My One Square Inch of Alaska: A Novel

( 7 )

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 ...

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My One Square Inch of Alaska: A Novel

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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.

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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.)
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 Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 562,765
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A pair of siblings escape¿along with a Siberian Husky¿the strict

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




    Donna Lane has been saving her money and working hard so that when she graduates she can head to New York to study fashion design. Her younger brother Will is obsessed with the with the television show Sergeant Striker and the Alaskan Wild. The show is running a contest with a very special prize that Will intends to win. He just needs 10 cereal box tops to get his own square inch of the Alaskan Territory. Then he is going to travel there with a beat up and abused Siberian Husky from the local junkyard to stake his claim.




    Then Will gets sick and Donna decides to put her dreams on hold so she can fulfill her brother’s dream instead. They are soon packed up in her mother’s old yellow convertible, pulling a small camper, with Trusty the husky in the backseat, and a road atlas to guide their way. They are off on the adventure of a lifetime.





    I first became acquainted with this author through her cozy mysteries. I saw on Facebook awhile ago that she had a new book in the works in a totally different genre. That story was finally released last week. It is a beautifully written inspiring story.




    Donna Lane has strength and courage way beyond her years. Taking care of her dysfunctional father and her brother was hard enough, but then to pack up a car and travel thousands of miles to make her little brother’s dream come true leaves me awestruck. So many things could and did happen on their travels.




    My heart was warmed by the hope that both Donna and Will had but also by the hope MayJune and Miss Bettina had as well. None of them had an easy life. They just took the lemons of their life and made lemonade. They kept pushing forward trying to make each day better than the last.




    My emotions ran wild while reading this book. Laughing, crying and panicking too at a few harrowing incidents. Sharon Short takes us on an incredible journey with Donna and Will. Readers from young adults to senior citizens will enjoy this tender story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2013

    A sweet, wonderful story which I truly enjoyed.  

    A sweet, wonderful story which I truly enjoyed.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Loved it

    What a wonderful read! Laughed, cried, laughed again - loved it!




    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I won't give you the entire plot, if you have read the synopsis then that is all you need to know.

    It was totally different from anything I have read recently and as much as I like chick lit, it was a nice change! This is my first time reading this author but I hope to find more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Donna Lane is a young girl with a vivid dream of becoming a nota

    Donna Lane is a young girl with a vivid dream of becoming a notable designer, a field she ardently loves. Yet she also feels bound to stay home in a small Ohio town with her father, who seems oblivious to everything and everyone and her brother, Will. All seems relatively normal aside from living without the guiding hand of a loving mother. Will is obsessed with a TV Show focusing on its hero, Sergeant Striker, and is determined to collect enough cereal box tops to win ownership of “one square inch of Alaska” and a trip there with his hero.
    Life has other plans in a sense. Will becomes very, very ill. Donna is determined for him to have his one big wish granted but finds out that the Alaska game is a big fat scam. However, that doesn’t deter her and she decides to take Will to Alaska and get him his one square inch. The rest of the novel is about their harrowing trip where strangers assist them after falling in love with their dream wish, all of this as Will is becoming weaker and weaker.
    An ordinary tale told with extraordinary skill, My Own Square Inch of Alaska is about the special qualities of a brother-sister relationship. It’s also about the hope that must endure no matter what devastating realities occur, whether that be the disappointments from crooked liars who promise large and deliver small or nothing or from the battle between hope and despair in the face of terminal illness – the fact that one is not dying but is fully living until one dies – a phenomenon we often forget applies to all.
    Tenderly and humorously told, this is a novel to be cherished by all readers who love any genre! Well done, Ms. Short!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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