Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness” as Want to Read:
Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  5,006 Ratings  ·  657 Reviews
Alaska was as remote as the moon, as roistering and lawless as the Gold Rush. And a pretty young schoolteacher from Colorado like Anne Hobbs was even rarer than nuggets."So appealing are the people here, even the villainous ones; so dramatic is the landscape in which they act out their adventure; so pure is the moral conflict that forms the story's backbone, and so honest ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published July 1st 1984 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1976)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tisha, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Susan Campbell yes we met Tisha the fall before she died. She was alert and feisty and spoke of the citizens of Chicken and their discussion on burning Chicken…moreyes we met Tisha the fall before she died. She was alert and feisty and spoke of the citizens of Chicken and their discussion on burning Chicken before they'd let the government turn it into a wildlife preserve!(less)
Andrea
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Gwen Haaland
Nov 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone ages 12-112
One of my top shelf favorite books of all time and a true story which takes place in Alaska in the late 1920's!

I re-read this book every few years and never grow tired of it. It has all the elements to keep the reader hooked: adventure, living with hardship through a frigid Alaska winter, dogsled races, a student who perseveres despite a reading handicap, the heroic teacher who loves her students and despite all, bravely stands up to a community with a rigid backwards way of thinking (racism.)
...more
Brian
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tisha is a Very nice read,I also recommend Tisha"s House and the FortyMile Country by lisa Johnson.
I am Anne Purdy"s grandson and have spent many summers up in chicken with my granmother,before her passing,in the late 80's. Tisha's House and the Fortymile country,which was written by my wife lisa,
Takes you on a photographic tour of the fortymile region and the house my granmother and granfather raised all those adopted kids in,I highly recommend you get it.
questions or info just send me an e m
...more
Katina stewart
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I read this while on vacation and was having a hard time putting it down, when I was supposed to be going to Disney World! There is so much adventure and bravery and it's a TRUE story! The woman is so brave and wonderful in the way she treats the Native American children! I'm 1/2 Eskimo and live in Alaska and though I've mostly been treated well all of my life, I can only imagine what these Indian children were going through and what an angel Tisha must have been to them.
I met one of the childre
...more
Linda
2.75 stars

Years ago I read Benedict Freedman's 'Mrs. Mike'. I loved the simple story of a marriage between a young woman and a Canadian Mountie. A clean romance, it went on my keeper shelf and I have read it several times since. In the meantime, the title of this book kept coming up on my recommended shelf here on Goodreads so I decided to give it a try.

TISHA takes place in 1927 in the Alaskan Territory. It is about the one year that Anne Hobbs, a nineteen-year-old, spent teaching in the gold-mi
...more
Poiema
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Adventure writing at its best! A brave young woman travels to a small Alaskan outpost in the early 1900s to serve as a teacher to nine young students. "Tisha" is how the Indian children pronounced the word "teacher," thus the title of the book. I found Tisha (whose real name was Ann) to be admirable on many levels: brave, vivacious, and intelligent. Her big heart compelled her to teach Indians as well as the white folks and this brought her to odds with the school board and the respected members ...more
Chrisl
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books to recommend to library patrons, it obtained a higher percentage of "likes" than most. Biographies set in Alaska were a particularly popular library genre in our rural county.

Realizing that I didn't have the energy to thrive long term in a classroom, the thought of teaching in isolated communities still held appeal. Hitch-hike to some end of the road village, learn the place while teaching, being a storyteller, then move on.

Mentally, somehow, I link Tisha to the Water Is
...more
Chris
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Not great writing, but fascinating documentation of time, place, attitudes - particularly racism against indigenous peoples of the north. I'd hoped to learn more about life in the "Indian camp," but that wasn't Hobbs' story. Typical of the time, I suppose, that when our protagonist decides she wants to adopt two "half-breeds" it doesn't occur to her to seek permission from their people. And enlightening to note that she had the most success as a parent when she stopped trying to make those kids ...more
Judy
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Why I liked this book:

1)Its a true story about the pioneer days of Alaska
2) Its a book about a woman fighting for what she believes in although the odds are stacked against her
3) Its full of compassion and kindness
4) Its got a full helping of romance, perseverance, adventure and hard work
5) I like the ending.
Stacy
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: borrowed
This is my mom's book. She let me borrow it about 20 years ago - around the same time we moved out of Alaska. For about the past 10 years or so, she has been asking for it back, so it was time to read it.

