Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness

Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness

by Robert Specht

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553265965
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/1984
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 108,264
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.85(h) x 0.79(d)
Lexile: 840L (what's this?)

About the Author

Robert Specht was born and brought up in New York City. A late starter, he graduated from CCNY at the age of thirty-two after winning top awards in both short story and essay competitions. Soon afterward he headed for California, where he became an editor in the Los Angeles offices of a major book publishing firm. It was then that he met the heroine of this book and became fascinated with her story. Not until years later, however, after he became a freelance writer, was he able to sit down and devote his full energies to writing it.

Read an Excerpt

September 4, 1927
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Tisha"
by .
Copyright © 1984 Robert Specht.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Tisha 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books from my teen years. I just had to get it for my Nook, I spent the day rereading it and remembering what I loved about this book. It's a very easy read. Its a very good story about a young teacher who comes to Alaska to teach and she has to learn to overcome the fact that she is an outsider. I would recommend this book to any parent that is trying to find a good book for their pre-teen/teen to read. It's a good read for adults as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you were ever captivated by the magic of a winter day, this is a story that will enchant you. The life in the north was hard as were the people who lived it. But the author allows us to share the journey of Anne, the young woman who spends a year in Chicken Alaska, is changed by it and in turn leaves change in her wake. Well written, exciting, and cinematic, I highly recommend this book.
Gmaritatx More than 1 year ago
Of all the historical stories I've read about frontier life, Tisha was most rewarding. It made me feel I was there sharing her experiences in person. I felt her eager zeal to teach the children of a small Alaskan settlement that included white people, Alaskan Eskimo Indians, and mixed breeds. I deeply felt her compassion for the Eskimo and half-breeds who were challenged and unaccepted children by the white people of the settlement, because they were not treated equal. The mere determination of a 19-year-old girl with only a high school education who went into the Yukon, alone in the 1920s, to teach in unforturnate circumstances, and the unknown challenges she faced during the one season she taught is what kept the pages turning. It's her love story about the half-breed man she met there and married ten years after she left.
KuteKatS More than 1 year ago
I had to pick a novel to read over the summer for my high school English class. I chose Tisha: A biography about a 19 year old girl who travels to Chicken Alaska in 1927 to be a school teacher. Upon arriving, Anne discovers that a lot of the town's inhabitants are quiet racist against the "Indians" (Eskimos) and "half-breeds" (half "Eskimo" and half white). She is very disturbed by this and makes a point to include the "half-breed" children in all the school's activities; so they start calling her "Tisha", which means teacher. As news of this gets around Chicken, some men and woman scold Anne and are very condescending towards her. But Anne never stops believing that she must do what's right and just. Along the way, she meets a "half-breed" man, Fred. She treats him as an equal and they soon fall in love, but do now show it because a white woman and a 'half-breed" man were not supposed to be together. Plus their love for each other had such a negative affect on the town. People were starting rumors about them and some parents pulled their children out of school. As times goes on Anne changes the little town and transforms from a timid girl to a brave woman. You'll have to read for yourself to figure out the ending though ;) Tisha is filled with adventure, danger, life lessons and, of course, romance. I would highly recommend this book. Although the first couple chapters are slow, the reader is soon drawn into the lives of Anne, Fred and the children which makes it hard to put down the book. An emotional connection is made between the reader and the story, especially when the reader learns of the hard life and horrible discrimination that the "half-breed" children, and Fred and Anne experienced. That speaks to us even more when we know this was reality. Anne Hobes' life demonstrates a moral lesson every person should embrace: over look the small differences in people and judge them by their character, not their appearance. Also, Tisha reads more like a novel rather than a biography, so it is a very easy read.
breed More than 1 year ago
