"The simple first-person narrative captures Hattie's rustic innocence, the thrilling rafting adventure, and the heartfelt struggle of a tough girl who feels useful to her father only in the role of a boy." -- BOOKLIST (starred review)
Pa used to call Ma and me his girls. Now, he just says, 'girl, ' orders me around with curse words like I'm nothing. I'm not nothing, though, 'cause I feel too mean inside to be that.
The year is 1883, Hattie's ma has died, and it seems that she took with her the sugar that kept Hattie and Pa sweet. Just when Hattie thinks things can't get any worse, Pa stops calling her 'girl' altogether and wants her to dress as a boy and help him on his next river-rafting trip. Soon eleven-year-old Hattie finds herself alongside Pa and two other Hill Hawks, shipping logs down the dangerous Delaware. On the angry river, Hattie's pluck is sorely tested as she fields Pa's criticism, plunges over waterfalls, and tries to keep the rowdy river men from discovering her secret.
Gritty and full of heart, Clara Gillow Clark's historical novel will leave readers breathless as it surges along the complex, emotional journey of a father and daughter. It's a powerful story of how death can undo a family -- and how, against all likelihood, it can bind them together.