Read Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg Online


This exciting pioneering story, based on actual events, introduces readers to a fascinating chapter in American history, when FDR set up a New Deal colony in Alaska to give loans and land to families struggling during the Great Depression.   Terpsichore can’t wait to follow in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s footsteps . . . now she just has to convince her mom. It’s 1934, and timesThis exciting pioneering story, based on actual events, introduces readers to a fascinating chapter in American history, when FDR set up a New Deal colony in Alaska to give loans and land to families struggling during the Great Depression.   Terpsichore can’t wait to follow in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s footsteps . . . now she just has to convince her mom. It’s 1934, and times are tough for their family. To make a fresh start, Terpsichore’s father signs up for President Roosevelt’s Palmer Colony project, uprooting them from Wisconsin to become pioneers in Alaska. Their new home is a bit of a shock—it’s a town still under construction in the middle of the wilderness, where the residents live in tents and share a community outhouse. But Terpsichore’s not about to let first impressions get in the way of this grand adventure. Tackling its many unique challenges with her can-do attitude, she starts making things happen to make Alaska seem more like home. Soon, she and her family are able to start settling in and enjoying their new surroundings—everyone except her mother, that is. So, in order to stay, Terpsichore hatches a plan to convince her that it’s a wonderful—and civilized—place to live . . . a plan that’s going to take all the love, energy, and Farmer Boy expertise Terpsichore can muster....

Title : Sweet Home Alaska
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399172038
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 298 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sweet Home Alaska Reviews

  • Debbie
    2018-11-09 14:05

    Anytime I see "pioneering" used to describe stories like this, I wonder about the people whose lands were being made available to those "pioneers."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 decided not to create contacts with Native peoples if the colonists themselves did not mention them. However, I hope as many readers as possible will visit the Anchorage Museum to learn more about the original colonists of Alaska.I'm curious about the "part-Native family." Are the people she's referring to as "part-Native" citizens of their tribal nation? Generally used, "part Native" means that someone in your ancestry was, or is, a Native person from a specific tribal nation. Quite often, though, people who use "part-Native" aren't aware that stating a Native identity goes hand-in-hand with being a citizen of that nation. This citizenship is not about being "part" Native. If you're a tribal citizen, you're a tribal citizen, period.I'm uneasy with the phrase "the original colonists of Alaska." Alaska Natives were not "original colonists." They are the first peoples of that land. Their homelands were colonized--in this case--by the families who were part of this federal project. I anticipate some people will think that I'm being hypercritical in pointing to "original colonists" as problematic, but it is important that we pay attention to words and what they convey. If we were to accept Dagg's description of Aleut, Athabaskan, and other Indian tribes as "original colonists" we start down a slope that says it wasn't their homeland from the start. That it belonged to... nobody, and therefore, any rights they have to that land can be dismissed.And, Dagg's suggestion that readers visit the Anchorage Museum... It makes me wonder if she had Native readers in mind. She was probably thinking of white kids.An appropriate aside: Not long ago I read a spot-on comic by Ricardo Caté of Kewa (Santo Domingo) Pueblo. He has been doing Without Reservations for several years. The one I'm thinking of is of a Native kid in a museum asking something like "what kind of a field trip is this?! We have all this stuff at home." Biting, and brilliant, too.Back to Dagg's book...Who were the "pioneers" involved with the Palmer Project? People who were living in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in 1934. The Palmer Museum has this info:To be chosen from the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, only "honest-to-God" farmers, couples between the ages of 25 and 40 with Scandinavian backgrounds would be considered. In exchange for a $3,000, 30-year loan, each family would be given a 40-acre tract of land, a house, a barn, a well, and an out-building. Those families that chose tracts with poor soil conditions and hilly landscape were given 80 acres. In all 203 families were chosen for the colony.Dagg's character, Trip (short for Terpsichore), and her family are one of those families. When Dagg and her sisters learn about the plan to move there, here's what they say (p. 5):“I'm not living in an igloo!" That was Cally, shaking her head in horror, which made her ringlets bob. “I’m not eating whale blubber!” That was Polly. Her ringlets bobbed too.They are, in short, putting forth information they hold about Alaska Native homes and foods, and, they're rejecting it. That passage tells us that, although Dabb chose not to create Native people for her characters to interact with, she didn't leave Native peoples out altogether. She introduced stereotypes, but left them intact. That was an opportunity for her to push back on them, but she didn't. Indeed, if she'd had Native peoples in mind as she developed this book, she could have created Native characters who could, in fact, push back on the information that Cally and Polly have in their heads. What she did do, is have Trip's dad say that they're not going to the Arctic Circle, and that the Matanuska Valley is much like northern Wisconsin. This, I assume, is sufficient to tell the girls that they won't be living in an igloo or eating whale blubber, but it leaves exotic ideas about Alaska Natives intact.Actually getting to Alaska means getting there by ship. As they're boarding, someone sings a song Trip recognizes, but they change the lyrics (p. 44):Terpsichore recognized the tune. It was Gene Autry’s version of “Springtime in the Rockies,” but they had changed the words. Terpsichore laughed along with the crowd at the new words: “When it’s springtime in Alaska and it’s ninety-nine below . . . Where the berries grow like pumpkins and a cabbage fills a truck . . . We want to make a new start somewhere without delay. So, here we are, Alaska, AND WE HAVE COME TO STAY!”Curious about the song, I looked it up and so far didn't find those lyrics. The first line is easy to find but the rest, I think, is Dabb's own writing. Reading the words "we have come to stay" may seem jovial and innocuous to some, but to me, they're pretty aggressive. Music is a big part of Sweet Home Alaska. The family has a tough go of it once they're there, but at the end, they sing "Home Sweet Home." They're there to stay. Again, this may seem innocuous, but ending with that song tells readers that, indeed, they were there "TO STAY."Though a lot of people are going to love Dabb's book and its echoes of Little House, I think it is worse than Little House because it was written in the last few years. Dabb's editor is Nancy Paulsen. The creation, publication, and marketing of Sweet Home Alaska tells us that writers like Dabb, and editors like Nancy Paulsen, have a long way to go.Review is from my website: http://americanindiansinchildrenslite...

