365 Days to Alaska cover

In the middle grade novel 365 Days to Alaska, Rigel Jane Harman, age 11, loves her simple life in rustic Alaska. She’s good at hunting with her .22 rifle, fishing, and skinning rabbits. She spends many hours at the chores she’s called upon to do to help her little family keep warm and fed “off the grid.”

But her parents are divorcing, and her little world is falling apart. When she moves with her two sisters and her mother to live with Grandma in Connecticut, she feels like she’s moved to the moon.

She spends much of the next year pining for her old life, but gradually she begins to see some good things about her new suburban life. It’s a rich story, full of well drawn and unusual characters. Rigel has never been in school before, so she has a lot to adjust to.

Mostly she just wants to hang out with a crow behind the school, talking to him and feeding him, even though she knows that’s no way to respectfully treat a wild animal. Then one day, she can’t find the crow. Mayhem strikes. She feels so alone. Will anyone help her?

I enjoyed this story, which came full circle on itself in several ways. Homeschool families looking for a good, thoughtful read should be pleased with it.

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@Barrie Summy

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