Hattie Big Sky
by Kirby Larson (2006)
Newbery Honor Book
Having a soft spot for Laura Ingalls Wilder, this book fits right in, minus Michael Landon as Pa. A girl on her own on a Montana homestead facing extreme weather, diabolical neighbors, stubborn animals, poor baking skills, and the struggle to fence and farm her land in order to meet the claim.
Hattie is definitely independent and capable, but needs and helps her neighbors as they face the harshness of frontier life. The story also deals with the fears of "The Great War" as friends and family are in Europe fighting and the pressure put on German townsfolk to prove their patriotism. A lot of outside issues to explore with this book: WWI, propaganda, farm life, even baseball.