Episode # 23

Sweet Home Alaska

Carole Estby Dagg

This exciting pioneering story, based on the far-flung New Deal Colony FDR set up in Alaska, introduces readers to a fascinating—and largely unknown—episode in American history.
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On Sale Date:


10 + / 5 +
Nancy Paulsen Books




Sweet Home Alaska

It’s 1934, and times are tough for Trip’s family after the mill in their small Wisconsin town closes, leaving her father unemployed. Determined to provide for his family, he moves them all to Alaska to become pioneers as part of President Roosevelt’s Palmer Colony project. Discouraged at first with the lack of amenities—most of the pioneers are living in tents due to the lack of proper building supplies, and waiting in line at the community outhouse is a regular occurrence—Trip and her family soon start settling in. Everyone except her mom, that is, who balks at the lack of civilization. But Trip, who feels like she’s following in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s footsteps, loves her new home. She helps her family build a barn and house on their own plot of land and raise food to last through the winter, and she and her friends start a library. Then she hatches the biggest plan of all—raising enough money to buy a piano, to convince her musical mother that Alaska is a wonderful—and cultured—home after all. With her sights set on the cash prize at the upcoming Palmer Colony Fair, Trip is determined to grow the largest pumpkin possible—using all the love, energy, and Farmer Boy expertise she can muster.

Praise for The Year We Were Famous

— Winner of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising Manuscript

— Amelia Bloomer list of the best books for youth

“The journey in itself is amazing, but Dagg’s tender portrayal of a mother and daughter who learn to appreciate and forgive each other makes it unforgettable.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

Carole Estby Dagg also wrote the middle-grade historical novel The Year We Were Famous. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and has lived in Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia. She has degrees in sociology, library science, and accounting. She spends most of her time writing and reading, but her real-life adventures include tiptoeing through King Tut’s tomb, sandboarding the dunes of western Australia, riding a camel among the Great Pyramids, paddling with Manta rays in Moorea, and smelling the penguins in the Falkland Islands. She is married with two children, two grandchildren. Her son lives in Palmer Alaska, and that is what inspired her to write this story. She splits her writing time between her study in Everett, Washington, and a converted woodshed on San Juan Island.