Goodbye, My Island

Overview

Esther Atoolik is twelve years old and her Alaskan village is getting smaller; there aren't enough children to keep the school open. What to do? the people ask. Should we abandon our island in the Bering Sea that her people have lived on for centuries? Here is the tender, true story of Esther's last season in her island home and the wonderful memories she carries with her. A chapter book illustrated with the drawings of Rie Muñoz. 

Twelve-year-old Esther ...

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Overview

Esther Atoolik is twelve years old and her Alaskan village is getting smaller; there aren't enough children to keep the school open. What to do? the people ask. Should we abandon our island in the Bering Sea that her people have lived on for centuries? Here is the tender, true story of Esther's last season in her island home and the wonderful memories she carries with her. A chapter book illustrated with the drawings of Rie Muñoz. 

Twelve-year-old Esther Atoolik tells of the last winter her people spent on King Island, Alaska, in the early 1960's.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An authentic chapter in Alaska history.” School Library Journal starred review

A bittersweet Eskimo version of Little House on the Prairie.” The Atlantic Journal

“A treasure.”  Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882405384
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 7 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 8.41 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Rogers has lived in Juneau, Alaska, since 1945. There, she and her husband George adopted and raised six lively children, and Jean wrote seven children’s books. Among them was the Alaskan classic, The Secret Moose, and two books about the Natives of King Island. The idea for Goodbye, My Island took shape while Jean was collaborating with artist Rie Muñoz on King Island Christmas. Both books have seen national success, and King Island Christmas has been adapted as a musical. Jean’s love for books and reading — and volunteerism — earned her a lifetime membership with the Alaska Library Association. She also is a member of the American Library Association, and has served in various capacities on the boards of the Alaska State Broadcasting Commission, Alaska Public Offices Commission, and Juneau’s public television station, KTOO-TV.  The University of Alaska bestowed upon Jean an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters for her work writing published books.

King Island, as well as other remote Alaska communities, has long been a source of inspiration for watercolor artist Rie Muñoz. From her home and studio in Juneau, she continues to travel, sketch, and paint Alaska’s special people and places, as she has since 1951.  Rie studied art at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, and at the University of Alaska-Juneau. Her work is carried by galleries around the world, and her watercolors have been featured in solo exhibits at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, as well as elsewhere in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. In May 1999, Rie received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Award from the University of Alaska Southeast; in September 2000, she was named Artist of the year at the Pacific Rim Art Exposition held in Seattle. Visit her website at www.riemunoz.com.

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Read an Excerpt

“The school teacher rose. ‘I, too, have bad news,’ Roger said. He spoke slowly, with long pauses, so everyone could hear and understand. ‘The Bureau of Indian Affairs has told me, too, that this is the last year there will be school on King Island. I am very sorry to say this as Marie and I have enjoyed our teaching very much.’….Inside me a bad feeling twisted and turned like a bird trying to free itself from the net. How many times our father had told us that it was important that we attended the white man’s school and learn all we could.” From Chapter 4, page 25

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