  • Heather
    2018-10-24 15:23

    Fans of pioneer historical fiction like Caddie Woodlawn and the Little House on the Prairie series will get a kick out of this story about the Alaskan pioneering community of Palmer. When the mill her father is the bookkeeper for closes down, Terpsichore Johnson and her family decide to participate in President Roosevelt's homesteading program in Alaska. Terpsichore, or Trip, as she's sometimes called, is excited to follow in the footsteps of her favorite author, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Terpsichore puts her heart and soul into the experiment, organizing a lending library, and using her gardening know-how to raise an over 200-pound pumpkin. Dagg's research and inclusion of details about the Palmer experiment gives the narrative authenticity. *Digital ARC from NetGalley

  • Hilary
    2018-11-04 14:12

    If you've ever reread Laura Ingalls Wilder's books as an adult and wondered about outhouses, washing diapers, the practicalities of cooking and whether it was really as nice as it sounds, this charming story of a young girl trying to make a success of the pioneer life in Alaska will do the trick.I started it in the evening, and stayed up late to finish!

  • Patricia Tilton
    2018-10-27 14:19

    This is a powerful story about the Great Depression and the 202 families that risked everything to settle Alaska's real-life Palmer Colony in 1934. This lively and authentic story is about the harsh realities of life and work for any homesteader, let alone 11-year-old Terpsichore (Terp-sick-oh-ree) Johnson and her family. Dagg expertly explores the meaning of family relationships, friendships, hardship, pioneer cooperation, faith and home.The setting is realistic, the plot is original and moves swiftly as the Johnson family claim and clear their land, build a log home, barn, and chicken coups, and plant their gardens. Life is harsh and full of obstacles. There is disease, loss and homesickness, but there is the midnight sun that reveals a beautiful landscape and grows very large vegetables. Great characters make a book and Carole Estby Dagg has succeeded with Terpsichore, who is a brave, resilient, determined and independent narrator.  Her voice and spirit are strong. Sweet Home Alaska gives  readers a glimpse into a portion of Alaska's history they know little about.  

  • Penny Peck
    2018-11-16 13:23

    Terpsichore and her family move from Wisconsin to a new planned homesteading community in Alaska during the Great Depression, where they have to build their house, grow food, and learn to can salmon. Based on the real Palmer, Alaska, a homesteading community that was started by FDR's administration in the 1930's, this has the daily details that made Wilder's "Little House" series so fascinating. The third person historical fiction tale is memorable and light-hearted, and perfect for 4th through 8th graders learning about America's past. The author's note at the end explains that none of the first person accounts or research material mentions any interaction between the newcomers and the indigenous people, so the author did not include any. An entertaining read from those moving up from the Wilder books.

