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|Sweet home Alaska|
Author: Dagg, Carole Estby
In 1934, eleven-year-old Terpsichore's father signs up for President Roosevelt's Palmer Colony project, uprooting the family from Wisconsin to become pioneers in Alaska, where Terpsichore refuses to let rough conditions and first impressions get in the way of her grand adventure.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 180449
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 68368
Kirkus Reviews (11/15/15)
School Library Journal (01/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/16)
The Hornbook (00/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 Gr 4–8—Eleven-year-old Terpsichore Johnson is vivacious, inventive, resourceful, and determined to help her family thrive in their new Alaskan home. Unemployment and hunger in the 1930s compel the Johnsons to join an exodus of over 200 upper Midwest families to the New Deal's experimental Matanuska Colony in Palmer, AK. Despite the trauma of leaving Wisconsin friends, her grandmother, and refinements, Terpsichore, her siblings, her upbeat father, and her cultured, skeptical mother meet hardships with adventuresome spirit. From tents, mud, mosquitoes, and construction delays to their own 40 acres and a farmhouse, the Johnson family gradually discover the riches and possibilities of their new environment. Terpsichore and two equally spunky and enterprising new friends form a "library action committee" to bring books into the community. Hoping to ensure her musical mother's willingness to stay in Alaska, Terpsichore secretly buys a piano with money earned from growing a giant, prize-winning pumpkin and publishing a cookbook of unique local recipes. Resilience, togetherness, and civility are unshakable family values. Authentic references to the 1930s abound: an FDR Fireside Chat, Shirley Temple curls, the measles epidemic, a visit to Palmer by celebrity Will Rogers, and the challenges faced by the Matanuska colonists. Fact and fiction and real and imagined personalities and events are seamlessly woven into this quaint, energetic, and engaging story. VERDICT Short, lively chapters; dynamic characters; family struggles and unity; and well-blended Depression-era facts will capture and inform middle grade readers.—Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.