Gold Rush Fever: A Story of the Klondike 1898

Overview

The year is 1898. Over the last decade, North America has been ground down by a depression. Wages are low, jobs are scarce and people are getting desperate. Although Aunt Rachel isn't happy about 13-year-old Tim and his older brother, Roy, heading off to the Klondike Gold Rush, the possibility of striking it rich is hard to resist. Tim and Roy begin their trek to the Yukon filled with excitement. Little do they suspect the harsh realities they'll have to face: blinding snowstorms, raging rapids, backbreaking work...
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Overview

The year is 1898. Over the last decade, North America has been ground down by a depression. Wages are low, jobs are scarce and people are getting desperate. Although Aunt Rachel isn't happy about 13-year-old Tim and his older brother, Roy, heading off to the Klondike Gold Rush, the possibility of striking it rich is hard to resist. Tim and Roy begin their trek to the Yukon filled with excitement. Little do they suspect the harsh realities they'll have to face: blinding snowstorms, raging rapids, backbreaking work and bitter disappointment. In this unique book, each chapter is followed with factual information, illustrations and photographs of the people and places of the time. In addition, easy-to-do activities help bring the historical period to life.
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Editorial Reviews

Quill & Quire
Well-researched and well-designed books like this remind us of exactly what gave rise to the persistent Klondike legends of today.
Booklist
Through a comfortable combination of fiction and nonfiction, this book presents the life of a young miner during the Klondike gold rush between 1897 and 1899. Between sections of the story are pages discussing everything from the supplies needed for the trip to gambling in the town of Dawson to methods of mining and panning for gold. In addition to period photographs, excellent shaded pencil drawings appear throughout the book.
From the Publisher
Well-researched and well-designed books like this remind us of exactly what gave rise to the persistent Klondike legends of today.

Through a comfortable combination of fiction and nonfiction, this book presents the life of a young miner during the Klondike gold rush between 1897 and 1899. Between sections of the story are pages discussing everything from the supplies needed for the trip to gambling in the town of Dawson to methods of mining and panning for gold. In addition to period photographs, excellent shaded pencil drawings appear throughout the book.

Children's Literature
Imagine taking a steamer to Dyea, Alaska, purchasing over 2,000 pounds of food and equipment, hauling it up 1000 feet of sheer ice, felling trees to make a boat and then sailing it down the treacherous Dawson River to Dawson City, all for the chance to wrest a few nuggets of precious gold from rivers and streams. That is what thousands of men (and some women) did in the Klondike gold stampede of 1897/98. Chronicled here in narrative and diary entries are the trials and tribulations of two fictional brothers who are as much at odds with each other as they are with the elements. Interrupting, but not disturbing, the flow of the story is a wealth of information related to the physical challenges of digging for the gold, law enforcement in such an inhospitable environment and the social climate of a frontier existence. The pencil drawings capture the tension, backbreaking labor and exhilaration of this exciting period in Canadian history. Link this part rough-and-tumble adventure, part resource tool with Karen Cushman's The Ballad of Lucy Whipple and Rhoda Blumburg's California Gold Rush for a solid appreciation and comparison of the California and Klondike Gold Rush. 2001, Kids Can Press, $18.95 and $12.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer:Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A melange built around the experiences of 13-year-old Tim, who sets off to seek his fortune with his older brother and his dog. This very average piece of historical fiction is sometimes told in narrative and sometimes related in entries from Tim's diary. As the adventure moves along, the book hits on many coming-of-age issues, and has a subtheme of gambling, which was rife in the Klondike. Curtly interjected into the story are historical and technical points of interest, short biographical sketches of some real-life characters (dance-hall girls, Mounted Police, etc.), and activities such as Klondike solitaire. These pieces of information are valuable and relevant, but because they are designed in an unclear format, they are intrusive if readers attempt to follow the story line, and all are without footnotes. About half a dozen archival photos do what the copious and romantically dull drawings do not: give a sense of how harsh, dirty, exciting, and difficult gold mining was at that time and place. The weakest parts of the book are only skin deep, and, with patience, readers may find it somewhat useful as an additional resource.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Greenwood (A Pioneer Thanksgiving, 1999, etc.) successfully uses several different techniques for telling the story of the Klondike gold rush. Tim Olsen is a young 13-year-old in 1897, with big dreams of being a reporter. And the Klondike Gold Rush is his shot at a big scoop. But when he and his older brother Roy set out for the gold fields, they have no idea of the hardships they will face. The text features a packing list for the stampeders-the groceries alone total over 1,200 pounds-all to be carried up a two-mile long hill, then carried up the infamous Golden Stairs . . . and that's only the start of the journey. Following excerpts from Tim's journal, the author tells the progressive adventure of the two brothers and the obstacles they encounter. They meet gamblers, make friends, form partnerships, and work very hard. Along the way, Tim learns about life and its variety of people while he perfects his writing. Throughout the text are informational articles that will help the reader better understand the gold rush. These short, high-interest pieces include such topics as Eric A. Hegg, photographer; Faith Fenton, journalist; boat-building; the Mounted Police; cabin life; and the end of the gold rush. Several recipes and activities are also highlighted in the text, bringing history that much closer to the reader. Pencil drawings are the perfect companion to the text, illustrating the story, while at the same time educating the reader about the time period and the many unfamiliar devices used by the stampeders. Greenwood also includes several of Hegg's original photographs-windows into the past. A fascinating read. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550748505
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: History Comes Alive Ser.
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 486,441
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Greenwood is an award-winning author whose books include Gold Rush Fever, The Last Safe House and A Pioneer Thanksgiving. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Heather Collins has been illustrating children's books for more than 20 years. Her body of work includes many nonfiction books, such as the award-winning A Pioneer Story and Out Came the Sun. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 4
The Big Climb 6
Building the Boat 32
Dawson 62
Summer on the Diggings 88
Winter on the Diggings 110
Heart's Desire 134
Glossary 158
Index 159
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