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The Year of Miss Agnes
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The Year of Miss Agnes

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  2,075 ratings  ·  149 reviews
A year they'll never forget
Ten-year-old Frederika (Fred for short) doesn't have much faith that the new teacher in town will last very long. After all, they never do. Most teachers who come to their one-room schoolhouse in remote, Alaska leave at the first smell of fish, claiming that life there is just too hard.
But Miss Agnes is different -- she doesn't get frustrated
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published September 1st 2000)
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Jan 10, 2009 Cheryl rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 3rd grade+
I decided to read this after my incredible colleague, third grade teacher read it aloud to her class, to see what all the buzz was about. British Miss Agnes lands in rural Alaska after WWII. An inspirational teacher who illuminates the lives of all she touches in her one-room schoolhouse. The author, clearly a seasoned schoolteacher, conveys the real excitement for school learning and how it applies to the "real world." A teacher's book!
Lovely. Heart-warming, entertaining, and educational.

First, though, I have to disagree just a bit with another reviewer who accuses this of being just another unrealistic story about the amazing success of an inspirational teacher. Miss Agnes had already honed her craft on other Alaskan children for years in another, larger school. And most of these kids were *eager* to learn whatever they could in between all the migratory fishing and trapping activities.

And Miss Agnes knew enough about their
Fred and her sister, Bokko have seen a long line of teacher come and go in their Alaskan village of Athabascan. They stay a very short time since the smell of fish, the harsh winters and the difficult living conditions drive them back to a milder climate and easier way of life. But, Miss Agnes is different. She respects the children, teaches them about geography, music, art and the English language as they were never taught before. The children of the village slowly, surely see themselves as wor ...more
This is a quick read. I think I read it in three hours today to our three children.

Each said they loved it. My oldest said, "the teacher was inspiring and requiring but the kids loved the way she required them to do things without really seeing it as work it sounds like homeschooling".

Koyukuk, Alaska is a real place with about 90ish people living there today. I checked the temp and it's nine degrees right now!

I think this book is a nice reminder for the whole family about the joy in learning an
I read this to my seven year old and I think he enjoyed it. It is about a British teacher who comes to a rural Alaskan school in 1948. The parts about Alaskan life are really quite interesting. The author was raised in Alaska, so I presume she knows her stuff.

On the other hand, this was yet another one of those "Teacher Comes and Inspires Poor Students Where All Teachers Have Failed Before." It's a story that has been done a million times. And to be honest--speaking as a teacher myself--it is no
I liked the description of Alaskan life but didn't much care for the idolization of Miss Agnes although it was to be expected. I'm glad the main character didn't whine about her disadvantaged life like most of the popular school age books these days. Instead she enjoyed her life no matter how it came to her. I was disappointed that the book didn't have much of a story line. I tended to skim through the chapters hoping there would be more of a plot but it was really just a series of memories abou ...more
SLJ Best Books 2000 - Lexile 790. Teaching is a subversive activity. It opens the mind and allows new and bigger dreams than maybe countenanced by the society. Not that this book shows the animosity of the community - rather it shows the benefit to the entire community when someone exposes the community to the whole world. I Loved Miss Agnes as a teacher - I wish they all were like that!
Michelle Young
Aug 30, 2007 Michelle Young rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves teaching kids
Shelves: children, education
charming story. made me go "aww." liked how miss agnes made up personalized stories with illustrations about each of the kids to encourage the reluctant readers, who then devoured their books and asked for more. i love how miss agnes showed hospitality to the two girls, and offered them tea. this makes me want to teach a multi-age group of kids in a one-room schoolhouse!
Wow! I don't usually assign 5 stars to a children's book unless it just knocks my socks off. This one did for sure. Even though it is written on a juvenile level, it is a fantastic story about the power of education and a good teacher. Written from a kids-eye-view, it inspires me to be a teacher like this. How often do you read a children's book that inspires you? Anne of Green Gables inspires me to look at the world through a poetic lens. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe inspires me to fig ...more
Aleksandra Petrovich
This book is set in 1948 in an Athabascan village in Alaska. The center of the story is the one-room schoolhouse that has seen teachers come and go because they could not endure the smell of fish, the harsh winters and the difficult living conditions. The narrator of the story is a 10-year-old girl Frederica (Fred), whose life, and the life of those around her is transformed with the arrival of the new teacher, Miss Agnes. Miss Agnes is different – she has a strange accent (British) and wears pa ...more
The children of Koyukuk have never had the same teacher two years in a row. In fact, some teachers don't even last the full year. That all changes when Miss Agnes arrives in the small village.

