Now that Pa has plunked her down at Grandmother's in Kingston to get a good education like Ma, Hattie Belle Basket has traded her rough boy's overalls for a blue checked dress that matches her eyes. But prettying up her rustic Hill Hawk ways is not so easy, and Hattie is sure she will never be at home in this fancy gingerbread house, where her prim grandmother and the buzzardlike cook continually remind her she can't compare with her sweet, beloved late mother. Even her tutor, Horace Bottle, seems more interested in food than he is in teaching. And now the stuck-up girl next door is taunting her — with rumors that a sinister fate has befallen Hattie's absent grandfather. Could someone in Grandmother's house be harboring an unspeakable secret?
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Up close she was not so pretty. She had a round, flat face with little piggy eyes and a stuck-up nose, but she had the loveliest yellow curls that bounced when she walked, and bobbed when she moved her head, and boinged when she patted them, which she did pretty regular.
"I'm Ivy Victoria — after the Queen of England — Blackmore Vandermeer," she said in a superior, knowing way. "You may be a girl, but I think you should know that you look like a boy. Why is your hair so short?"
Right then and there, I knew I wasn't going to like her or her curls. I did not have that nice warm feeling like when I'd met Jasper. "None of your business," I said. . . .
"You talk funny, too. Did you know that?" she said.
"I talk with my mouth, same as you," I said.
"I mean, you sound like a country bumpkin. Do you know what that means?" She spoke slowly, like I was ignorant or something worse.
I nodded. Yup, I was pretty sure that was like being called a Hill Hawk and uncouth. I grabbed my hat off the ground and pushed it on my head.
She got a sneaky look then. "You might be fun to play games with," she said. "Come over here now."
"Can't," I said. I was not about to take orders from the bossy likes of her. "My grandmother is waiting for me."
"Please?" she said, in a pleading sort of way. "I'll let you play with my ball."
I wet my lips. I wanted to bounce that ball all right. Maybe she just wanted a friend.
But then she pressed her face up against the fence. "Why doesn't your grandmother wear black?" she said.
A cold chill went down my spine. "Why should she?" I asked.
HATTIE ON HER WAY by Clara Gillow Clark. Copyright (c) 2005 by Clara Gillow Clark. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Eleven-Year-Old Hattie Basket longs to return to her home on the upper Delaware River, where she, her pa and her best friend raft the rapids. But with her ma recently passed on, her pa takes her to her grandmother's house at Kingston-on-the-Hudson. Different river--different life--and one Hattie does not want any part of, until she discovers the soft side of her grandmother, the mystery that surrounds her old mansion, and the human bones she finds in the vegetable garden. Clara Gillow Clark has an easy storytelling style that keeps the reader invested in Hattie's plight. The strong hawk, who survives peril with watchful eyes and strong heart is a perfect metaphor for Hattie and Gillow Clark skillfully weaves the hawk throughout her story. If you like historical fiction told with the strong voice of a 19th century country girl, Hattie on Her Way is for you. It's the second book in a series of three. Hill Hawk Hattie is the 1st book and The Secrets of Greymoor is the third.