Book Review: The Year of Miss Agnes

Posted by Faith Bible Church on March 8, 2024
Book Review: The Year of Miss Agnes

Review written by Frannie Sousa (age 9).

The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill is a sweet story that all kids will love if you read it aloud. This story, set in 1948, is told by 10-year-old Frederika (or Fred for short). They live in Allakaket, a small town in Alaska. This book is about how a good teacher changed Fred’s life.

All the teachers they have had in their small town have not been good teachers, they do not like the smell of fish, and they are not very nice. Some of their other teachers have not even been able to teach an entire year in the school. Those teachers could not handle the rough Alaskan climate, the isolation, and the food—lots of fish.

Fred is relieved when she finds out that Miss Agnes does not mind the smell of fish—she has sinus problems and cannot smell anything! Miss Agnes comes to Allakaket by plane, and right away the kids can tell she is different. Miss Agnes wears pants!

First, she sets aside their old, beat-up schoolbooks that were not even new when they got them. Miss Agnes fills her classroom with all sorts of things the kids have never seen: a record player, a whole bunch of new art supplies, and a big world map.

Fred has an older sister named Bokko who's 12. Bokko is deaf and no one in the town knows how to help her—her mother does not even send her to school. But the new teacher, Miss Agnes, helps by teaching her sign language. Fred is really surprised that Bokko can learn after all. “It was hard to do, this sign language … but it’s better to kick some instead of just sinking.”

If you like inspiring books, this is an enjoyable book for you. This is a good book for ages 7 and up to read on their own, and kids younger than that would love it as a read-aloud.

Frannie Sousa (age 9) holds The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill.

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