  • Helen
    2018-11-13 18:57

    Just as she did in her first historical novel for young people, THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS, author Carole Estby Dagg combines authentic historical detail with strong, engaging characters, adventurous situations, and touches of humor in all the right places. Readers of SWEET HOME ALASKA will fall in love with smart, gutsy heroine Terpsichore as she and her family experience the rigors of life in an untamed wilderness.

  • Vicki
    2018-10-30 13:14

    This is a really charming book -- great for Little House on the Prairie fans (there are lots of references to the books and characters). But also great for fans of straightforward, plot-driven fiction. The main character is well written, and the little world she inhabits is easy to fall into.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-16 17:15

    The family life, drama and adventure in this book was fun to read! I thought that the different characters were believable and the interactions (between family members and outside people) were well thought out and realistic. The ending left me thinking there could be a sequel though.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 of "he said, she said, he said" back and forth and it didn't flow very well as I read it out loud. Additionally, the main characters name is a mouthful!

  • Kristen
    2018-10-18 13:09

    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 gently encourage my students to pick up historical fiction. I plug my old favorites, as well as newer items I come across. It’s a hard sell for most of them. The ones who generally read my suggestions are my “super-readers”; a group of (mostly) girls who devour everything I put in front of them. My own children wonder why I’m good at Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy, and I tell them that much of my knowledge comes from reading historical fiction, not from any class I ever took. The beauty of this genre is that the ones that are well done are also painstakingly researched, so you can be sure you are getting accurate historical information along with an excellent story. You end up learning a lot and being entertained in the process. Seems like it should be a win-win.The reason I’m waxing on about historical fiction is that I recently read Carole Estby Dagg’s “Sweet Home Alaska,” and am lamenting the fact that I probably won’t be able to get many kids to actually take it home and read it. My super-readers will read it, and it will certainly earn a place with teachers (particularly in the Mat-Su Valley) who want to spice up their units on Alaska history. The general school population, however, will pass it over in favor of the latest fantasy, dystopian, or graphic offering.“Sweet Home Alaska” was meticulously researched by Dagg. I attended a talk she gave regarding her research methods, and she truly immerses herself in the world she is creating. She doesn’t just read about things, she goes out and does them. She stitches, weaves, gardens and tries out recipes in the name of creating an authentic feel in her books. I am confident that the historical information she presents in her books is as accurate as she can possibly make it. The story begins in Wisconsin during the Depression, where Terpsichore Johnson’s family has fallen upon hard times. Despite hard work and thrift, they are down to nothing to eat but pumpkin and sauerkraut for the upcoming winter. They seem to have no choice but to move in with their grandmother, until Mr. Johnson hears of a new opportunity in Alaska. President Roosevelt, in an effort to alleviate the financial suffering of the American people, is offering 200 farming families a chance to homestead in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of southcentral Alaska. To Alaskans, this is familiar, but to anyone not from here, this little snippet of American history is probably unheard of.Mrs. Johnson is a music teacher – she and her girls are all named after Greek muses – and doesn’t want to “leave civilization for the back of beyond,” but between Terpsichore’s secret planning and her husband’s optimism, she is pushed into giving the experiment a year. So the Johnson family – Mom, Dad, Terpsichore, twins Calliope (Cally) and Polyhymnia (Polly), and baby Matthew – boards a train, then a ship, then another train, and arrives in Palmer, Alaska in May 1934. Trip, as her family calls her, is a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and welcomes the opportunity to live the pioneer lifestyle that she did. The family encounters many challenges, from sucking mud, to measles, to the famous Palmer winds, but Trip faces them all with enthusiasm. She starts Palmer’s first library, and plots to win the first ever big vegetable contest at the fair by growing a pumpkin the way Almanzo did in “Farmer Boy,” earning herself a new nickname on the way, and one she likes better.Terpsichore is the central figure, but a realistic and well-drawn supporting cast round out the story. Her parents, who are at odds with each other over the course they should take, are loving and hardworking, but human and flawed as well. The songstress twins are a delight, and though at first they seem too good to be true, we come to know them better as Terpsichore does. Her friends Mendel, the junior entomologist, and Gloria, the wannabe Broadway star, are a fun addition to the story and integral to many of Terpsichore’s plans and schemes. And finally, there is Mr. Crawford, the old-timer who befriends the Johnson family, but has a secret and a plan of his own. There aren’t too many surprises here; astute readers will pick up on Mr. Crawford’s secret well before the end of the book. But the journey is wholesome, fun, pleasant, and not without hiccups. Give this book to fans of the Little House series and Caddie Woodlawn.

