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Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1984

4.8 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anne Hobbs is a prim and proper 19-year-old schoolteacher who yearns for adventure. She finds this and much more in a town with the unlikely name of Chicken, located deep in the Alaskan interior. It is 1927 and Chicken is a wild mining community flaming with gold fever. Anne quickly makes friends with many of the townspeople, but is soon ostracized when she not only befriends the local Indians but also falls in love with one. A heartwarming story in the tradition of Benedict Freedman's classic, Mrs. Mike, Tisha is one of those rare books that stays with the reader for years, beckoning to be read again and again. --Maudeen Wachsmith

About the Author

Specht was born and brought up in New York City. He graduated from CCNY at the age of 32 after winning top awards in both short story and essay competitions. Later he moved to California where he became an editor in the Los Angeles offices of a major book publishing firm. Today he is a freelance writer.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 6.1.1984 edition edition (July 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553265962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553265965
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
For my 13 birthday I was given a copy of "Tisha". I loved it! Not just because grandfather wrote it but because it is an inspiring story. The librarian and my teacher were very surprised to find out who I am. Everyone loves this book. It was written a long time ago, but is still read by adults and their children. When people travel to Chicken Alaska they buy the book and then they write a fan letter. My grandfather died 3 years ago. I am proud of his work.
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By A Customer on February 20, 2004
Format: School & Library Binding
This is a great account of how early life in Alaska truly was. My father mined with Fred Purdy from the late 30's till the war broke out and he enlisted. After he married my Mother they moved back to Chicken and my Mother became a close friend to Anne. While Fred and Anne adopted other children over the years they always had a house full of everyone else's children too, a sign of their loving and open nature. The flavor of this book reflects the bias of the "Outsiders" to the local natives that still runs uneasily under a more modern and progressive time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1927 young Anne Hobbs goes to Alaska to be a teacher and to have an adventure. Having no family left in Colorado, she seeks to do something special as her beloved grandmother predicted she would. She finds life difficult because of inclement weather and a lack of conveniences, but the biggest problem she faces is that of prejudice. She seeks to teach and befriend all of the people in the small town of Chicken, Alaska, where she lives but she soon discovers that her kindness towards Indian children raises the ire of the white people in the town. She has to face up to the local school board and the town's people before she is allowed to teach Indians in her school. As if that isn't bad enough she ends up falling in love with a "half-breed" and adopting some mixed-race children. This book is full of adventure and real insight into what it was like to live in Alaska in the 20's. It is also a triumphant story of one woman's love and her persistance in encouraging justice in her small Alaska town.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I met Anne Hobbs Purdy in Junior High School. Her story captured my imagination and still does to this day. I have read Tisha many times and every reading captures my heart. Her courage to stand for what she believed to be right in the face of opposition, is a lesson that carries through almost 80 years later. Alaska, seen through her eyes, is a place of incredible beauty and harsh reality. Even though I wanted to crawl into the pages and do battle with some of the characters, they also earned my grudging respect. Anne's will power, strength of heart, and sheer determination to do what she knew was right, made her a formidable force. The book I own is a treasured possession, signed for my father. She writes, "Happy landings from the Land of the Midnite Sun, Yellow Gold, and Determined mosquitoes." A must read book!
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Format: School & Library Binding
Set in the wilderness of Alaska in 1927, our heroin Anne Hobbs takes us through the adventure of being a young, open-minded female schoolteacher in the mining settlement of Chicken.
Anne arrives in Chicken to find the schoolhouse a shambles and barely any materials to teach with. Through the support of the community she is able to create living quarters and get her classroom in order. Being the newcomer and softhearted type, Anne opened her classroom to more than white children. Anne soon learns that the community isn't receptive to her way of thinking but they can't deny she is a good teacher and that Chicken is very lucky to have her. Anne takes us through her struggles and triumphs as her year in Chicken slowly goes by. We always are aware of the weather, surroundings, people, and her classroom accomplishments. Every twist and turn this story takes, you will find yourself wanting to reach the end.
This book was my favorite when I was a little girl and continues to be today. I remember how addicted I got to the storyline and how much I wanted to know how Anne was going to survive her first year teaching in Alaska. Most importantly, we can't overlook the year in which this happened, 1927, where it happened, Alaska, and how open Anne was to the idea of school integration. It amazes me that she didn't want to deny any child or adult an education regardless of race. This is the part of the book that I found the saddest and felt the proudest. I was saddened by the way the white settlers treated and thought about the native people. I was proud of Anne for standing up for what she believed in and that was equality. Tisha will always have a special place in my personal library and Anne Hobbs my personal role model.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Last year (1999-2000) the teacher in my literature class made us read a book that had to do with Alaska (this being more of the state spirit they try and cultivate at school). My mom suggested Tisha, and I finished it shortly after she dug her copy off of her book shelf. The true story of a lady who went to teach in Chicken Alaska was very interesting. I learned things about the way life was in 1927 in Alaska, because now it's very different from that. The racial predjudices that some of her students face are very interesting, and I found this story captivating.
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