Reading Group Guide

    ABOUT THE BOOK
    Ten-year-old Fred (Frederika) tells the story of school and village life among the Athabascans in Alaska during 1948 when Miss Agnes arrives to be yet another new teacher.
    THEMES
    Schools; Teachers; Alaska; Indians of North America
    DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
    • Why didn't Fred's mother think school was important?
    • Why do you think teachers always wanted to leave the village?
    • What are some differences between Fred's school day and yours? Are there any similarities?
    ACTIVITIES
    • The book is dedicated to Sylvia Ashton-Warner. Research this person.
    • Research the Native American groups of Alaska and chart them on a map of Alaska.
    • Study the American Sign Language alphabet. Learn signs for words significant to this story.
    This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
    Prepared by Diana Enriquez, Quinton Heights Elementary
    © William Allen White Children's Book Award
    Please visit http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/ for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.

About the Author

Kirkpatrick Hill
Photo Credit:

Kirkpatrick Hill

Kirkpatrick Hill lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. She was an elementary school teacher for more than thirty years, most of that time in the Alaskan "bush." Hill is the mother of six children and the grandmother of eight. Her three earlier books, Toughboy and Sister, Winter Camp, and The Year of Miss Agnes, have all been immensely popular. Her fourth book with McElderry Books, Dancing at the Odinochka, was a Junior Library Guild Selection. Hill's visits to a family member in jail inspired her to write Do Not Pass Go.

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