Peter Serko

A sentimental and satisfying tale about a teen in post–Civil War America. Kirkus Reviews


A riveting, uplifting coming-of-age historical tale… 

The Prairies Book Review


This book perfectly blends personal history and fiction that will keep you hooked from
start to finish… a must-read for anyone who loves a good story of ambition,
rebellion, and the power of perseverance.

Midwest Book Review


I love this book… Truly masterfully written.

Tara Lewis –

Accessible and educational, this is a noteworthy historical fiction novel for middle grade readers.
Mary Lanni –

An accidental hit in the head and an overheard conversation. Who would think these two everyday events had much in common, let alone any significance? Yet, to fourteen-year-old Hattie Howell, they mean everything. When classmate Arthur Phelps grabs her slate at school one day, Hattie forcefully yanks it back. It hits Arthur’s head with a loud thud. Hattie’s half-hearted apology the next day and a plate of cookies spark a slow, smoldering courtship between the two. Hattie is dragging her feet. She dreams of being an artist like her late father. Could she follow her dreams and be a wife and mother too? In her teenage mind, the answer is NO.

Complicating matters even further, Hattie has inherited the family curse: melancholy (depression). She calls her melancholy—Raven. Raven grabs hold of her and won’t easily let go. When she overhears the family doctor recommend Willard Insane Asylum, she panics. Desperate, she turns to her best friend Marion for help. Marion plans a secret meeting with a fortune-teller. The fortune-teller tells Hattie that answers await her, but her suffering will be long and hard. A life-changing journey of discovery begins.

Hattie’s War draws on a real-life story—Hattie is my Gr-Gr-Grandmother Harriet. Arthur is my Gr-Gr Grandfather. Hattie’s father, Hannibal, and mother, Charlotte, are my Gr-Gr-Gr Grandparents.  

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