After their parents die, Toughboy and Sister find a home with Natasha, the oldest woman in their Alaskan village. When winter comes, she takes them out of school to her trapping camp, where they learn to live off the land as their ancestors did. Then Natasha’s friend Nelson comes to visit – and is so badly injured that Natasha must leave camp to get help. The temperature drops to fifty degrees below zero, and no one knows when Natasha will return. Can Toughboy and Sister keep Nelson – and themselves – alive?

Click here to read about the making of this book.

American Bookseller Pick of the Lists 1993

 BerlinSenat Commissioner for Foreigners’ Affairs Award for Children’s Literature for Indianerwinter.1997:
Eulogy from Presentation speech: There are books which immediately speak to our senses, so that we not only read them, but also smell, taste, feel and hear them…such a book is Wintercamp…those who read the book can hear the silence of the solitary winter landscape of Alaska, can smell the dry snow that crunches under the shoes, can feel the freezing cold invading the small hut through all the gaps…Of course the events described do not have much in common with the everyday life of young readers in Europe but this probably increases the appeal of the book and may stimulate the reader to learn, because the message of the author is also instructive, but in an unobtrusive way.

  1. #1 by Shaylene on October 11, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Shaylene Egoak
    P.O box 52123
    Akiak, ak 99552

    Dear Ms. Hill,

    Hi my name is Shaylene I am in the 7th grade, I live in Akiak. It is on the Kuskokwin River.
    I have read one of your books, and it is called ”Winter Camp.” It is an interesting book.

    One time i went for a boat ride with my family to Keseralik. We went to go rod and reeling,
    We caught a lot of rainbow trout. We ate one of the fish we caught. We cooked it over
    the fire. We stayed almost the whole day and I had a lot of fun, but we don’t camp there.
    This is one of the things I do on the Kuskokwin River.



  2. #2 by arsaar japhet on October 11, 2013 - 12:00 pm

    Dear Pat Hill,
    I like your books. I like Winter Camp and Minuk because they describe what the characters are like. One day before summer ended most of my family went fishing. I was sure I would catch a fish that day. That day I kept on snagging until 9:00 I started to catch something. I couldn’t believe it I caught a pike; After a while we moved to a different spot. I caught 6 pikes. After that we went home because it was to cold and we were hungry. That is my life in the river.


    • #3 by Kirkpatrick Hill on October 12, 2013 - 1:35 pm

      Arsaar, I hope you know how lucky you are. When I see how kids live in a big town like Fairbanks I’m sorry for them. You’re out there on the river and get to do great things, and see the birds and trees and watch the river freeze up. If Fairbanks is bad, imagine what it’s like to live in Chicago or something! We caught a pike once that had a rifle shell in its belly! Love, Pat

  3. #4 by Ray on October 11, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    Ray Egoak, Akiak Alaska 99552

    Dear Ms,Hill,

    My name is Ray.I read one of your books.The book is called Winter Camp; it is interesting.
    i live in a village by the Kuskokwim River. There are close to 400 people in our village. I know everybody; 105 kids go to the school and we have 12 teachers. I am a 7th grader with 14 students in my class.


  4. #5 by Carl Smith on October 11, 2013 - 12:03 pm

    Carl Smith
    AKIAK,AK 99552

    Dear Ms. Hill,

    I’m reading the book Winter Camp. Some parts are interesting.I like it when Sister fell in the ice because it got me scared.
    One day, I went to go check our fishing net, go duck hunting, and picking berries. I caught 3 or 4 ducks, 50 fish, and 10 gallons of berries. My grandpa, gram, and I went.


  5. #6 by petercharlwes on October 16, 2013 - 12:03 pm

    Dear Pat Hill,
    The book I read is Winter Camp it makes me think how it was back in the old days how people used to live. Sometimes I ask my mom and my dad how it was when they were young and how they used to live.
    Peter Charles III

  6. #7 by Makayla on October 16, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    Makayla George-Johnson
    Ak Alaska

    Dear Pat Hill,
    My name is Makayla George-Johnson. I like reading books like this Winter Camp, and they seem interesting to me. It seems like our culture is disappearing so this would be a good time to read these kinds of books. I hope some day I would speak Yup’ik on my own, and know all the words, but I’m still learning. I think Winter Camp is a good book to read. Also I like reading spirit books, and I was wondering if you can write books like what I just said. I would like you to come to Akiak, and I would like to meet you too.

  7. #8 by Jill Choate on December 5, 2014 - 7:03 pm

    Dear Pat: I’ve read your books to my daughter when we were on the road teaching in the L-48 when she was young. Your stories were a great balm for the soul for weary Alaskans ready to head back home. Now I’m buying them for my daughter to read to her son so he will be as enthralled with Alaska as we were. They are wonderful stories, so glad that I can pass them down again. – Jill Choate

    • #9 by Kirkpatrick Hill on December 5, 2014 - 9:31 pm

      Jill..I hope you got back home and don’t have to be homesick anymore! Thanks so much for writing. I can tell you love Alaska as much as I do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: