Toughboy and Sister

Toughboy and Sister

by Kirkpatrick Hill
     
 

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After Momma's death, Toughboy and Sister find themselves in the care of Father, who spends more time in the local bar than looking after his children. With help from the women in the village, though, Toughboy and Sister get through the rest of the winter without Mamma.
Finally, spring comes: time to make the long-awaited annual trip to the fish camp with

Overview

After Momma's death, Toughboy and Sister find themselves in the care of Father, who spends more time in the local bar than looking after his children. With help from the women in the village, though, Toughboy and Sister get through the rest of the winter without Mamma.
Finally, spring comes: time to make the long-awaited annual trip to the fish camp with Father. Once they arrive at their cabin, things start to look up for the children -- the fish camp is always fun, and Father seems to be in good spirits. Maybe their fractured family will be all right.
Or not.
When Father goes to town and drinks himself to death, Toughboy and Sister are suddenly left to fend for themselves in the Alaskan wilderness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Survival is at stake when a boy and his sister are stranded at their family's Yukon fishing camp. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Two Athabascan children are left to survive by their own skills when their drunken father suddenly dies. Eleven-year-old Toughboy and his younger sister have not really recovered from the recent death of their mother when they head out with their father to their remote Alaskan fishing camp. Their abilities to cope with the hardships and dangers and the strengths and weakness of these siblings make a captivating story. 1992 (orig.
School Library Journal
Following their parents' deaths, two young Athabascan Indians work together to survive in the family's remote fish camp on the Yukon River. Hill ably depicts a lifestyle unfamiliar to many continental Americans. Through Toughboy and Sister, she illuminates the larger community of Athabascans, showing their values and strong belief in family ties. Athabascan words are smoothly explained in the text. Toughboy and Sister are not idealized characters; they learn to get along because they have to, and each tries to be strong to reassure the other. Readers will enjoy the idea of children their own age figuring out how to cook, fish, and kill a bear. The story is quietly told, which may be its biggest problem; while the setting and characters are vivid and appealing, the dramatic aspects of the tale are understated. Toughboy and Sister accept their father's death with a worldly wise sense of resignation. A confrontation with a bear, forshadowed in the jacket art and throughout the story, is oddly anticlimactic. The tone and ideas are similar to those in O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins (Houghton, 1960) and Paulsen's Hatchet (Bradbury, 1987), but Toughboy and Sister lacks their depth and excitement. Easily read and accessible, this miniature portrait of Alaskan Indian life is not a high-priority purchase, but would be a good choice for larger collections. --Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, County of Henrico Public Library--Fairfield Area Library, Richmond, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689839788
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
09/01/2000
Edition description:
1 ALADDIN
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,145,569
Product dimensions:
0.30(w) x 5.00(h) x 8.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Kirkpatrick Hill lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. She was an elementary school teacher for more than thirty years, most of that time in the Alaskan "bush." Hill is the mother of six children and the grandmother of eight. Her three earlier books, Toughboy and Sister, Winter Camp, and The Year of Miss Agnes, have all been immensely popular. Her fourth book with McElderry Books, Dancing at the Odinochka, was a Junior Library Guild Selection. Hill's visits to a family member in jail inspired her to write Do Not Pass Go.

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