Kirby Larson

Photo of Kirby Larson
Kirby Larson is the acclaimed and award-winning author of over ten books for junior and young adult readers, including the Newbery Honor (2007) book, Hattie Big Sky, inspired by her own grandmother. In 2006, Kirby began a collaboration with her good friend, Mary Nethery, which has resulted in two award-winning nonfiction picture books: Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival (illustrated by Jean Cassels) and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle.

An experienced public speaker, Kirby enjoys sharing her passion for research, reading and writing. She has presented at more than 200 schools, workshops, and seminars in nearly twenty states and as far away as Qatar and Lebanon.

Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington with her husband, Neil. When she’s not reading, writing, or walking Winston the Wonder Dog, Kirby enjoys gardening, bird watching, traveling, or drinking lattés with friends.

Author's Comment: There were questions to be answered. One answer astonished me: my great-grandmother, Hattie Inez Brooks, homesteaded all by herself as a young woman on the eastern Montana prairie. During the snowy winters, her slapdash nine-by-12 claim shanty would morph into a mere mogul on the rolling prairie. A bump that a stampeding wild horse might run over, only to crash through Hattie’s flimsy tarpaper roof. Add in temperatures that dipped far below zero and the nearest neighbor living miles away, and you’ve got some pretty good reasons for being afraid. 

My wondering at Hattie’s accomplishments, as well as those of other early-twentieth-century homesteaders, propelled me through four years of research, including reading countless journals, diaries, and old newspapers and taking three trips to Montana. Inspired by my great-grandmother’s courage and my grandmother’s spunk, I wrote my first historical novel, Hattie Big Sky. Hattie’s story resonated with a lot of readers, many of whom wrote me demanding that I continue her saga.

Nationality: American

Featured series by Kirby Larson

Hattie (Ages 12 and up)