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Publisher's Summary

This exciting pioneering story, based on actual events, introduces listeners to a fascinating chapter in American history, when FDR set up a New Deal colony in Alaska to give loans and land to families struggling during the Great Depression. 

Terpsichore can't wait to follow in Laura Ingalls Wilder's footsteps...now she just has to convince her mom. It's 1934, and times are tough for their family. To make a fresh start, Terpsichore’s father signs up for President Roosevelt's Palmer Colony project, uprooting them from Wisconsin to become pioneers in Alaska. Their new home is a bit of a shock - it's a town still under construction in the middle of the wilderness, where the residents live in tents and share a community outhouse. But Terpsichore’s not about to let first impressions get in the way of this grand adventure. 

Tackling its many unique challenges with her can-do attitude, she starts making things happen to make Alaska seem more like home. Soon, she and her family are able to start settling in and enjoying their new surroundings - everyone except her mother, that is. So, in order to stay, Terpsichore hatches a plan to convince her that it's a wonderful - and civilized - place to live...a plan that's going to take all the love, energy, and Farmer Boy expertise Terpsichore can muster. 

©2016 Carole Estby Dagg (P)2016 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"If Laura Ingalls Wilder had lived in Alaska, she might have written this novel.... Heartwarming.... A wonderfully satisfying ending.... Doesn’t romanticize the hardships these stalwarts faced. Dagg does a fine job evoking a realistic sense of time and place.... Trip’s a beautifully realized heroine, and readers will be heartened by her and her friends’ efforts to develop a sense of communal spirit in their new, pristine colony.... Cozy, charming, and old fashioned, but in a good way; fine for curling up and reading under the covers - in Alaska or elsewhere.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“With conscious homage to Wilder’s Little House books, Dagg evokes the same pioneering spirit in a Depression-era setting, lavishing attention on details about the homesteaders’ food and housing and indicating to readers how the technology available to Terpsichore’s family differs from Laura Ingalls’s time and from the modern era. Like Wilder, Dagg gives her story a gently episodic shape, moving lightly among school events and holidays, but the plot touches frequently enough on the book’s overarching elements to keep the momentum humming.” (The Horn Book)

“Eleven-year-old Terpsichore Johnson is vivacious, inventive, resourceful, and determined to help her family thrive in their new Alaskan home... Authentic references to the 1930s abound.... Fact and fiction and real and imagined personalities and events are seamlessly woven into this quaint, energetic, and engaging story. Short, lively chapters; dynamic characters; family struggles and unity; and well-blended Depression-era facts will capture and inform middle grade readers.” (School Library Journal)

What listeners say about Sweet Home Alaska

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A fun, sweet story!

I enjoyed this light and fun story. the performance is well done also. I do recommend.

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Such a great story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So so so so so so so so so so so good good good good good
I love it so much great historical fiction ❤️

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Sweet story 💕

Love this book neat how you could carve a town from scratch so cool I love to read to just like Terpsichore and I like to sing like cally and Polly I know how Terpsichore didn’t want to listen to all the stuff about spiders our seems to be full of stink bugs like Terpsichore’s pumpkins I love reading the little house on the prairie books to! Like Terpsichore!
Dimples are pretty I don’t have on though love this book so lol

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Great listen for all ages!!

The whole family truly enjoyed this book. Wholesome, light hearted, and fun. It was a pleasure to listen to.

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Perfect Book for a Road Trip

This book is great for a long road trip or just any occasions Our seven year old as well as my husband enjoyed it very much. Purchasing a hard copy to add to our library.

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Great story

We listened to this story on a family trip. Everyone enjoyed it. We highly recommend listening to it.

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Love this Slice of Local History

I was born less than 50 miles from the Matanuska Valley (where this book takes place) and I really enjoyed reading/listening to this story.

The story takes place during the Depression when Terpsichore Johnson and her family leave their home in Wisconsin to participate in the Matanuska Project set up by FDR to start a new farming colony. Terpsichore is a fan of the newly published Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and is eager to be a modern pioneer. Things, naturally go awry when the new town isn’t quite the paradise expected.

The descriptions of the area were accurate. I loved pointing out scene locations to my son when we are going through the Valley.

The tone is very young in nature. The story is largely pleasant, talking about financial difficulties and fears of disease. Danger is pretty far off, with no memorable animal encounters (which is a big part of Alaska life).

The narrator did a great job, especially being saddled with the name Terpsichore for a heroine. She, Terpsichore, refuses to shorten it however.

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  • JT
  • 08-05-21

Absolutely loved this book

As a former Alaskan who grew up in this area and it was great hearing this story. The narration, the overall story was wonderful. Well written and fun. I wish there was a sequel.

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Delightful Historical Fiction

Readers who love Little House on the Prairie will appreciate—nay, devour—this tale of a young woman becoming a pioneer in the 1930’s.

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Alaska Favorite

This is a favorite of mine and my daughter’s. Great story with enough actual history built in to make you want to dig deeper.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-19-22

Great book

Very enjoyable and wholesome. Enjoyed by myself and my three boys, age 7,11 and 12.