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Home  >  Lit Kids  >  From Alaska's Past
From Alaska's Past
Alaska's Flag  •  Disasters  •  Famous People  •  Gold Rushes  •  Iditarod  •  Russian America  •  World War II
Alaska's Flag
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Benny's Flag
Level   Ages 6 to 9
Author   Phyllis Krasilovksy
Illustrator   Jim Fowler
Publisher   Roberts Rinehart, 2002
A 13 year-old Aleut boy living at the Jesse Lee Home in Seward wins a statewide contest to design the flag for the new state of Alaska.
Disasters
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Blessing's Bead
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Debby Dahl Edwardson
Publisher   Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009
A novel for young adults about love, loss, and finding your way home.

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The Exxon Valdez's Deadly Oil Spill
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author   Linda Beech
Publisher   Bearport, 2007
In 1989 the largest oil spill ever happened in Alaska's Prince William Sound. This book tells the story of the who, how, and what happened.

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The Great Death
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     John Smelcer
Publisher   Holt, 2009
Based on a real story, this book tells of a period of great sadness in Alaska when as many as 60-70% of the Alaska Native population died from diseases brought by white people. This story focuses on two sisters who did not die.

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The Lamp, the Ice and the Boat Called Fish: Based On a True Story
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author     Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrator     Beth Krommes
Publisher   Houghton Mifflin, 2001
Based on a true story, read how a boat's crew survives a winter trapped in the Arctic ice.

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Togo
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author     Robert J. Blake
Illustrator   Robert J. Blake
Publisher   Philomel, 2002
Balto has gotten much of the credit for getting the life-saving serum to Nome, but Togo is the unsung hero. This is his story.
Famous People
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Benny's Flag
Level   Ages 6 to 9
Author   Phyllis Krasilovksy
Illustrator   Jim Fowler
Publisher   Roberts Rinehart, 2002
A 13 year-old Aleut boy living at the Jesse Lee Home in Seward wins a statewide contest to design the flag for the new state of Alaska.
Gold Rushes
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Children of the Gold Rush
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Claire Rudolf Murphy and Jane G. Haigh
Publisher   Alaska Northwest Books, 2001
It wasn't just men who came North looking for gold. Families followed. Meet some of the children and find out how they lived and played in Gold Rush towns of the north.

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Down the Yukon
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Will Hobbs
Publisher   HarperCollins, 2001
The sequel to Jason's Gold takes readers back to Gold Rush Dawson City. Jason and his girlfriend enter a boat race to Nome with a big prize but big risks.

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Enticed by Gold
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Douglas DeVries
Publisher   Jade Ram, 2003
The final book in a trilogy of Sven Olafsen, a 14 year-old boy, who came to the North in search of his father. In this book, he is trying to get back home.

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Fevering for Gold
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Douglas DeVries
Publisher   Jade Ram , 1999
Second in the Sven Olafsen trilogy. In this book, Sven and his sister Fieda head to Nome.

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Gold Rush Dogs
Level   Ages 14 & up
Author     Claire Rudolf Murphy and Jane G. Haigh
Publisher   Alaska Northwest Books, 2001
Dogs were great company and protection for lonely miners in the far north. Lots of photos and short stories show why these dogs were so special.

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Gold Rush Runaway
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Douglas DeVries
Publisher   Jade Ram , 1997
14 year-old Sven Olafsen runs away to the Far North in search of his father in the late 1800s, joining Lt. Castner's trail-cutting expedition along the way. Based on Lt. Castner's journals.

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Gold Rush Winter
Level   Ages 6 to 12
Author     Claire Rudolf Murphy
Illustrator   Richard Waldrep
Publisher   Random House, 2005
Young Klondy Nelson and her mother finally join her father in Nome. But will she fit in in this isolated gold rush town?

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Jason's Gold
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Will Hobbs
Publisher   Morrow, 1999
15 year-old Jason catches gold fever and heads north, making his way to the Klondike over the Chilkoot Trail in search of gold and his older brothers who left before he could.

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Klondike Gold
Level   Ages 9 to 12
Author   Alice Provensen
Publisher   Simon & Schuster, 2006
What happens when a man leaves his boring life behind and heads to the Yukon in search of gold? Mixed in with this story of adventure are sidebars filled with facts about the Klondike Gold Rush.

