Mosquito Girl

Author: Gwin, Sally

Subjects: American History; Mystery; Newspapers; Growing Up/Girls

Age: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 2672

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 2672S

Mosquito Girl Cover

“This unusual story will capture students’ interest while making a point about working to achieve a goal. Recommended for junior high school students.” – Kliatt Magazine

Fifteen-year-old Kate desperately wants to be a newspaperwoman. Her family had arrived in Alaska six months earlier from Minnesota, along with 150 other families taking advantage of the U.S. government’s offer of land to be turned into farming acreage. It is 1935, just before the first snows fly, and the newly settled colony of Palmer, Alaska, is still part tent, part wooden homes.

Clearing the heavily wooded land and building houses for their families is the men’s first priority. The women cook and sew and clean and tend to the children. But young Kate is of a different mind, and her determination and persistence are finally rewarded with menial jobs in the newspaper office of the town’s only paper. Her continued persistence gets her the chance to be an investigative reporter; her subject will be an old Laplander, Grandma Charles. Grandma’s grandson provides a gentle romantic interest for Kate, and readers learn the area’s history through their eyes.

Editor Hank Sloan is gruff and one-handed, and his past is a mystery. When an accident disables his typing hand, Kate takes over, unasked, to get the news in and the paper out. Caught up in the pressure of producing the paper, she neglects the time and rapidly worsening weather. When she finally does head home, she loses direction and nearly dies in the snow.

Running concurrently with Kate’s adventures as a newspaperwoman is the mystery of the published poison-pen letter that takes a grossly one-sided view of the government’s “abandonment” of the settlers in their winter plight. Kate and her teenage friends know that the letter threatens to influence the government to give up the homesteading project. They take action to unmask the writer and protect their new community.

The homesteaders embody the attitudes, hopes, and fears of Americans in the mid-1930s.

“This unusual story will capture students’ interest while making a point about working to achieve a goal. Recommended for junior high school students.” – Kliatt Magazine

Fifteen-year-old Kate desperately wants to be a newspaperwoman. Her family had arrived in Alaska six months earlier from Minnesota, along with 150 other families taking advantage of the U.S. government’s offer of land to be turned into farming acreage. It is 1935, just before the first snows fly, and the newly settled colony of Palmer, Alaska, is still part tent, part wooden homes.

Clearing the heavily wooded land and building houses for their families is the men’s first priority. The women cook and sew and clean and tend to the children. But young Kate is of a different mind, and her determination and persistence are finally rewarded with menial jobs in the newspaper office of the town’s only paper. Her continued persistence gets her the chance to be an investigative reporter; her subject will be an old Laplander, Grandma Charles. Grandma’s grandson provides a gentle romantic interest for Kate, and readers learn the area’s history through their eyes.

Editor Hank Sloan is gruff and one-handed, and his past is a mystery. When an accident disables his typing hand, Kate takes over, unasked, to get the news in and the paper out. Caught up in the pressure of producing the paper, she neglects the time and rapidly worsening weather. When she finally does head home, she loses direction and nearly dies in the snow.

Running concurrently with Kate’s adventures as a newspaperwoman is the mystery of the published poison-pen letter that takes a grossly one-sided view of the government’s “abandonment” of the settlers in their winter plight. Kate and her teenage friends know that the letter threatens to influence the government to give up the homesteading project. They take action to unmask the writer and protect their new community.

The homesteaders embody the attitudes, hopes, and fears of Americans in the mid-1930s.

Mosquito Girl Cover

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