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

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

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  5,971 ratings  ·  765 reviews
Anne Hobbs is a prim and proper 19-year-old schoolteacher who yearns for adventure. She finds this and much more in a town with the unlikely name of Chicken, located deep in the Alaskan interior. It is 1927 and Chicken is a wild mining community flaming with gold fever. Anne quickly makes friends with many of the townspeople, but is soon ostracized when she not only befrie ...more
Kindle Edition, 466 pages
Published March 31st 2010 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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,971 ratings  ·  765 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Gwen Haaland
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.)
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 j
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
Katina stewart
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 c
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
Jonathan Ashleigh
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent
This story seemed as though it was going nowhere at every turn, and then new ground was broken and it was exciting again. An amazing true story that takes you into the wilderness of Alaska in 1920s, this book helps one understand race relationships on the frontier.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reads like historical fiction by a debut author. For example, in a novel, we would learn why Vaughn automatically despises the Indians so much. But irl Anne never found or figured it out, so we can only guess. But at the same time we do learn interesting historical perspectives, culture, technology... for example the role of 'pay dirt' in gold mining.

Not my usual fare, often bleak or frustrating, and fairly long, but very nice for a change of pace.
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 li
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
The long winter nights and frigid temperatures of the arctic 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.)

2019: It's been more than 20 years since I last read Tisha, but I
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 incredibly ...more
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, usa, 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
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my all time favorite book. I read it at least once a year if not more. A most incredible story.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!)/>"From
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my heart! This is a touching story of a young woman's struggle to fight adversity in the tundra of Alaska. She boldly sets out for the wilderness in order to teach at an old mining town. While there she opens her heart and home to the unfortunately mistreated Indians. I admire Anne and her desire to stand up to those morally corrupt enough to deny basic human rights and common courtesy to those who even show a portion of native blood. Honestly, I was blown away by this historic tale of streng ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, book-club
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!
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-ebook
Wow, excellent book! This book is a true story about a young woman who goes to the town of Chicken in the Alaskan wilderness to teach in the 20s. I highly recommend this book. It's full of adventure, determination, racism, love, and so much more.
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Popsugar challenge 07: Reread of a favorite

I couldn't remember why I enjoyed this book years ago, but it seemed time to revisit this biographical story set in beautiful, brutal Alaska in the 1920s about an idealistic first-year teacher, Anne Hobbs. When she arrives in the village of Chicken, she is shocked at the rampant racism and narrow mindedness of the community as a whole, yet so many of the characters also have compassionate and loyal sides. Anne's heart quickly gets involved w
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kay Cardona
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
True story of a young teacher who worked in Alaska. The hardships of living in such a cold climate and in a closed minded community are unbelievable. It was a bit too harsh for me at times but very well worth reading.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
a good, mostly true story, but the cruelty and inhumane treatment of animals was more than i could bear.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska: The Story of Hannah Breece
  • Two in the Far North
  • Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaskan Native's Life Along the River
  • Hannah Fowler (Kentuckians, #2)
  • If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska
  • Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds
  • A Bride Goes West
  • A Lantern in Her Hand
  • Woodswoman I: Living Alone in the Adirondack Wilderness
  • We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher
  • No Life for a Lady
  • The Plague and I (Betty MacDonald Memoirs, #2)
  • A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm
  • Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike, #1)
  • Julie
  • Tryst
  • Prairie Songs
  • Nothing to Do but Stay: My Pioneer Mother
See similar books…
“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…