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The Year of Miss Agnes

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,871 Ratings  ·  191 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 wit
ebook, 128 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published September 1st 2000)
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Jan 10, 2009 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Oct 17, 2008 Nickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 11, 2010 ABC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: older-kids
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
Dec 19, 2008 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica Howard
Jan 26, 2016 Jessica Howard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, 2016
I'd probably have given this 4 stars if I read it just for myself. But my 5yo and I read it together, taking turns, and I enjoyed the experience! It's the first time she's ever let me read aloud to her since she learned to read, and the first time she ever read a book with no pictures!
May 25, 2008 kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
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!
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
Feb 21, 2016 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this fictional story about a teacher who taught children in the Alaskan bush. One theme that continued to stick out to me while reading was how Miss Agnes respected the children's culture. She showed them how education applied their own world, while broadening their horizons to include the world outside their village. I might have to include this book in next years curriculum to read my own class of 5 and 6 years old.
An ok book. Read with my daughter, almost 7 years old. Great message about how a teacher in Alaska truly changed children's lives. The book itself was not as engaging and felt juvenile. I did like many of the topics they covered- it stimulated discussion of timelines, maps, etc.
Oct 28, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group
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
Dec 17, 2015 Cassie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: The Year of Miss Agnes
Author: Kirkpatrick Hill
Genre: Historical fiction
Theme(s): Dedication, commitment
Brief Book summary: Miss Agnes moves into a small Alaskan village and takes the schoolhouse by storm with her passion for teaching. She goes above and beyond to ensure academic success from both her students and the overall community.
Professional Review 1:
"Teaching the children in an Athabascan village in a one-room schoolhouse on the Alaskan frontier in 1948 is not every educator's d
Michelle Young
Aug 30, 2007 Michelle Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
The Year of Miss Agnes is a great example of a historical fiction text for children. The story is about a young girl named Frederika and her experiences attending school in Alaska. Many of the teachers at her school, discouraged by the difficulty of living in the Alaskan village, leave after one year. The kids are not that upset over this, though, as they aren’t too fond of these teachers. However, in 1948, Miss Agnes is the new teacher and her quirkiness, confidence, and new and engaging teachi ...more
May 27, 2015 Kienie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miss Agnes is that magical teacher that has the patience, knowledge, tolerance, resources and power to give each student the undivided, special attention they need. She is that miracle educator who sees the spark in each student and who is able to feed that spark into a flame. Alongside Miss Agnes' teachings we see a year in the lives of the locals. Their lives are in some ways vastly out of my experience: trapping, sewing, Alaska are all beyond my experience. Learning is encouraged in all
Jean Haberman
This book reminds me of the book, Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness by Robert Specht, except for younger readers. Miss Agnes is a teacher in a one-room school in the Alaskan wilderness in 1948. Her students come and go to fish camp and summer camp and some of them stay home to do household chores. Most teachers leave because the students smell like fish, but not Miss Agnes. She stays and teaches them about other countries and history by drawing pic ...more
Sep 19, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
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
Elissa Schaeffer
Jun 09, 2014 Elissa Schaeffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 25, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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).
Dana Kilbride
Mar 28, 2015 Dana Kilbride rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the arrival of Miss Agnes, the new teacher at a small village school in Alaska. After going through so many teachers before Miss Agnes--all of which were unprepared to teach in wild Alaska in a village with customs much different than they're used to--the narrator, Fred, doesn't think the new teacher will last. But Miss Agnes has decades of experience teaching in Alaskan villages, and is much more on top of things than Fred suspects.

I read this book as part of my literacy meth
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.
Sep 05, 2015 Chelinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although not as well-written as Bo at Ballard Creek, this story takes place a few decades later (1940's) in Alaska. Set this time in a fishing village with the stink of fish everywhere, the children of the village are given a first rate education by Miss Agnes, despite the remoteness of their schoolroom.

Hill again weaves a beautiful tale of humans at their best, despite the harsh conditions around them. Hill also bases this book on stories from her family history, with details that only people
Oct 20, 2015 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cool.
So my first read of this book was that it was a beautiful story about the transformative power of a good teacher, a teacher who respects her students and cares. And it certainly is a story about that, but there are also some really problematic elements.

To begin with the story very much follows the white savior storyline. The kind white teacher arrives and helps all the poor native kids (and some adults) assimilate more fully into Western culture by teaching them to read and do math and love musi
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
Mar 09, 2013 Katrina Lantz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 10, 2010 SarahC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: special
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
Amy Ringquist
Miss Agnes is a different kind of teacher than the children in this remote Alaskan town have seen before. She inspires her students to learn and work hard. This is a model text for voice as the main character Frederika (Fred) tells the story in first person, using word choices appropriate to the time. This could be a fun read aloud to capture students interest during a social studies lesson on then & now.
Reading Equivalent = 4.6
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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
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