  • QNPoohBear
    2018-10-24 13:56

    Terpsichore (Terp-sick-oh-ree) Johnson is devastated to learn her best friend's family is going to settle in Matanuska Colony Alaska- part of a New Deal plan where families will learn to become self-reliant farmers. Terpsichore vows to do anything she can to make sure her family goes too. When her plans go awry, she finds herself stuck in the middle of nowhere living in a tent with her parents, precocious twin sisters and baby brother. The only kid she knows is an annoying boy with a cat-scaring dog and an obsession with bugs. She thought it would be a fun adventure like Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy, her two favorite books. The first day of school brings torment but also a new friend and a plan to get herself recognized for a special talent. As she falls in love with Alaska, she fears her mother will vote to return to Madison, Wisconsin and civilization (and a strict grandmother). Terpsichore plans a special surprise that will be sure to win over her mother. As the only unmusical Johnson, she has to find a way to use her gifts and make a new home for herself and become known as a kid who did something special.This story is a cute homage to Laura Ingalls Wilder's novels. I think Terpsicore will really appreciate The Long Winter once it's published! Living in the Alaskan wilderness and learning to manage the land is very similar to what the Ingalls family experienced living on the prairie in South Dakota. However, the Johnsons and fellow colonists do have some resources the Ingalls family didn't have but that only makes the story more exciting, not less. I had a hard time putting down the book. I couldn't wait to find out what Terpsichore would do next and of course if they would stay. The story is chock full of period details including how to use a wood stove, how to cook strange foods in tasty ways, how to wash diapers (no disposable diapers yet in 1934-35), pop culture (the school puts on a Wizard of Oz musical play several years before the Judy Garland classic) and of course, farming. I expected the farming details to be boring but I liked what Terpsichore figured out how to do. Her special project was very sweet and I found it fascinating. I think the real life Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder would be proud.Terpsichore is a great character. She's a normal kid who believes in her ability to do anything she puts her mind to and works at. She feels overshadowed by her precocious and talented twin sisters (eight year old Shirley Temple wannabes) and feels under valued by most adults. I like how she comes up with practical solutions and how she learned the value of true friendship. Her struggles her very real and what happens isn't too much of a fantasy. It felt plausible but maybe not all for one kid. I also liked her friends Gloria, the girly girl drama queen and Mendel, the nerdy scientist. Gloria reminded me a lot of Ruthie (Read All about It: A Kit Classic Volume 1 and Really Truly Ruthie). I found Terpsichore's sisters a little annoying. Their double Shirley Temple twin act was way over the top cutesy. I did like their character development though and how the sisters came to rely on one another and help each other out. The only character I didn't really like was Mrs. Johnson. At first her calling her husband Mr. Johnson creeped me out, thinking she would be a subservient housewife but that turned out not to be the case. She actually plays a large role in the family and has the final say in whether they stay or go. She comes across as really snobby at first, looking at the fellow colonists as backwoods bumpkins and even dismissing her husband's farming background as primitive and uncivilized. Like Ma Ingalls, she feels a church and a school make for a civilized town. I felt like her husband should say to her "Would you rather starve to death in civilization or have food and fresh air for your family here in the wilderness?" Her character development is a bit abrupt and I felt needed a little more slow growth. I really enjoyed this novel and I think readers old enough to read without pictures on up to adult will enjoy this book. It would make a good read aloud for younger kids as well. The only thing sensitive readers might have a problem with is the brief mention of the deaths of two children. Other than that, there's no violence (except for mentions of hunting), no bad language, no bratty children- just good fun.