Great story adn after visiting the area I could feel the cold air as I read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased Tisha in a gift shop in Alaska. I love biographies and the cover said it was written in the style of James Herriott so I thought it would be a good read. I could hardly put the book down once I began reading it. I would compare it more to Catherine Marshall's 'Christy' than I would to a Herriott book though. My 13 year old niece is currently reading Christy. I am passing along my copy of Tisha to her to read next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was living in Alaska in 2001 when I read Tisha and was in awe of Her story, it made me sense her experiences,so much so I went on my own to Chicken. When there I closed my eyes and watched her story all over again. I recommend this story to all who really enjoy an excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a 4th grade teacher, I was given this book to read by another teacher friend. It sat on the shelf for two years. After a move, I found it and began to read. It was wonderful! So much history and learning situations from the Alaskan frontier. The characters really came alive and after I finished the book a few days later, I couldn't help but think about them! SUPER!! At the end, it mentions that Mr. Specht was working on a sequal, but I've yet to find it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed reading Tisha every winter and I never get sick of it. Back in 1995, I called information to see if I could contact the authors family and to my surprise... There is still no phone contact in Chicken Alaska. I loved this book and I will still continue to read it each winter.I have read it to my children and they loved it. so when they see that I've taken it off of the bookshelf, they ask if I will read it aloud each night when I read, (even though they are plenty old enough to read it on their own). Its an adventure that most will never experience, but through this book you can feel as though you are going through this journey yourself. I Love this book. I would have loved to have met Anne Hobbs in real life. What an opportunity that would be. :)
bookweaver on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I owned this for years, but I finally read it over Christmas break...excellent book.
countrylife on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Thoroughly enjoyable memoir of Anne Hobbs (1901-1987), Alaskan schoolteacher, as told to author Robert Specht. He took some liberty with location and age, but if the rest of the account is to be believed, Anne's was a remarkable life. Hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to teach in Chicken, a remote settlement in Alaska, this young 'white' woman does things her own way and treats all the children the same, white or Indian, which riles up the whites. Remembering her own youth, rejected for being part Cherokee while growing up in Missouri, and then dirt-poor in mining camps in Colorado, her Cherokee grandmother her only ally, Anne stands her ground to give her Indian charges an equal education and chance at life. Further complicating her role in the community, she falls in love with a half-breed. This is the story of Anne's adventures in Alaska, learning to live with scarcity, dealing with extreme cold and poverty, and with extremes in people, as well ¿ from gruff but kind-hearted 'old-timers' to openly resentful Indian-haters; from those who came to strike-it-rich and desperately want to leave but can't afford it, to those who love the wild country for what it is, the True Alaskans.Anne, herself, became a True Alaskan, living there most of her life. The last chapter of her book, dated 1975, tells the rest of her story, and I shan't give away the end, but it was fitting to her initial goals and her heart life. With a stunning sense of place, this is a nicely written story of courage and love. Recommended! (7 out of 10 stars)
estellen on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I loved every second of this endearing, sweet and interesting book. Paints a detailed picture of life in a small town in Alaska, its people, customs and history. Read and re-read constantly.
kathywbld on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Wow this is the real thing--can't beleive how the natives were treated
cmbohn on LibraryThing 8 months ago
themes: race, discrimination, love, education, survival, couragesetting: Alaska 1920sAnne Hobbs grew up in mining towns, but she decided she wanted some adventure, to do something different with her life. So she set off for Alaska to be a schoolteacher. She faces some harsh conditions there, but the hardest thing to deal with is the persistent racism against the Indians. Anne's own grandma was an Indian, and she was the only person who ever showed her unconditional love. Anne is the last person to hold someone's race against them. Whenever Anne needs a standard for how to behave, she looks to her grandmother. This puts her in opposition to most of the town people, but she refuses to back down.This is very similar in feel to Mrs. Mike. This also has a love story, but it's not such smooth sailing. Only after a tragedy is Anne able to find her way to a happy ending, and even then, it may take a while.I really loved this book. Great feeling for the place and time, the attitudes and the hardships settlers faced in Alaska. Highly recommended.
