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The Kids from Nowhere Paperback – October 15, 2006
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From the Publisher
"This is a delightful visit to a small island in the Bering Sea without having to travel. The landscapes and seascapes are beautifully painted by an outsider, a non-Eskimo teacher, who learns to cherish and respect the culture of his students and the small village in which they live. It is a heart-wrenching story of a group of seemingly uneducable students who, with the coaching of their teacher, not only learn to love learning, but end up champions in a national competition."
--Jean Auel, author of Clan of the Cave Bear
"Straightforwardly, The Kids from Nowhere is a heart-lifting epic about the educational triumph of a group of Yupik Eskimo students from tiny, isolated St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. But the story unfolds on several levels at once and is equally revealing about the stunning dedication of their gifted teacher and guide, George Guthridge."
--Barry Lopez, award-winning author of Arctic Dreams
"The Kids from Nowhere is proof that people everywhere can accomplish amazing feats when given educational tools and instruction that fit their way of life and thinking. George Guthridge's poignant book is about hope rekindled in the icy north, and how a teacher learned to move from `teaching' students to `reaching' them. Read this book and discover how young people truly can learn commitment to a cause that, they come to realize, is much, much bigger than they ever initially imagined."
--Greg Mortenson, builder of schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan and coauthor of New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations One School at a Time
"No kids are more neglected than the kids of our Native Nations. This book is a welcome remedy to that lack of attention. It's inspiring as well as being well-written, the kind of tale that every teacher and every coach should respond to. I can't recommend it highly enough."
--Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki writer and storyteller, author of Jim Thorpe: Original All-American
"Beautifully written, The Kids from Nowhere is a victorious account of one teacher's journey with his Eskimo students from the edge of nowhere to the brink of endless promise."
--Janet Berliner, coauthor of Artifact
"Struggle is not unusual in the Arctic, but the struggle for intellectual accomplishment and personal integrity takes a new twist in this compelling and engaging narrative. . . .Guthridge's writing is immaculate and heartfelt as he skillfully explores village life, educational practice, and the desire to succeed."
--James Ruppert Ph.D., coeditor of Our Voices: Native Stories of Alaska and the Yukon
"We often talk about problems facing education. Guthridge offers solid solutions."
--Profs. John Creed and Susan Andrews, editors of Authentic Alaska: Voices of its Native Authors
"What a remarkable accomplishment!"
--Grace Corrigan (mother of Christa McAuliffe)
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More About the Author
I am probably best known for having coached ten students from the Siberian-Yupik (Eskimo) village of Gambell, on blizzard-swept St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, to national championships in academics. They became the only Native American team ever to do that -- and they did it twice.
Top Customer Reviews
In the matter of 'THE KIDS FROM NOWHERE: The Story Behind the Arctic Educational Miracle' the author is George Guthridge who not only is a fine educator but he is also a superb novelist. It is this added bonus of a beautifully written novel that just happens to contain a true story that makes this book so fine. Guthridge writes with utter clarity, presents his amazing facts, and yet relates this 'miracle' in a manner that makes every page a literary delight.
In 1982 teachers George and Mary Guthridge and their two young daughters accepted a teaching assignment out of financial desperation - a school in Gambell, Alaska on an isolated St. Lawrence Island between Alaska and Siberia, a school approaching collapse, peopled with Yupik 'Eskimos' known for their defiance of authority and apparent lack of ambition - a job that would pay well despite the formidable prospects. With wise insight and elegantly fluid style, Guthridge relates his time in Gambell, his family's assimilation into a new culture, and his approach to education that turned a 'trapped' class of young students into scholars by involving these inherently very bright students in a process called 'Future Problem Solving Program'.
Guthridge takes the reader to this strange place with his ability to create atmosphere and to define his cast of characters in a way that the True Story aspect of the book is merely one part of a most satisfying novel.Read more ›
George Guthridge went to Gambell to teach in 1982. His students were Siberian Yupiks, who called themselves Eskimos, who got their water from the village's tank, and who missed school to participate in the subsistence activities of their families and community. Located on the northwest corner of St. Lawrence Island, Gambell has a view of nearby Russia on the rare clear day. When he arrived, the Gambell schools had discipline as well as academic problems, and teacher turnover was very high. The school district was considering closing the high school.
Coming from the "outside"--outside of Alaska, Guthridge had much to learn. He learned about Eskimo culture, teaching methods, public school politics, and academic success. His story is also the story of the kids he coached. These kids had the typical Eskimo shyness. Guthridge learned to read the raised eye brow that meant yes, and the lowered brow that meant no. He learned to listen to the silence exchanges among the students--and the discussions in Yupik.
Guthridge was assigned to coach Future Problem Solving at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels. Initially, he did not know what Future Problem Solving was. It is a method of solving a problem set in the future, and a program to teach youth problem-solving skills.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very inspiring book. It should be mandatory reading for anyone teaching in the villages of Alaska.Published 4 months ago by kathy widmer
Oh my gosh what an amazing book!!!!! When I was done reading it the only word I could come up with was ..... Stunned! ...... Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. E. Hansen
Enjoyed the concept and learning about the Native Americans, but felt it was dry and slow in some areas of the book. Not one I would recommend to my friends.Published 4 months ago by Shellee
Great story and read. It is always amazing to learn what each person is capable of and this book tells the story of a group of kids and their teacher who learn that they are the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jwjkiwi
wonderful story of a reluctant teacher changing the lives of disadvantaged kids. everybody wins. a real feel-good true storyPublished 13 months ago by L. Wells
This was an amazing story of some students who no one but their teacher saw as gifted. With perseverance, imagination and the idea of tapping into the culture of the students to... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Victoria Amundson
Very well written Interesting true story about your people being taught and succeedingPublished 18 months ago by Cliff