I loved this book. I grew up in Alaska, so I was not blown away by the descriptions of the cold weather, deep snow, or dark winter. Those were facts of life. I've even ridden in dogsleds before. So instead I read those passages with a bit of nostalgia. Of course, I lived there in the 70s and 80s
...more
Sue
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: usa, biography, teaching
The story of Annie Hobbs, who went to the remote village of Chicken, Alaska in the fall of 1927 to be the school teacher for a year. During the year she confronted the prejudices of the village towards the Indians and the half breeds. She also learned a lot about herself and what she was capable of doing. The title is a fracturing of the word Teacher as used by several of the children.
I enjoyed this. It was sitting on my bookshelf and my memory is that I'd read it as a teen during my "I want t
...more
Sarah
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my all time favorite book. I read it at least once a year if not more. A most incredible story.
Theresa
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book made me want to go live in Alaska!

Anne Hobbs is a young woman, nineteen years old, who decides she wants to teach in the Alaskan wilderness.

"From the time I'd been a girl I'd been thrilled with the idea of living on a frontier, so when I was offered the job of teaching school in a gold-mining settlement called Chicken, I accepted right away."

The trip itself up to Chicken is arduous and Tisha has many adventures. She meets a grizzly bear, comes across (too closely!) a herd of caribou, a
...more
Beatrice
I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, it is the true story of an inspiring woman with an enormous heart and a lot of courage. Also, the book really drags you into early-century Alaska, with all the grit that this entails. I've certainly learned a lot about the murderous winters up there, plus what people had to do in order to get through them, and I have a new-found respect for all the courageous pioneers who explored that land and settled in it. The book also paints an incredib ...more
Pamela
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are some books that have nuanced meanings, things to ponder, or perhaps some morality tale buried in their depths. This is not one of those. Instead, it was a fabulous armchair traveler book--a chance to learn about experiences I will likely never but thanks to the miracle of books, can enjoy via ink and paper. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and getting to know Tisha, Chuck, Edith and Fred. Even Mr. Vaughn and Angela. When I say Tisha went to live among the savages, I don't mean the Alaska ...more
Judy
Survival in the Arctic is beyond my capabilities, I fear. Those long nights and frigid temperatures would overwhelm me. But I always like to read about other people's experiences. Here we have a girl raised in the lower 48 who goes north to teach in a small Alaskan village. Specht has brought this experience to life. I've read the book several times and always enjoyed it. (In some ways, it's reminiscent of Mrs. Mike, but I like this book better.)
Chelsea
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club, biography
This book was wonderful, and even better that it is a true story! I loved learning about the settlement of early Alaska and how education worked in the 1920's. Both were quite rough. Thankfully racism isn't as bad now as it was then, but biases are just as present.

The ending kept me gripped and heart beating fast! Knowing it was a true story meant that the ending might be the happily ever after. But it didn't disappoint.

If you can get your hand on this book, READ IT!
Marlene
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book years ago and it is still one of the first books that I recommend when someone says, "what is a good book that I could read". It is a true story and a fun read that describes the world of Alaska and inspires you with its good example of being true to yourself.
Margie (Bookzombie)
This was a re-read. It is one of my favorite books of all time.
Sarah
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Racism irks me to my core.
Those who stand firm against it deserve to have their story told.
Joan Bannan
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What an exciting adventure. My Goodreads friend, Elizabeth, recommended this book to me and I'm so glad she did.

Because I read it on Kindle, I didn't have the title and author in front of me throughout my reading. It was written in first person of the nineteen year old female teacher, Anne. I remembered that it was a true story, but I kept thinking that it didn't seem to be written by a woman. It bypassed a lot of details that would be important to a woman, like a baby that was placed into
...more
Lisa
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A true story of a young woman who goes to Alaska to teach elementary school in the 1920s. This is a delightful story that starts off with a difficult journey getting into the wilderness of Alaska. Anne, joins the postal delivery team who risks their lives each time they make the treacherous journey through the wilds of Alaska to deliver mail and packages. Anne reaches her destination only to deal with unsatisfactory housing but the villagers pitch in supplies and fix up her room. She is also gre ...more
Susan
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A young schoolteacher comes to frontier Alaska for adventure and finds it along with some romance. Much of the story focuses on her matter-of-fact battle against discrimination/mistreatment of her Native American students. This heartwarming novel is based on the experiences of a real life heroine.
Sanne
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book to read by a friend who said, 'I'm sure you will like this book, actually, I know you will'.

