cover image My One Square Inch of Alaska

My One Square Inch of Alaska

Sharon Short. Plume, $16 trade paper (324p) ISBN 978-0-452-29876-7

It%E2%80%99s 1953 and high-school senior Donna Lane is desperate to get out of Groverton, Ohio. With a bitter grandmother, an alcoholic father, and a long-dead mother, there%E2%80%99s little reason to stay besides her brother Will, a 10-year-old obsessed with collecting cereal box tops in order to acquire a deed for one square inch of land in the Alaska Territory. Sneaking tips while working at her grandmother%E2%80%99s diner and secretly modeling for controversial art teacher Mr. Cahill, Donna saves to fulfill her dreams of becoming a fashion designer in New York City, hopeful her brother will be strong enough to stand up to their father without her. But Donna meets the new boy in town%E2%80%94handsome, influential, and rich Jimmy Denton, who can give her the life she never had, making it harder to escape. When Will falls ill, he becomes determined to take his dog to see his plot in Alaska and Donna realizes others have dreams of seeing the world outside of Groverton. Mystery writer Short (Death By Deep Dish Pie) wonderfully captures the feel of small-town 1950s, a young woman%E2%80%99s yearning for freedom, and her struggle to deal with how small, seemingly innocuous choices have life-changing consequences. (Feb.)