Headstrong Hallie
The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female "Fire Guard"
written by Aimée Bissonette
illustrated by David Hohn
Sleeping Bear Press, February 2021
ISBN 978-1534110618

About the Book
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.

A peek inside the book

illustration from Dragonfly, copyight Catherine Pearson
from Headstrong Hallie, an illustration © David Hohn

About the Illustrator
David Hohn is an illustrator based in Portland Oregon. His days are spent in the studio imagining what it would be like to be someone else, doing something else—and then he paints it.

Reviews
Growing up roaming the forests of California’s Siskiyou Mountains, the only thing Hallie Morse Daggett fears is fire. She’s seen it devastate the forests, and it’s come terrifyingly close to her own home, and she brings food to the men of the U.S. Forest Service whenever they fight fires nearby. When she grows up she applies to work for them—again and again, always to be told they don’t hire women. But when, in 1913, a fire-lookout position opens up right before fire season begins and Daggett, now 30, again applies, the Forest Service finally says yes. The men take bets that she won’t last in the tiny, isolated cabin she’s assigned, but of course she does, spotting 40 fires in her first season. When, 14 years later, the wee cabin is replaced by a much fancier installation, Daggett retires after only one season in it, a decision framed by Bissonette in her admiring, economically engaging narration as prompted by her distaste for frippery. In her author’s note, Bissonette describes the paucity of the historical record and fills in the scant details of Daggett’s life following her retirement. (Kirkus Reviews)

 
Headstrong Hallie
 
         
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