My One Square Inch of Alaska: A Novel

My One Square Inch of Alaska: A Novel

4.8 7
by Sharon Short
     
 

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A pair of siblings escapes—along with a Siberian Husky—the strictures of their 1950s industrial Ohio town on the adventure of a lifetime.

Talented high-school senior Donna Lane yearns to leave her Midwestern home in pursuit of a career in design, but she feels obligated to stay and care for her helpless father and her younger brother, Will. In

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Overview

A pair of siblings escapes—along with a Siberian Husky—the strictures of their 1950s industrial Ohio town on the adventure of a lifetime.

Talented high-school senior Donna Lane yearns to leave her Midwestern home in pursuit of a career in design, but she feels obligated to stay and care for her helpless father and her younger brother, Will. In fragile health and obsessed with the television show Sergeant Striker and the Alaskan Wild, Will’s dearest companion is a mute Siberian Husky named Trusty. The arrival of two outsiders inspires Donna to consider her dreams anew. Then Will falls sick, and Donna packs up their yellow convertible—with Will, Trusty, and a road atlas—and sets off for the Alaskan Territory. A portrait of a singular American moment, My One Square Inch of Alaska is a moving tale of exploration and love—human and canine—that dares to believe the impossible.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It’s 1953 and high-school senior Donna Lane is desperate to get out of Groverton, Ohio. With a bitter grandmother, an alcoholic father, and a long-dead mother, there’s little reason to stay besides her brother Will, a 10-year-old obsessed with collecting cereal box tops in order to acquire a deed for one square inch of land in the Alaska Territory. Sneaking tips while working at her grandmother’s diner and secretly modeling for controversial art teacher Mr. Cahill, Donna saves to fulfill her dreams of becoming a fashion designer in New York City, hopeful her brother will be strong enough to stand up to their father without her. But Donna meets the new boy in town—handsome, influential, and rich Jimmy Denton, who can give her the life she never had, making it harder to escape. When Will falls ill, he becomes determined to take his dog to see his plot in Alaska and Donna realizes others have dreams of seeing the world outside of Groverton. Mystery writer Short (Death By Deep Dish Pie) wonderfully captures the feel of small-town 1950s, a young woman’s yearning for freedom, and her struggle to deal with how small, seemingly innocuous choices have life-changing consequences. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“This novel stakes a claim in your heart from its opening scene. Donna's quest for that one square inch of her brother's happiness becomes a journey of discovering her own worth, her own bravery, and her own authentic story. I adored these characters, feared for them, and rooted for them every step of the way.”—Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals 
"Sometimes, when you’re lucky, you come across a book so beautifully written, you know you will read it again and again. My One Square Inch of Alaska is one of those books. From the opening lines, you’ll be swept into the lives of Donna Lane and her little brother, Will. With a junkyard dog in tow, they travel from their small town in Ohio to the Alaskan territories in the 1950s, defying all odds to follow a seemingly impossible dream. The characters are carefully rendered and completely believable. I didn’t want this book to end!"— Sherri Wood Emmons, author of The Sometimes Daughter

Library Journal
In the span of just two months, Donna Lane’s life is flipped over. It’s early September 1953, and she’s a high school senior in a small Ohio town struggling to hold her family together. Her father is still reeling from the loss of her mother years earlier, and her younger brother, Will, has odd fainting spells. But they carry on, Donna dreaming of being a fashion designer while Will is determined to get a deed to one inch of Alaska territory through a radio promotion. Starting with the rescue of a mistreated husky, the siblings are changed by encounters with a new art teacher and a healer named MayJune. Then a diagnosis of leukemia propels them to pursue Will’s piece of Alaska and to uncover their mother’s story.

Verdict A cast of colorful but believable characters bring freshness and vitality to this bittersweet coming-of-age story. Book clubs and readers of all ages, from teens to their grandmothers, will identify with the protagonists’ quest to be true to themselves.—Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll. Lib., NC(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452298767
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/29/2013
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
740,691
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“This novel stakes a claim in your heart from its opening scene. Donna's quest for that one square inch of her brother's happiness becomes a journey of discovering her own worth, her own bravery, and her own authentic story. I adored these characters, feared for them, and rooted for them every step of the way.”

—Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals


"Sometimes, when you’re lucky, you come across a book so beautifully written, you know you will read it again and again. My One Square Inch of Alaska is one of those books. From the opening lines, you’ll be swept into the lives of Donna Lane and her little brother, Will. With a junkyard dog in tow, they travel from their small town in Ohio to the Alaskan territories in the 1950s, defying all odds to follow a seemingly impossible dream. The characters are carefully rendered and completely believable. I didn’t want this book to end!"
— Sherri Wood Emmons, author of The Sometimes Daughter

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Meet the Author

 Sharon Short lives with her husband and two daughters in Centerville, Ohio.

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