  • Fred Pollock
    2018-10-21 14:14

    I listened to this novel as soon as the audio book arrived at the library (The book arrived a bit later). From what I had read, the story sounded like something I would like and didn't fail. The style, the pacing, the plot and the characters work together to make a wonderfully enjoyable novel. I found that listening to the book was a lot of fun and turned out to be helpful just for the sake of pronouncing a couple of names.Sweet Home Alaska takes place in FDR's New Deal era when the Johnson family is struggling through the Great Depression like everyone else. Mr. Johnson is an out-of-work bookkeeper who is doing everything he can to keep his family afloat without going on "relief." When he hears of FDR's plan to send settlers to Alaska, he sees an opportunity to start over. So he, his wife, and their four children set off for the Alaska territory. The main character is the eldest daughter, Terpsichore (named for the muse of dance) is a feisty, determined girl who makes her mark on the colony and her family. The relationships between family members and between Terpsichore and her friends are realistic and heart-warming. As the children all work together to find a way to convince Mrs. Johnson to stay in Alaska, you will cheer for them and hope for their success.

  • Cindy
    2018-10-20 13:59

    An adventure packed story about a family's struggles of pioneering in Alaska.

  • Challice Neipp
    2018-11-13 11:15

    It has been a very long time since I raved about a book like I have this one. First of all, why have I never heard of this?! This should be right next to your Little House Series and those childhood classics that we love and hold so dear. My biggest review I can give is the fact that I am a bit hoarse right now. I just finished reading for about 2 hours straight. My children stayed up past their bedtime and kept begging for "just one more chapter, mom? Please?" Terp-sic-chore is a darling character that will steal your heart and get you pumped with her ambition and tenacity in the wilds of Alaska. When a simple plan backfires, Terpsichore is sent to Alaska along with 201 other families as part of Roosevelt's "Mantanuska Colony Project" during the great depression era. Through a series of events, Terpsichore makes friends and ends up embracing life as through Laura Ingalls Wilder's eyes. This books opens up so many rabbit trails of so many things like Will Rogers, Ernest Shackleton, Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Great Depression, Jack London, and so much more. We found a book about Alaska at the library, a very simple book with beautiful painted illustrations and my children were overjoyed to find a page about Palmer Valley (where this takes place) and about the vegetables that grow there. This book is not about the natives. This book mainly focus on the colony that arrived and how this colony survived it's first year. One of the best reads I have done in a while.

  • Georgene
    2018-10-19 19:06

    This historical fiction story was entertaining and unique, but it suffered a little because there was really no tension or climax. Terpsichore and her family is facing poverty during the Great Depression in their small town in Wisconsin when the local lumber mill closes and her father loses his job. Then they hear about a program for farmers and their families willing to relocate to the Matanuska Valley in Alaska and start a farming community there, all expenses paid by the government. Everyone is excited to give it a try except Terpsichore's mother, who misses her mother and her former lifestyle. The family moves but only their mother will only give it a year, then the family will move in with her grandmother in Madison, Wisconsin. Terpsichore gets the idea to grow the largest pumpkin in Alaska and enter her pumpkin in the festival contest. With the prize money, she plans to buy her mother a piano, so she will agree to stay in Alaska. Terpsichore is an enterprising young lady who is good at farming and cooking, unlike her younger twin sisters, who have musical talents like their mother. This is a nice, squeaky clean story based on actual events about the pioneers who settled in Alaska during the Great Depression.

  • Jeannie
    2018-10-31 11:22

    Based on real events of the Palmer Colony which was a New Deal Project, Terpsichore and her family face the challenges of pioneering in Alaska. the "Lower 48" may be in the twentieth century with all its conveniences, but Palmer, Alaska was still wilderness in 1934. Father has signed on with several other families to start over. literally from scratch. The town has yet to be built - everyone lives in tents, use outhouses and in the meantime build their homes before the cold winter starts - in August! Terpsichore, having just read books by Laura Ingalls Wilder is enthusiastic. Her mother, however, pines for her home and conveniences. Bedsides just the challenge of everyday living, the family works hard to make mother happy. This book realistically honors the pioneer spirit. There are tragedies (measles, loss of life, etc.), but what is rally important is the sense of community, the ingenuity of the settlers, and the feeling of "we can do it."

  • Jen
    2018-10-29 12:12

    Terpischore Johnson and her family are living their home in Wisconsin to start over in Alaska as part of President Roosevelt's initiative to settle the land. She's always dreamed of being Laura Ingalls Wilder and now she's going to get her chance. But, when the Johnsons arrive in Alaska it's not what anyone is expecting.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. Terpischore is determined to make things work in Alaska so she helps start a library, and hatches a plan to make her mom want to stay in Alaska.Terpischore's plan is going to take all her energy and the help of her friends and family to convince her mom that Alaska is where they belong. This is an entertaining look at pioneer life in a fascinating time of American history.

