Sweet Home Alaska
It's 1934, and times are tough for Trip's family after the mill in their small Wisconsin town closes, leaving her father unemployed. Determined to provide for his family, he moves them all to Alaska to become pioneers as part of President Roosevelt's Palmer Colony project. ...more
In her author's note, Dagg writes (p. 290):
A notable omission in accounts I read of the Palmer Colony was reference to the people who were in Alaska for thousands of years before the colonists: the various Eskimo, Aleut, Athabaskan, and other Indian tribes. Since I married into a part-Native family, I was concerned about this omission, but finally dec...more
I started it in the evening, and stayed up late to finish!
This was part of a "book crate" that I ordered. It was the family read-aloud from the box and while I really enjoyed the story I found it to be somewhat difficult as a read a loud. There were a lot of conversations o ...more
Historical fiction -- one of the mainstays of my childhood reading – seems to have fallen out of favor with today’s kids. Occasionally, one will gain some momentum and become a hit, such as “Chains” (Anderson), “The War That Saved My Life” (Bradley), or “Our Only May Amelia (Holm). It seems that kids have no qualms about transporting themselves to an often bleak and dystopian future, but they don’t consider traveling to the past. It’s a shame, because they are missing so much.
As a librarian, I...more
Sweet Home Alaska takes place in FDR's New Deal era when the Johnson fami ...more
The setting is realistic, the plot is original and moves ...more
Well, this was a surprising delight! My 8 year old picked it up at the library, and we both loved it. We loved Terpischore's can-do spirit (especially raising her Laura and Almanzo pumpkins!), the family dynamics, the pioneer spirit of the settlers, and the friendships with Mendel and Gloria. While including plenty o ...more
By Carole Estby Dagg #caroleestbydagg
Cover by Erika Steiskal @erikasteiskal
Published by Penguin Random House @penguinrandomhouse
Thank you to the author, @blue_slip_media and @barbfisch for sharing this free book with me. All opinions are my own.
Oh, how I love to learn about history as I’m reading a really fun book! That’s just what happened when I read the middle grade SWEET HOME ALASKA! It all began with the northwoods cover by @erikasteiskal. Looking at that, ...more
Last year, my 2nd graders class explored the westward expansion. This is a great book to show that during the Depression the government encouraged people to move to Alaska and be homesteaders. They had to leave everything they knew and build a community in a place where winter is exceptionally harsh and where electricity and indoor plumbing were extravagances. Sweet Home Alaska conveys what it might have been li ...more
Sweet Home Alaska follows the Johnson family during the Great Depression. They are from Wisconsin, but work is drying up for everyone. As part of his New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt created a program to move 202 eligible families to the territory of Alaska (still about 25 years before it became a state) to set them up in their own pl ...more
Terp-sic-chore is a darling charac ...more
Kid rating: 3 stars
There's a lot of good things in this book about a virtually unknown FDR economic program. With the U.S. in the throes of the Great Depression in the 1930s, FDR offers Alaskan land and loans to economically depressed families in the upper mid-west. Terpsichore Johnson's family is one of those chosen. Her mother reluctantly goes along with it. The settlement begins as nothing more than a tent community. At first the Johnson's have to share a tent with anothe ...more
Fantastic book about an adventurous family that heads to Alaska during the Great Depression when land was being offered for free from the government. This historical fiction would make a great classroom read aloud with it's Little House on the Prairie vibe; boys and girls alike will enjoy this story. Though, girls will probably enjoy it more with the main character, Terpsichore, being a girl. Fun and engaging story for upper elementary aged kids.
Rating: 4/5 stars
There are no buildings, every is living in tents and sharing an outhouse. A mole eats her shoelace on the first day of school and her mother is determined that they won't stay. T ...more
My second book, Sweet Home Alaska, was inspired when my son bought a 1930's house across f ...more