It’s a testament to Cindy Dyson’s power as a writer that I was able to identify with and root for a main character who is so different from me and has so many characteristics that I tend to think of as weaknesses (the casual drug use and the alcohol abuse in particular). I’ll try not […]

The Camp Robber – What a great name! This is one of the first birds that plays an important role in To the Bright Edge of the World, by Eowyn Ivey, and it’s one I hadn’t heard of before – at least not with that particular common name. When I started looking into this bird I […]

In the Author’s Note, Cindy Dyson talks about which parts of And She Was were true to Aleutian history and which were fictionalized. We don’t know if any groups of women broke taboos to hunt sea mammals during the Russian-Aleut War. We do know that many starved. As a mother myself, I imagined what a […]

“They are only bats, nothing more,” Mother said. Father whispered to me alone, “These are no ordinary bats. These are mice who swim with the stars.”

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

And She Was has some great quotes about the Aleutian Islands that really express the setting wonderfully: I read that a few archaeologists did not believe the standard ice age migration theory. … They did not believe that the Aleuts had come on clumsy feet, plodding after mammoths. No, they had come in boats agile […]

Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse was my first book choice for Alaska, and its eponymous bird was the reason for these parallel posts on bird sightings in my book choices. The Aleutian sparrow is a variety of Song Sparrow, which is described as a larger, darker variety according to the Audubon online bird guide. I […]

I need to make something clear here: I’m still finding my way through this challenge, and I may make mistakes. Especially when it comes to picking books. We’ve all done it – you pick up a book, the cover looks interesting, the blurb sounds cool, maybe you see a review or two that make it […]

This books brings up some great discussion topics – things I’d be interested in hearing about from other people’s perspectives. Below I’ve posted three broad topics / questions that I would love to hear your thoughts on. In the next week or two, I will also be posting a link to my thoughts for each […]

Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse was a quick but interesting read. The story is a fictionalized first-hand account of the relocation of Americans from the Aleutian Islands to camps in southeastern Alaska (near Ketchikan in this case), and the hardships they endured there. It’s classed as Children’s Literature, and it’s definitely one I could see […]

Although I said in my challenge criteria that I wasn’t going to go in any particular order, I began doing a little research in alphabetical order and got excited about several of the books I discovered for Alaska (sorry Alabama – I’ll get back to you!). Alaska is the only state in the US that […]