|365 days to Alaska|
Author: Carr, Cathy
When eleven-year-old Rigel Harman's parents divorce, she and her sisters must move from the Alaskan wilderness to suburban Connecticut, and while she yearns to return in a year, she eventually realizes she must move forward.
Kirkus Reviews (12/01/20)
School Library Journal (01/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2021 Gr 4–7—Eleven-year-old Rigel Harman is a happy kid who loves living off the grid with her close-knit family in Alaska. Rigel's life looks very different from most American students; she hunts, takes correspondence classes by mail instead of attending school, and has no running water or electricity. Things change when her parents divorce, and she and her sisters move to the Connecticut suburbs with their mother to live with a grandmother they've never met. But Rigel has a secret pact with her father: After one year, she can come home. Rigel hates middle school and Connecticut. She misses real nature and feels out of place. She befriends a small, wounded crow living behind her school and spends her free time with it. Caring for the crow helps her make friends, reconnect with her family, and fit in while still being herself. Rigel is a fun character; she has a lot in common with average tweens trying to find their place in the world, but her experiences in Alaska may be an informative peek into different lifestyles. The story shows how a strong family structure and the willingness to ask for help can be keys to success; the book also depicts the school library as a sanctuary for students. VERDICT This charming novel is recommended for realistic fiction fans who love nature and animals.—Christina Pesiri, Island Trees H.S., Levittown, NY - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/15/2020 Rigel's world is turned upside down when her parents decide to split up and she learns that she, her mother, and sisters will be trading their life in the Alaska Bush for a softer existence in Connecticut. Before leaving, her father promises she'll be able to return with him after a year, but as time passes by, that promise seems less and less likely. But she gradually makes friends and start to learn to enjoy herself in a place she was determined to hate, not to mention that, for better or for worse, life goes on. Carr's heartfelt debut features classic middle-school problems, like dodging mean kids, as well as Rigel's vivid feelings of displacement and deep love for nature. Though the tween spends a lot of time comparing her new home with her beloved Alaska, she eventually gets enough perspective to find true appreciation for her new surroundings. The ending is hopeful at all angles, satisfyingly wrapping up each little plot point. Hand this thoughtful novel to nature-loving readers who like character-driven stories about family. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.