We are told the story through Fred's (Fredericka's) eyes from the time Miss Agnes arrives through the entire school year. Previous teachers make it clear they are not happy serving the little school. However Miss Agnes is different from the start. Her understanding of the children and her lessons make lear
Not sure how I have never read this children's book before. Loved it! Anyone who works with children should read this and be inspired by the impact one teacher can have on a child's life (indeed, on the whole community).
This is a fabulous kids book. Rachel & I read this for bookclub and we fell in love with this book. She loved Miss Agnes and I loved the growth of the characters throughout the course of the story.
This book aboutschool a long time ago in Alaska. It is written from a ten year old's perceptive. Very cool.
The Year of Miss Agnes is about a small village in Alaska that runs through school teachers faster than they change their socks. Since the school was started, they haven't had the same teacher twice. This year, however, Miss Agnes shows up. On the first day of school, she throws out the grade book and hides away all their textbooks. She takes them on a journey through learning that can only be described as magical, and opens their eyes to a whole new kind of world. Former reluctant students sudd ...more
Katrina Lantz
I really enjoyed reading this book aloud with my 5-6 year old (he had a birthday while we were reading it two chapters a week). At times he had trouble paying attention, especially during the details of setting and the camp descriptions, but I have a feeling these things will be more interesting to him when he's reading more on his own. As for me, I cried in several of the chapters because of emotional scenes involving the students, their parents, and the teacher (and her own mom who died before ...more
Tiffany Jolly
The Year of Miss Agnes
Realistic fiction Friendship, education
Kirkpatrick, Hill. The Year of Miss Agnes. Illus by Peter Knorr. Simon and Schuster, 2000, 115, secondary.
In The Year of Miss Agnes, the children of an Athabascan Village are worried about their new teacher Miss Agnes but after teaching them more than they could ever imagine Fred, Bokko, and the other students were upset when the year came to an end. The majority of the text is from Fred’s point of view, but often times it is in the f
Juvenile Historic Fiction: Set in a small interior Alaskan village (Koyukuk) in 1948
This short book is out of the mold of stories with " teacher who becomes beloved."

The community with its one room school-house has trouble finding and keeping a teacher for the children. Miss Agnes, who is intercepted as she is returning to England after many years of devoted teaching in another remote Alaskan village (Allakaket), answers the call to teach for a year in Koyukuk and delays her return home to Engl
I picked up this book--which is about Indian kids in a tiny Alaskan village and their British teacher in 1948--because one of my good friends taught in Alaska for a few years, and I thought that she and her new students (in a different country) might like it. It's just over a hundred pages and easy to read. I liked the detail about life in the village and how the story is told from one of the Indian student's point of view. The way that exposure to "Western" technology and learning affects the e ...more
I was drawn to this book because it sounded like a realistic young reader's book that might not be too stereotypical and it was set in a distant area of the U.S. from where I am --the story is set in Alaska-- in other words, I thought I might learn something.

