Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female "fire Guard"

by Aimee Bissonette (Author) David Hohn (Illustrator)

Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female "fire Guard"
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Hallie Morse Daggett loved spending time outdoors, hiking among the tall trees of the forests in California's Siskiyou Mountains. She wasn't afraid of the bears, coyotes, and wildcats. But Hallie was afraid of fire and understood the threat it posed to the forests, wildlife, and people. And more than anything, she wanted to devote her life to protecting her beloved outdoors; she decided she would work for the US Forest Service. But in the 1880s the Forest Service didn't hire women, thinking they couldn't handle the physical challenges of the work or the isolation. But the Forest Service didn't know Hallie or how determined she could be. This picture-book biography tells the story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the first woman "fire guard" hired by the US Forest Service, whose hard work and dedication led the way for other women to join the Forest Service.

Kirkus Reviews

An efficient introduction to another groundbreaking woman. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

School Library Journal

Gr 1-5—Hallie Morse Daggett, a white woman who grew up near California's Siskiyou Mountains in the early 20th century, was acutely aware of the danger that wildfires posed to her family and her beloved wilderness. After finishing school, Daggett was determined to work for the U.S. Forest Service, but faced disdain, dismissal, and a pile of rejection letters because of her gender. Daggett knew she was the right person for the job, so she carved a space for herself in a male-dominated field. In 1913, she was finally hired. Though her male peers doubted her ability, Daggett excelled at her work and thrived at the remote Eddy Gulch outlook station. She spotted 40 fires in her first season. Hohn's detailed, expressive illustrations burst with action and color, bringing Daggett and her surroundings to life. Daggett's story is told in a narrative style, with short paragraphs that complement Hohn's illustrated spreads. Throughout, Daggett's self-confidence never wavers, even when she is repeatedly told she is not capable of accomplishing what a man can do. Back matter includes an author's note with several photos and more information on Daggett's life. VERDICT A picture book biography with luminous illustrations that are just as powerful as the empowering story of a young woman who refused to take "no" for an answer. Recommended.—Allison Staley, Lake Oswego P.L., OR

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
February 20, 2021

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