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Revolver
Level   Ages 12 & up
Author     Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher   Roaring Brook, 2009
A story full of suspense involving a 14 year-old boy, the Colt revolver his father taught him to shoot, and a stranger claiming he's owed half of the gold stashed at the remote cabin where the boy sits with his father's frozen corpse.

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The Bite of the Gold Bug: A Story of the Alaskan Gold Rush
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author   Barthe DeClements
Publisher   Viking, 1992
Part of the "Once Upon a Time in America" series, this book covers the Klondike Gold Rush through the eyes of a 14 year-old boy who travels with his uncle and father to the gold fields in 1898.

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The Call of the Wild
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author   Jack London
Publisher   Various publishers and editions,
Buck, stolen from his home in California, is shipped north during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush as a work dog. A classic tale of adventure and survival.

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The Klondike Cat
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author     Julie Lawson
Illustrator   Paul Mombourquette
Publisher   Kids Can Press, 2002
Young Noah doesn't want to leave the family cat behind when he and his father head to the Yukon in search of gold. Will the cat be a burden or bring good luck?
Iditarod
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Akiak: A Tale from the Iditarod
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author     Robert J. Blake
Illustrator   Robert J. Blake
Publisher   Philomel, 1997
Akiak hurts her paw during the Iditarod and has to be "dropped" but she refuses to go home. Anyone who loves dogs and the Iditarod will appreciate this adventure story.

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Granite
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author   Susan Butcher and David Monson
Illustrator   Sarah Douglas
Publisher   Trail Breaker Kennel, 2007
Susan Butcher won the Iditarod 4 times. Granite was her greatest lead dog, but he didn't start out that way. Susan saw potential in the scruffy pup and even when the doctors said he would never be strong enough to run the race, Granite and Susan didn't give up.

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Mush! Across Alaska in the World's Longest Sled-Dog Race
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author   Patricia Seibert
Illustrator   Jan Davey Ellis
Publisher   Millbrook Press, 1992
Nice introduction to the Iditarod Sled Dog race.

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Painter and Ugly
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author     Robert J. Blake
Illustrator   Robert J. Blake
Publisher   Philomel, 2011
A story of friendship and teamwork on the Iditarod trail.

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Storm Run: The Story of the First Woman to Win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race
Level   Ages 6 to 12
Author   Libby Riddles
Illustrator   Shannon Cartwright
Publisher   Sasquatch Books/Paws IV , 2002
This is the story of how Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod.

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The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Debbie S. Miller
Illustrator     Jon Van Zyle
Publisher   Walker, 2002
In 1925 children in Nome were dying. They needed medicine but the weather was so bad that no planes could fly, so dog mushers organized a relay that would carry the precious serum from Nenana to Nome.

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The Iditarod: Story of the Last Great Race
Level   Ages 6 to 12
Author   Ian Young
Publisher   Red Brick Learning, 2003
History of the Iditarod, stories of top mushers, and the top dogs of the race.

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Togo
Level   Toddlers to 9
Author     Robert J. Blake
Illustrator   Robert J. Blake
Publisher   Philomel, 2002
Balto has gotten much of the credit for getting the life-saving serum to Nome, but Togo is the unsung hero. This is his story.

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Woodsong
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Gary Paulsen
Publisher   Bradbury Press, 1990
For readers who love books by Gary Paulsen (Hatchet etc), this book gives you a look at Paulsen's own life and his love of adventure and dogs.
Russian America
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Dancing at the Odinochka
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Kirkpatrick Hill
Publisher   Margaret K. McElderry, 2005
The Odinochka is a trading post. The time is just after the Russians sold Alaska to the U.S. Life remains much like it was in Russian America…until Americans arrive to build a telegraph line.
World War II
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Aleutian Sparrow
Level   Ages 12 & up
Author     Karen Hesse
Publisher   Margaret K. McElderry, 2003
A moving story of Vera, a teenager who is forced to relocate with her fellow villagers when the Japanese invade the Aleutians.

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Gold Star Sister
Level   Ages 10 & up
Author     Claire Rudolf Murphy
Publisher   Lodestar, 1994
While helping take care of her Gram, 13 year-old Carrie discovers a long-held secret--her Gram had a brother who died in the Aleutians during World War II. Among his things is an unopened letter from a dying soldier to his infant son that Carrie vows to deliver.

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The Wind Is Not a River
Level   Ages 8 to 12
Author   Arnold Griese
Illustrator   Glo Coalson
Publisher   Boyds Mills Press, 1996
When the Japanese invade the Aleutians, two children escape capture. How do they survive?
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