlene, for your sweet and thoughtful comments about me and about my books. You have warmed my heart this morning and I am thankful for your friendship. Blessings!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thank you, Rosi, for sharing that your granddaughter and YOU, love historical fiction. Best wishes!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Joan, Thank you for your comment. I am continually drawn to the workings of the mind. There is so much we don’t know or understand, but hopefully one day the mystery of reality and the mind will be solved.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you, Janet. I'll enter your name. Please leave me your email address in case you win!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Oh, Janet, how wonderful to hear from you! Miss you and our morning teas together!

Janet, said...

I love HF and would love to win Clara's book. Enjoyed reading your review about it. I am a follower of your blog and I shared on facebook. wvsmarties@yahoo.com

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Hi Janet S., So glad you stopped by to leave a comment! I know you love HF the way I do!

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

As usual, Carol you did a terrific job of introducing us to a great story. Yes, great voice! I've never actually read Hattie On Her Way and would love to have it to read and to pair with Hill Hawk Hattie.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Joyce. I think one of your grands would love this book!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

So sweet of you to join the giveaway, Joyce. Thank you! I agree that Carol has a real talent for sharing the core of a story and the narrative voice.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Clara! :) I have learned a lot about writing a novel through writing reviews! :)

The Attic Girl said...

I think my daughter would love this book!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Attic Girl. Please leave me your email address so I can notify you if you win.

The Attic Girl said...

Tweeted https://twitter.com/happyjoyjoy12/status/938430524460355585
theatticgirl76 gmail dot com

The Attic Girl said...

Follow your blog by email
theatticgirl76 gmail dot com

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Attic Girl, for tweeting and leaving me your email address. you're in twice!

Carol Baldwin said...

And thanks for following my blog too!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thanks, Attic Girl, for leaving comments here and for spreading the word around the web!

Cat Michaels said...

Intriguing mix Carol: historical fiction and mental illness theme for middle graders. Thanks for highlighting.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Cat. Your name goes in the hat!

Linda Vigen Phillips said...

You know I will put this on my list of TBR and since I have found favor with "random" lately, no need to put my name in!

Carol Baldwin said...

ha, ha, LInda. You got it! I think Anna would like this one.

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thanks, Cat, for stopping by to read the review and comment!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Linda, I know you’re a regular here, because I am too. Nice to see you. Thanks for adding Hattie On Her Way to your TBR list. Curious about your “random” remark! :)