365 Days to Alaska (Hardcover)
A charming debut middle-grade novel about a girl from off-the-grid Alaska adjusting to suburban life
Eleven-year-old Rigel Harman loves her life in off-the-grid Alaska. She hunts rabbits, takes correspondence classes through the mail, and plays dominoes with her family in their two-room cabin. She doesn’t mind not having electricity or running water—instead, she’s got tall trees, fresh streams, and endless sky.
But then her parents divorce, and Rigel and her sisters have to move with their mom to the Connecticut suburbs to live with a grandmother they’ve never met. Rigel hates it in Connecticut. It’s noisy, and crowded, and there’s no real nature. Her only hope is a secret pact that she made with her father: If she can stick it out in Connecticut for one year, he’ll bring her back home.
At first, surviving the year feels impossible. Middle school is nothing like the wilderness, and she doesn’t connect with anyone . . . until she befriends a crow living behind her school. And if this wild creature has made a life for itself in the suburbs, then, just maybe, Rigel can too.
365 Days to Alaska is a wise and funny debut novel about finding beauty, hope, and connection in the world no matter where you are—even Connecticut.
About the Author
Cathy Carr grew up in Wisconsin, where a steady supply of her dad’s stories about his Alaskan adventures sparked her interest in the forty-ninth state. A former copy editor, library clerk, and technical writer, she now lives in New Jersey with her family and writes fiction.
“Rigel’s big heart made my own heart ache. A funny and poignant fish-out-of-water tale with all the right feels and an important reflection on how we can all find our way home.”
— John David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
“Rigel’s suspenseful journey toward finding a home for her brave and wild heart is one that will help us all discover the beauty and uniqueness of where we are.”
— Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World
“Readers will want to travel alongside Rigel as she struggles to survive the halls of middle school as well as she did the Alaskan bush. 365 Days to Alaska is a wonderful debut novel about compassion, belonging, and finding your way home when you feel lost in the wilderness.”
— Lynne Kelly, author of Song for a Whale
“Cathy Carr’s debut is a poignant novel about family and truth, particularly the uncomfortable truths between fathers and daughters, told in a voice full of insight, love, and humor. She’s an author to watch, full of wisdom and exquisite heart.”
— Carrie Jones, NYT bestselling author of the Need and Time Stoppers series
“Rigel Harman isn’t just any outsider—she’s an Alaskan Bush outsider. Carr’s empathic and outstanding debut novel will move readers of all ages, creating internal acceptance not only for Rigel but also for ourselves.”
— Bethany Hegedus, author of Grandfather Gandhi
"Rigel herself—homesick for her old life, uncertain (and ambivalent) about how to navigate this new one—is sure to resonate with young, housebound readers. A likable, timely debut."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Carr's heartfelt debut features classic middle-school problems, like dodging mean kids, as well as Rigel's vivid feelings of displacement and deep love for nature."
"This is a solid middle grades story with an unusual hook, and kids who have made their own adjustments will relate to Rigel."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Rigel is a fun character; she has a lot in common with average tweens trying to find their place in the world."
— School Library Journal