  • Marcia
    2018-11-06 12:21

    Strong characters. Interesting story for readers who enjoy historical fiction. The narrative, however, assumes a knowledge of the Great Depression; young readers would have benefited if more background and explanations had been woven into the story. The book would also have been richer if it included more details on Alaska; the stereotypes and assumptions the family makes about Alaska in the first chapter are never put to rest. More depth on Alaska as setting (so much more than mosquitoes and snow) would have made this a stronger book.Gotta love that the main character (and obviously the author) loves Laura Ingalls Wilder's books as much as myself! Lots of references to great books throughout.

  • Emily M
    2018-11-17 13:00

    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 of details of how challenging it was, the book made me want to move out to the wilderness like the Johnsons. I also appreciated the realistic view of the CCC's ineptitude. The book felt well-researched, but the story was charming enough that my daughter didn't even realize she was learning history while she read.=)

  • Emily
    2018-10-29 14:15

    This book was so sweet. Terpsichore (Terp-sick-or-ee) and her family leave their home in Wisconsin when her father loses his job to start a homestead in Alaska during the Depression of the 1930s. I love the can-do spirit that the children in this story have - when they want something, they work hard to get it. I found myself somewhat annoyed with the mother at times, but to be honest, I would probably react the same way if you told me I would have to give up my creature comforts to live in a tent in the Alaskan wilderness for months while my house is built.Overall I enjoyed it - it would make a nice read aloud with lots of fun rabbit trails to follow.

  • Ben
    2018-11-07 17:02

    3.4 stars. It wasn’t exactly earth shattering as it was a YA book but I did enjoy that it was a pioneer story with a “modern” twist. My brother and his wife have spent a lot of time in this area so it was fun to talk to them about it. They already knew all about the pumpkin growing reputation and my girlfriend grows pumpkins and was shocked when I mentioned the milk trick since she thought it was an old wives tale

  • B
    2018-11-12 18:02

    The story of a Wisconsin family that moves to Palmer, Alaska as a group of homesteaders that is based on an actual New Deal program by Franklin Roosevelt. Told through the eyes of the oldest daughter, lively and resourceful Terpsichore, it follows in the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder, showing the hardships as well as the joys of pioneering life. This didn't knock me out but it was an enjoyable read.

  • Margaret
    2018-10-20 13:22

    I loved this story about families moving to Alaska during the depression to start over again. The story focuses on one family, the Johnsons, whose eldest daughter takes her inspiration from her favorite books: Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy. She grows a giant pumpkin for the fair and helps start the first library at the new colony of Palmer.

  • Kristin Runyon
    2018-10-20 12:02

    What a delightful book! Not only did our family learn about a price of American History which is largely forgotten, we also expanded our knowledge of Greek Muses, farming and life in the 1930’s. Top it off with learning the value of friendship, hard work and building community and you have a wonderful family read aloud for many ages. A gem!

  • Leslie
    2018-10-31 16:12

    This was a wonderful middle grade novel for fans of pioneering, the Little House series and warm family stories. I enjoyed learning about this little-known program that helped families during the Great Depression.

  • Mary Thomas
    2018-10-23 12:10

    This book was recommended to me by one of my fourth graders. Since I went to Alaska this summer (near Palmer!), I was especially excited to read about places I had been. I really enjoyed reading this book; it stalled out a bit in the middle but had a great ending.

  • Shannon Forsyth
    2018-10-29 11:19

    The only thing that bothered me is that it was Christmas...and then it was April! I wanted more about the WINTER in Alaska! Otherwise, a very fun book that my children and I enjoyed.

  • Molly Panzer
    2018-11-04 14:22

    A very charming and heartwarming story that I'm pleased I listened to. Also I was born in Alaska, not sure if I was as resourceful as Terpsichore was.

  • Michelle
    2018-10-28 17:16

    Fun read aloud book. My ten year old son and I both enjoyed it.

  • *ratherbereading*
    2018-11-15 11:00

    Inspiring, heart-warming, and unforgettable. Sweet Home Alaska is just one of those books that everyone needs to read...

  • Michelle
    2018-11-06 16:13

    This is such a sweet book! I read it with my 10yo and 14yo boys, and they loved it, too.