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The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
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The Year of Miss Agnes

by Kirkpatrick Hill

Other authors: Peter Knorr (Illustrator)

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1,0431612,230 (3.96)16
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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
In her small Alaskan village, Fred (short for Frederika) is used to having teachers come and go...but mostly go. This teacher seems different. Miss Agnes doesn't mind the fish smell from lunch, she puts the dingy old books in storage and covers the walls with maps and pictures and reads aloud. She even invites Fred's older sister Bokko to come to school even though she's deaf. The students know that they only have Miss Agnes for one year before she moves back to England but they are determined to learn as much reading, writing and math as they can - and so is Miss Agnes.

This book makes me smile! I love the simple dedication Miss Agnes has to teaching and the pride Fred and the other students take in their learning is fantastic. Between being set in 1948 and in the Alaskan wild, there is a lot for students to take in that is quite different than the world they know. ( )
  agrudzien | Jul 24, 2018 |
Lovely. Heart-warming, entertaining, and educational.

First, though, I have to disagree just a bit with another reviewer who accuses this of being just another unrealistic story about the amazing success of an inspirational teacher. Miss Agnes had already honed her craft on other Alaskan children for years in another, larger school. And most of these kids were *eager* to learn whatever they could in between all the migratory fishing and trapping activities.

And Miss Agnes knew enough about their traditional culture to respect it. Compared to the other teachers who had tried to serve in this village, almost anybody could have had some success - Miss Agnes had more because she knew her stuff - and because the student body, even at full-capacity, was fewer than a dozen students in all grades together.

And that's what made this very short book so successful for me. I did believe in it, and Miss Agnes' teaching strategies, with all my heart. I especially found the details of Alaskan life and culture, circa 1948, very interesting. I like how Fred tells Grandpa that 10M. people died in WWII, 20 M wounded, and Grandpa reflects about how isolated they were, and how they had no idea the war was such a big deal.

Lots of good stuff in a very short book. Hill could have written an adult-sized novel, but instead she pared every non-essential episode, every non-essential word, from the story, making it accessible to even the youngest independent readers. A fast reader should take the time to reread it, and catch more of the details as they skip by. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Hill, Kirkpatrick. The Year of Miss Agnes. NY: Aladdin Paperbacks. First Aladdin Paperbacks edition. 2002. 115 pp. Primary.

Fred narrates the story in first person about her school and Athabascan village in Alaska during 1948 when Miss Agnes comes to teach. 10-year-old Fredricka, her deaf sister Bokko, and their classmates have Miss Agnes Sutterfield from England teaching. They live along the Koyukuk River, and the children love Miss Agnes’ and her belief in her students. This easy-to-read story is heart-warming and its theme is centered on a teacher who encourages her students in a positive way.

AK Content: Hill incorporates Athabascan words in this story, and places the village in an accurate location for an Athabascan village before Alaska’s statehood. It also is a relevant story because many schools that are only reached by bush planes are constantly getting a new teacher every year.

Activity: Miss Agnes selected some fun books to read that her class really liked. Let’s do the same thing. We could read Robin Hood, or a story based in Alaska, such as King Island Christmas or Storm Boy depending on the age of my class.
  Tlholen | Mar 28, 2016 |
Fiction: Chapter Book
Hill, Kirkpatrick The Year of Miss Agnes. Simon &Schuster, 2000. 115p. Upper Elementary
In 1948, in a small Athabascan village on the Koyukuk River, 10-year old Fred, her deaf sister Bokko, and the other children, get a new teacher, Miss Agnes Sutterfield, originally from England. This is Fred’s first person account. Told using words a child of that place and time would use; it is easy-to read. The tone is heart-warming and hopeful. Theme is the great value of a teacher who believes in her students.
AK: Athabascan village life, Koyukuk River, fish camp
Activity: Have the students find the Koyukuk River on a map. Ask them is they would like to have a teacher like Miss Agnes-why or why not? ( )
  LoriOrtega | Jul 6, 2015 |
Very inspiring story of a teacher who came to a small community in Alaska where she transformed the environment of the school and changed lives of students and parents alike. I think it would have appealed to me in upper elementary school grades. ( )
  thornton37814 | Aug 24, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kirkpatrick Hillprimary authorall editionscalculated
Knorr, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689851243, Paperback)

A year they'll never forget

Ten-year-old Frederika (Fred for short) doesn't have much faith that the new teacher in town will last very long. After all, they never do. Most teachers who come to their one-room schoolhouse in remote, Alaska leave at the first smell of fish, claiming that life there is just too hard.

But Miss Agnes is different -- she doesn't get frustrated with her students, and she throws away old textbooks and reads Robin Hood instead! For the first time, Fred and her classmates begin to enjoy their lessons and learn to read and write -- but will Miss Agnes be like all the rest and leave as quickly as she came?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ten-year-old Fred (short for Frederika) narrates the story of school and village life among the Athapascans in Alaska during 1948 when Miss Agnes arrived as the new teacher.

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