My One Square Inch of Alaska - Reviews
“This novel stakes a claim in your heart from its opening scene. Donna's quest for that one square inch of her brother's happiness becomes a journey of discovering her own worth, her own bravery, and her own authentic story. I adored these characters, feared for them, and rooted for them every step of the way.”
—Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals
"Sometimes, when you’re lucky, you come across a book so beautifully written, you know you will read it again and again. My One Square Inch of Alaska is one of those books. From the opening lines, you’ll be swept into the lives of Donna Lane and her little brother, Will. With a junkyard dog in tow, they travel from their small town in Ohio to the Alaskan territories in the 1950s, defying all odds to follow a seemingly impossible dream. The characters are carefully rendered and completely believable. I didn’t want this book to end!"
— Sherri Wood Emmons, author of The Sometimes Daughter
"Not only will young adults enjoy this heartwarming, family-oriented novel, but author Sharon Short will take baby boomers back to the 1950s, reminding them of their own coming-of-age experiences. I recommend this book to the individual reader, as well as to a book club looking to encourage thoughtful discussion..." — Saturday Evening Post
"A cast of colorful but believable characters bring freshness and vitality to this bittersweet coming-of-age story. Book clubs and readers of all ages, from teens to their grandmothers, will identify with the protagonists’ quest to be true to themselves."
"...wonderfully captures the feel of small-town 1950s, a young woman’s yearning for freedom, and her struggle to deal with how small, seemingly innocuous choices have life-changing consequences."
"Full of heart, My One Square Inch of Alaska evokes a specific slice of 1950s Americana, a rural town that appears bucolic but simmers with McCarthyism and labor strife. In Donna, Short presents a heroine forced into a youthful maturity that doesn't rob her of optimism, loyalty and amazing good sense."
"...a quest story that resonates for men as well as women in a heartwarming and compassionate way."
--Historical Novel Review
"I finished the book with tears in my eyes, ready to recommend it to friends and students alike.. An affecting read, appropriate for even the youngest high school audiences."
—School Library Journal
"The book weaves many different plots together to ultimately form a love letter to small town in an industrial 1950’s America. Short’s writing is rich with detailed descriptions... The plot is multi-faceted, which could come across as gimmicky in the hands of a less skilled writer, yet Short includes a little something for everyone. Readers will find themselves rooting for Donna and her family right from the start."
--The Ohioana Quarterly, Winter/Spring 2013 issue
"A lovely uplifting read – you’ll love it."
"This quixotic journey to the tundra becomes a quest to reveal what really matters in our lives. Sharon Short has written a tale that will pluck on your heartstrings and loosen up your tear ducts."
—Vick Mickunas, Book Nook Column, Dayton Daily News
"...an endearing story of a teenage girl who is balancing her dreams with the crushing reality of family responsibilities. Donna is a compelling character with whom readers can easily identify."
—Romantic Times Book Reviews
"...The truth and authenticity of Donna's memories of the pivotal year of her life simply bowled me over. That's not to say there isn't poetry in My One Square Inch of Alaska but that the novel is more down to earth, more personal than that... Be prepared because once you start listening to what Donna has to say, you'll be glued to your seat until she's finished her tale."
--Beth Fish Reads
"An ordinary tale told with extraordinary skill, My One Square Inch of Alaska is about the special qualities of a brother-sister relationship. It’s also about the hope that must endure no matter what devastating realities occur...this is a novel to be cherished by all readers who love any genre!" --Crystal Book Reviews
"This touching coming of age story will capture and hold your attention from start to finish. The finely nuanced characters and setting allow readers to get a feel of a time when McCarthyism and labor unions were the hot topics... shows the importance of living life and realizing ones dreams even in the face of obstacles. This is a delightful tale to curl up with as it celebrates living life to the fullest."
--Monsters and Critics
"It's not that often I read a book that can evoke so much emotion in me... Beautiful story. Five stars."
"My emotions ran wild while reading this book. Laughing, crying and panicking too at a few harrowing incidents. Sharon Short takes us on an incredible journey with Donna and Will. Readers from young adults to senior citizens will enjoy this tender story."
"This book picked me up in a red convertible with the top down and set me down right back in Ohio in the 1950′s... It was truly hard to say goodbye to Donna and her family and the cast of characters (in all senses of the word) in My One Square Inch of Alaska. This book is a beautiful piece of Americana, thought provoking, and a worthwhile read."
--A Traveler's Library
"One of the most beautifully written, most moving books I have ever read. A view into the beauty and grace of an extraordinary family. This book is a gift to all who read it."
"I definitely recommend this book...to readers of YA, historical fiction, and women's fiction... has something for everyone."
--Candace's Book Blog
"This book was so much more than I expected it to be... about grief and friendship, family, dreams and first loves... it will grab at your heart..."
—Eddy-New Rockford (North Dakota) Library Blog
"Recommended for older teen and adult readers. Special interest to readers looking for a sensitive coming of age story and anyone who ever dreamed of running away to the frontier."
--Born Librarian Blog
"...a sweet story with a plucky, brave trio at its heart."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A compelling, entertaining read My One Square Inch of Alaska is a story defining what it means to have hope, experience love and endure loss. This is an inspirational read that is suitable for all age groups. Ms. Short will take readers on a journey into the Alaskan Wilderness while teaching her readers what it means to survive life's greatest obstacles with an open heart..."
--Night Owl Reviews
"It’s entirely to the credit of this author that [the] tropes of gentle, small town adolescence angst have a fully dimensional, living breathing champion in the character of Donna."
--Heavy Feather Review