stacyinthecity on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is my mom's book. She let me borrow it about 20 years ago - around the same time we moved out of Alaska. For about the past 10 years or so, she has been asking for it back, so it was time to read it.I loved this book. I grew up in Alaska, so I was not blown away by the descriptions of the cold weather, deep snow, or dark winter. Those were facts of life. I've even ridden in dogsleds before. So instead I read those passages with a bit of nostalgia. Of course, I lived there in the 70s and 80s and I lived in Fairbanks so I had quite a bit more comforts!But this book is more than a story about the hardships of 1920s Alaska. When Anne Hobbs moved to Alaska, she not only encountered harsh winters and a very different way of life, but also prejudice and racism against the Native Alaskan people and anyone who had any native blood. This would not stand for Anne. She, being part native American herself, felt a deep compassion for all people, and couldn't see how the Athabaskans should be treated any differently than the whites.In doing this, she risked everything. The other settlers in the town disagreed with her decisions and made life difficult for her. She risked losing the man she loved, the children she loved, her job and future teaching, and so on.It is an adventure story with the harsh Alaskan frontier has a backdrop - not only cold weather, but dramatic dog sled races. And it is a love story.
labfs39 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
There are some books that I return to again and again, every few years, and never tire of their ability to charm. Tisha is one such story. I first read it as a girl and was drawn to the idealistic young teacher who travels to the Alaskan frontier to make a difference. As a young adult, I was impressed with Anne's independence and willingness to risk public censure to do right. Having just finished reading it once more, I am thinking of the sacrifices Anne and Fred Purdy made for each other, and how fierce was Anne's love for her adopted children. Simply told, with vivid characters, and a fast pace, I can't wait to share the book with my own daughter and look forward to my next reading of it.
BoundTogetherForGood on LibraryThing 11 months ago
One you don't want to end. A great book about teaching and about Alaska.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this story would recommend highly to everyone. Very hard to put down once you start the story. In a location that I would love to see someday.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the trials and tribulations of Alaskan life hut I thought it was a little repetitive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ann Hobbs, a 19 - year old teacher in 1928, followed her dream and went to Alaska to teach the children in the outback village of Chicken. Her grit, determination, and sense of right made her time there one of learning, enlightenment, and acceptance for the inhabitants of Chicken, and personal growth and insight for Ann.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was beautifully written to take the reader into the past, the landscape and the clashing cultural mindsets of that era. Excellent read for any lover of history searching for the hope learned from personal struggles to do the right thing against the odds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tisha is a true story about a young school teacher, embarking into the Alaskan wilderness to teach the children there. Her journey becomes a difficult one, fraught with icy weather and the dangers it poses to a horse caravan. At only 19 years old, Anne Hobbs is thrown into a world of cold, icy tundra, anger and hate. Despite this, she remains determined on her path to bring education to a developing community. Her adventure becomes even more difficult as she arrives in the town of Chicken and is suddenly forced to deal with the prejudice the townies feel towards the indigenous people living there. Instead of backing down, she continues to provide education for all the children, not excluding based on color. As she deals with the hostile feelings towards her from the town people because of this, she begins a different kind of journey, one of self-awareness and self-discovery. Not only learning things about those around her, Anne learns things about herself that allow her to grow into a morally sound and headstrong woman. This a story full of action, adventure, and unexpected love with a strong female heroin whose willful ways will keep you rooting for her throughout the story. I especially liked the detailed descriptions and the twists. I disliked the slow-moving start, but it's worth the wait for the adventure that lies ahead. People looking for the perfect mix of action and romance and an easy read should read this book, those looking for a non-opinionated, neutral read should not. The major message of this story is to stand up for what you believe in. This being based off the themes of prejudice, coming of age, love. I give it a total rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
ljmoore More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one. The story carries the reader along nicely. It was not predictable. The characters were believeable and fully developed. I felt entertained and educated.