Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Year of Miss Agnes

A delightful little book.
Read it.
You will probably enjoy it.
The characters will endear themselves to you.
Miss Agnes will endear herself to you.

In The Year of Miss Agnes, Miss Agnes is the new teacher for this little Alaskan village. She is a no-nonsense, yet very commonsense teacher for these children who hate school. She brings the world to her classroom.

"Miss Agnes used the big map to teach us geography. She pointed out the continents with a yardstick, and then she showed us how to find Alaska every time.

"We had to look for the old man's beard and the fat nose. The beard was all islands. the Aleutian Islands. I never knew about hose.

"Then she took out a folded-up map, a map of just Alaska. It was as big as two desks, so we pushed Little Pete's and Roger's desks together, and there we were.

"There was the Koyukuk River, our river, and the Yukon, down below us, and all the villages, even Dolbi, our old village that no one lived in ago. And there was Fairbanks and Anchorage. All the little creeks were there, and the long lakes and the slough....

"It was so interesting, somehow, seeing it there on paper. I never saw the big boys so excited about anything in school."
Her methods of teaching are much like the ones many of us embrace. Miss Agnes inspires the children to think beyond the confines of the village and the fish camp and its labor-intensive work. She inspires the children to dream and realize the possibility of those dreams happening one day.

I will push The Year of Miss Agnes, a juvenile fiction book, on a few of my reluctant readers when school resumes this Wednesday. Look in your public library for it. For us adult readers, it's more of a short story than a book at only 113 pages. And a heart-tugger at that.


StephieK said...

Oh thank you Janie for recommending this book. I just requested it at our local library for my children to read and they have 12 copies! :o)

Stephanie in FL

Michelle said...

This sounds like a really good book, Janie! I often find that I glean so much from children's literature! This seems like it would be an excellent book for both adults and children!

Shannon said...

If you would like to take another quick little trip to an Alaska classroom, the book "Tisha" is quite moving.

Meanwhile, I will add your book to my book store list!