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)