Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sweet Little Lies: Hill Hawk Hattie

Deception is the theme of my latest Reading My Library find, Clara Gillow Clark's Hill Hawk Hattie.  After Hattie's mother dies, she and her father face off in glum depression, until he orders her to pretend to be a boy so she can accompany him on his annual raft trip down the Delaware River.  Luckily she recently cut off her braids in a fit of mourning.

Of course, the father still isn't telling her the truth.  She alternates between joy in the excitement and skill of rafting and worrying about keeping her gender secret, not finding out until the end that her dad already told their crew mates, who for unknown reasons didn't tell her they knew.  I couldn't tell either, actually, but I did notice that everyone but she knew the final secret her dad kept as they complete the trip to the city where her grandparents lived.  Meanwhile she kept all her own counsel, telling her hopes and dreams to a diary addressed to her dead mother rather than speaking them to her distant father.  This actually helped give the book a sense of historical realism, since the modern habit of sharing all with everyone doesn't seem very deep.

I was disappointed when I figured out they they never got any where near Delaware, since I need that state for my geography challenge.  Foiled!

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