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The Smell of Other People's Houses Hardcover – February 23, 2016
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A William C. Morris Award Finalist
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, 2016
“An exquisitely drawn, deeply heartfelt look at a time and place not often addressed. Hitchcock’s measured prose casts a gorgeous, almost otherworldly feel over the text, resulting in a quietly lovely look at the various sides of human nature and growing up in a difficult world.” —Booklist, Starred
"Using alternating narratives, debut novelist Hitchcock deftly weaves these stories together, setting them against the backdrop of a native Alaska that readers will find intoxicating. . . . will resonate with readers of all ages." —Publishers Weekly
“An affecting story of fractured love and surprising redemption.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred
“A multifaceted glimpse into [a] rich cast of characters. . . . An excellent debut.” —SLJ
“The Alaskan author depicts places and an era rarely seen in fiction for teens….All benefit from her journalist’s eye for detail.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Grounded in emotional honesty.” —The Horn Book
“An honest, gritty, and moving portrait of growing up in Alaska. Only someone who knows and loves this place through and through could tell this story. This book is Alaska.” —Eowyn Ivey, author of the New York Times bestseller The Snow Child
“As only a native of Alaska can, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock blends narratives of indigenous and non- into a buffet of pain and beauty. Highly recommended.” —Tim Tingle, author of the series How I Became a Ghost
About the Author
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock was born and raised in Alaska. She worked many years fishing commercially with her family and as a reporter for Alaska Public Radio stations around the state. She was also the host and producer of “Independent Native News,” a daily newscast produced in Fairbanks, focusing on Alaska Natives, American Indians, and Canada’s First Nations. Her writing is inspired by her family’s four generations in Alaska.
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I loved the glimpse of life on a fishing boat and summers spent at fish camp. I hope many young adults will read this book and develop an interest in exploring a world beyond television, video games and the internet...maybe get a hankering to go to Alaska for a summer - do some fishing and watch for orca whales.
I am not even sure who my favorite character was. The book is told from four different perspectives but each character seems to get enough time so that their story doesn't seem incomplete.
I hope to read more by this author in the future.
I do wish that this book had been longer but not because the story wasn't done well or needed elaboration. I just did not want the story to end!