Book Review: Gold Rush Fever

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Other Books on This Subject

• Klondike Cat

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This wonderful book is a fun read for kids of all ages.

  • Kids just starting to read can enjoy the many drawings, maps, and directions.
  • Kids studying this period in history will learn a lot about the Klondike Gold Rush, which is often just a footnote.
  • Older kids will appreciate the entertaining writing style of Barbara Greenwood.
  • Adults will surely enjoy a book that fills in a lot of the gaps in their kids' knowledge.

The story is presented as journal entries written by a 13-year-old boy named Tim Olsen, who, with his brother, Ray, and his dog, Pal, travel to the Yukon Territory to search for gold.

The author does an excellent job of keeping the story compelling. I especially liked the continual interaction between the brothers and the dog. Ray wants his younger brother to leave the dog behind, but Tim won't hear of it. He carries him up "The Golden Stairs" (1000 feet of steps cut of ice on the climb up steep Chilkoot) on his back.

The illustrator, Heather Collins, does a nice job of keeping perspective. Because I knew the dog was on Tim's back, I went looking for a dog in the accompanying illustration. And I found Pal. The more I read the book, the more I wanted to know what Pal was doing, too.

Also included are nice touches like a few well-placed Step-by-Step How-To's:

  • How to climb the Chilkoot
  • How to make sourdough biscuits
  • How to tie a Diamond Hitch Knot
  • How to play Klondike solitaire
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Graphics courtesy of Kids Can Press

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White