Anne Hobbs is nineteen-years-old when she accepts a job to teach in a rural gold-mining village in Alaska. It's the 1920s, so things are a little different from today. This is obvious not only in the basics of everyday life, but also in the villagers' attitudes and prejudices. In this time period, Native Americans were certainly not accepted as equals. They were looked down upon as lesser people, dirty, uncivilized, with little hope for any improvement. So what does Anne do? She proceeds to fall in love with a "half-breed" and adopt two Indian children when their mother dies. Needless to say, she was not the most popular person in town.
But her struggle to stay true to who she is and what she knows is right is what makes this such a heart-warming tale. She could easily have given into the pressure of the townspeople, but instead she stands up for what she believes in. I'm not sure I could have stayed that strong if I were in her position.
Tisha (which, by the way, is how the Native American children pronounce "teacher") reminded me of two of my favorites - Christy by Catherine Marshall and All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. The struggles, the atmosphere, the spot-on portrayals of people are all things that these three books have in common. Tisha may not be the first book that jumps out at you on a bookshelf, but it is one that is definitely worth reading.