It was a nice change from many books for elementary readers. It is about ordinary kids growing up and learning and thrilled with the chance to learn. It is about being taught by a person who understands what might be learned instead of what
Remember the teacher you had that not only taught you a subject, but also opened up your mind the world beyond your small town, state, region . . . I had a couple of those and this story is a little gem that made me have fantasies of becoming a teacher in some faraway place . . . Set in rural Alaska in mid-1900s, it teaches not only what life was like for Alaskan natives at the time, but also the beauty and power of education.
Alix Mckee
Originally I really liked this book, however, as I have come to understand the interactions between cultures better, I like it less and no longer use it with children. A white teacher arrives in a small Alaska village and teaches the children the values of the dominant white culture. I'd really love to see a book that put Alaska Native values front and center rather than portraying the white as some sort of savior.
This book was one of my favorites. It was about a woman who stepped in to fill the teachers position in a little village in Alaska. She teaches the children thoroghly and like no other teacher they have had. For example, a teacher might not care about a one room school house that combined many ages and grade levels, the teachers didn't have to meet very good standards to teach this hodge podge of students. They might only have to spell a word or do a math problem, but Miss Agnes knew that this d ...more
Oct 02, 2007 Meagan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kids interested in Alaska and history
This book tells the poignant story of the students in a one-room school in a remote Alaskan town during the 1940's. Due to its remote location, difficult lifestyle, and unruly children, the community has difficulty in both attracting and keeping teachers. As a last-ditch effort to save the school, the superintendent sends Miss Agnes, the quirky and indomitable British schoolteacher, to the small town. Miss Agnes both encourages and challenges her students, tailoring their education to their envi ...more
Mary Elizabeth
This story...was so sweet. VERY simple, easy reading. (I finished it in two sittings.) I had read a couple of chapters out loud to my little brother, and knew then that I'd have to read it to myself. ;) Miss Agnes is quite the inspiring character, and this book will definitely be one that I'll read again!
Angel Royal
My 5th grader recently read this book for a school project and I thought I would check it out myself. It's a simple kids book--probably a 3rd grade level--but I found myself inspired by Miss Agnes, a teacher who comes to a small school in Alaska in 1948. Such a great reminder of the gift we have in education and not every culture sees the value or gets to enjoy it--even if they do see it.

I read it in a couple of hours between putting kids to bed, watching tv and answering emails. I love the big
Really enjoyed this little novel. I read it one evening. My second grade enrichment group would enjoy this book (both the boys and the girls). Complex text full of interesting characters and setting. We could do a lot with this book and have some interesting book conversations.
Bonnie Brown
Hill, K. (2000). The year of Miss Agnes. New York, New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. 113 pages. Ages 9 and up.

Set in an Athabascan village, this simple, heartwarming story is told from the viewpoint of 10-year old Frederika (Fred). Fred has been disheartened by the string of teachers who have passed through her village, none of whom stayed more than a year. When Miss Agnes, a caring and passionate educator, shows up, Fred and the whole village alike, know they will never be the same.

Related activit
Post World War II, the main character Fred loves to learn and realizes we continue to learn throughout our lives. Her sister Bokko has never been to school but Miss Agnes shows everyone that the young girl can learn and communicate using sign language.
Miss Amanda
gr 2-5 113 pgs

Athabascan village, Alaska 1948 10 year old Frederika "Fred" is worried when they get a new teacher Miss Agnes. Will she be like all the others and leave at the first opportunity? Fred and her classmantes discover that Miss Agnes is nothing like the other teachers. She believes that everyone should get an education even Fred's twin Bokko, who is deaf. Miss Agnes finds a way to engage her students by teaching them using their experiences and interests. Fred and her classmates have n
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Kirkpatrick Hill lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. She was an elementary school teacher for more than thirty years, most of that time in the Alaskan "bush." Hill is the mother of six children and the grandmother of eight. Her three earlier books, Toughboy and Sister, Winter Camp, and The Year of Miss Agnes, have all been immensely popular. Her fourth book with McElderry Books, Dancing at the Odinochka, ...more
More about Kirkpatrick Hill...
Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway Bo at Ballard Creek Do Not Pass Go Winter Camp Tough Boy and Sister

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