365 Days to Alaska by Cathy Carr

Published by Harry N. Abrams

365 Days to Alaska: Carr, Cathy: 9781419743801: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Rigel has lived all her life in the Alaskan bush with her parents and two sisters, thriving on their isolated, off-the-grid lifestyle.  So when her parents announce that they are divorcing and her mother is taking the girls to the home in Connecticut where she grew up, Rigel is devastated.  Her father, Bear, assures her that he just needs a year to get his life together and then she can come back and live with him.  As Rigel navigates middle school in suburban Connecticut, she silently counts down the 365 days, not telling anyone of her plans to return to Alaska.  At first her only friend is an injured crow that she discovers living behind the school, but as other kids and teachers reach out to her, she realizes she enjoys having human friends as well.  When Bear grows distant and repeatedly breaks promises, Rigel begins to realize that her year in Connecticut may not end the way she had originally planned.  272 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Fans of school and family stories and books featuring animals will enjoy getting to know Rigel and her family.  The descriptions of life in the Alaskan bush are interesting, and the family and friendship dynamics are realistic.

Cons:  Mean girl Hayden was pretty one-dimensional.

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