Practical Hitty

a resource for Rachel Field's book

Hitty: Her First Hundred Years

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Hitty: Her First Hundred Years
First published in 1929, Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field won the Newberry Award in 1930. Since that time, Hitty has been a popular children's book enjoyed by generations of children. The book details the memoirs of a small wooden doll residing in an antique shop. Access to pen and paper prompted the doll to write her life story from the time of her creation in a cottage in her home state of Maine until her arrival in the antique store nearly one hundred years later.

According to her memoirs, she was originally carved for a particular child. Due to misadventures, she was lost and went through a series of subsequent owners (children until roughly the 1880s). In later years she is owned by a series of adults, ultimately ending in the hands of this book's author Rachel Field. A must-read for doll literature enthusiasts, and one of my very favourite children's books.

The inspiration for the book was a small wooden doll discovered in an antique shop by the author Rachel Field. Once acquired, the doll seemed to take on a life of her own as part of the author's personal collection.

Editions of Hitty

The standard edition of Hitty includes illustrations by Dorothy P. Lathrop, a good friend of Rachel Field. The earliest (hardcover) editions also include several colour plates which are not included in today's editions. It is well worth seeking out a first edition if you are interested in a copy with the colour plates.

These books can be difficult to find since many are out of print. Some great places to buy used books online include:

Hitty -- orange cover
Standard hardcover edition with dust jacket. This is usually a library binding.
  Hitty -- green cover
Aladdin Paperbacks (Simon & Schuster) edition. Softcover current edition.
  Hitty -- purple cover
Special "digest" edition for younger children.

Hitty: Her First Hundred Years study guides


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