How right she was. I created mental pictures of the events as they occurred and thats not always something I can do with books, but this one had me cornered....I just couldn't put it down.
It has to be the best book I have ever read.

The story of Anne Hobbs, a young nineteen year old teacher, fresh from Missouri, had set out on an adventure, to teach the children of the frontier, in t
...more
Cleo
"Alaska was as remote as the moon, as roistering and lawless as the Gold Rush. And a pretty young schoolteacher from Colorado like Anne Hobbs was even rarer than nuggets." This is the story of her journey into the Alaska wilderness to become a teacher in the small gold-mining town of Chicken. In 1927, she courageously braved both the elements and the disapproval of many after she tries to treat the Native Americans as equals. It's a good old fashioned yarn, full of catastrophes and hiss-worthy v ...more
Barrett
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
When I was at the official Iditarod hotel's gift shop, I somewhat indifferently asked for a story about Alaskan pioneers, hoping to reexperience a tale of wilderness, hardship, and literal trail-blazing. (Later, I learned the name of an unforgettable 1960s Alaskan documentary that I had hoped had some textual analogue -- "Alone in the Wilderness" by Dick Proenneke.) The clerk said that all the sourdoughs (born-Alaskans) read this book before they're grown, that it was a quintessential true story ...more
Cindy
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kellie, Jodi
themes: race, discrimination, love, education, survival, courage
setting: Alaska 1920s

Anne Hobbs grew up in mining towns, but she decided she wanted some adventure, to do something different with her life. So she set off for Alaska to be a schoolteacher. She faces some harsh conditions there, but the hardest thing to deal with is the persistent racism against the Indians. Anne's own grandma was an Indian, and she was the only person who ever showed her unconditional love. Anne is the last person
...more
Elizabeth
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diana
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
It is 1927, and Anne Hobbs is a twenty year old teacher who decides to leave her job in Oregon to teach in Chicken, Alaska. She is unprepared for the rugged life but meets the challenges with spirit and strength. A novice horseback rider, she soon has to adapt as the only way into to Chicken is with a horsepack and mule train which delivers the mail as well as supplies. The life depicted in the local Indian village is heart rendering. In Chicken, she is able to adapt to her students’ needs and c ...more
Anita Williamson
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My all-time favorite book. The first time I read it, I turned around and read it again 3 days later I liked it so much. Wonderful wonderful book. I love how racism is handled in this book. The people that are racists run the gamut as opposed to how Hollywood portrays them as completely bad. Some don't have issues with the Indians as long as they keep to themselves, others like them as long as they don't marry whites and others don't like them at all. On the Indian side there are some characters ...more
Tussin
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved it. I got lucky finding this one. I sometimes go to the library and take books home that the library is giving away for free and this one was on their free shelf. It looked interesting so I gave it a try. I had never heard of this book and knew nothing about it. I am sure glad I tried it, it was wonderful, as true stories usually are. There is something very engaging about a story based on actual facts of someone's life, it smacks of more realism than most fiction that is written. Events ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Two in the Far North
  • A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska: The Story of Hannah Breece
  • A Lantern in Her Hand
  • Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
  • Hannah Fowler (Kentuckians, #2)
  • If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska
  • The Plague and I (Betty MacDonald Memoirs, #2)
  • No Life for a Lady
  • A Bride Goes West
  • Julie
  • Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike, #1)
  • Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaskan Native's Life Along the River
  • Along The Enchanted Way: A Romanian Story
  • We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher
  • Jubilee Trail
  • Mama's Bank Account
  • Ordinary Wolves
  • Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds
“The sun was just coming up over the mountains--blood red and cold. I felt as if I was standing in the mightiest cathedral that had ever been built. There was no end to it, and no beginning. All I could do was look at it and worship.” 5 likes
“Now I was going to be myself. I wasn't going to be hard to get along with or go out of my way to say anything mean, but from now on people were going to have to take me for what I was.” 5 likes
More quotes…