Jason's Gold

( 45 )

Overview

Racing to catch up to his brothers in the Klondike gold fields, fifteen-year-old Jason Hawthorn meets an adventurous girl named Jamie and the not-yet-famous Jack London. But mostly he travels alone with King-a husky he's rescued from a madman. After crossing the perilous Chilkoot Pass, Jason and King still have to get five hundred miles down the Yukon River before freeze-up. When a near-fatal accident stops them, the pace escalates and the emotion deepens. Told with bone-chilling authenticity, this gripping ...
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Jason's Gold

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Overview

Racing to catch up to his brothers in the Klondike gold fields, fifteen-year-old Jason Hawthorn meets an adventurous girl named Jamie and the not-yet-famous Jack London. But mostly he travels alone with King-a husky he's rescued from a madman. After crossing the perilous Chilkoot Pass, Jason and King still have to get five hundred miles down the Yukon River before freeze-up. When a near-fatal accident stops them, the pace escalates and the emotion deepens. Told with bone-chilling authenticity, this gripping survival story glitters with real details from the Klondike gold rush. Includes maps and an author's note.

When news of the discovery of gold in Canada's Yukon Territory in 1897 reaches fifteen-year-old Jason, he embarks on a 10,000-mile journey to strike it rich.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
(Intermediate)
Will Hobbs is a master at writing the tantalizing beginning so essential to the success of the adventure story: "When the story broke on the streets of New York, it took off like a wildfire on a windy day." That sentence sets the tone and style of a gripping account of a fifteen-year-old boy's encounter with the hazards of the Canadian wilder-ness in 1897 as he struggles to join his older brothers searching for wealth in the goldfields. He is well named in his quest: like the Greek hero of old, Jason encounters a number of trials. There are several cameo appearances by the young Jack London before his success as a writer as well as a number of lesser-known characters, some less than savory but all historical, as an informative author's note indicates. This is a real page turner, complete with near-disasters: men driven to madness by their environment and failures, primitive frontier surgery, attacks by moose and bears, poignant moments when the wilderness exacts its price from those who would challenge it-as in the death of Jason's beloved companion, the dog King. Hobbs is right on target, blending fact and fiction to create a believable story that is fast reading but never simplistic. m.m.b.
KLIATT
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 1999: The Gold Rush in the Klondike was a period of brief madness that Hobbs captures well in this tale of a fifteen-year-old, Jason, who was one of the thousands of people who streamed into the Yukon in the summer of 1897. Jason meets young Jack London, not yet famous, of course; he has a loyal husky dog he names King; he hunts a bear and generally uses all his wits to survive that first winter. Hobbs turns this into a personal adventure, drawing the reader into the action. Emotionally, Jason yearns to prove himself to his older brothers, pities and then admires a younger boy whose leg was amputated because of gangrene; gets a crush on a young girl; and generally shares in the excitement and despair that was part of the Gold Rush folly. If the dangerous adventure isn't enough of a pull, then the love story between Jason and his dog, whom he saves from a cruel death, will capture most readers. King becomes Jason's loyal companion, a teammate who helps haul supplies, who hunts with Jason, and generally keeps him and young Charlie from madness when they are holed up in a tiny cabin for the winter. A historical note at the end of the story helps readers understand the magnitude of this insane rush for gold. Hobbs does a good job of bringing his readers to this historical event. (Editor's note: This is an ALA Best Book for YAs; see also the review of the audiobook in this issue.) KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1999, HarperTrophy, 221p, map, 20cm, 99-17973, $4.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; January 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 1)
Children's Literature - Laura Hummel
Shortly after hearing that gold had been discovered in the Klondike, fifteen-year-old Jason Hawthorne was on his way to join his brothers in Seattle. Upon his arrival, Jason found that his brothers had gone to Alaska and borrowed his inheritance to stake a family claim. With only gritty determination and ten dollars, Jason stows away on a steamer heading north. After being removed from the ship, Jason continues on foot. He gains the companionship of King, a husky he rescues from uncertain death. Together they face many dangers posed by the allure of gold within the setting of the northern lights. During his journey, Jason meets with many unsavory characters and colorful personages such as Jack London. Although the story is fictional, many of the people, places and events are told with bone-chilling accuracy. Scenes at Dead Horse Pass are not for the faint-hearted and, at the Chilkoot Pass, the reader will surely feel the strain of the trek. Although there are some scenes of animal cruelty and realistic danger, the book lends itself to a historical study of the era and would be useful in a social studies program.
Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A coming-of-age novel set during the Alaska Gold Rush of the 1890s. Jason Hawthorn, 15, heads north in search of riches and his older brothers who left Seattle as soon as news of the strike hit the newspapers. Along the way, he meets a feisty girl, a young Jack London, and many other colorful characters. The novel is filled with fascinating details about the period, from the excitement and high spirits of the first Klondikers to the extreme hardships and great disappointments suffered by so many. Jason never strikes it rich himself, but he eventually finds his brothers and they settle there. His perils include an icy canoe trip, a moose attack, and a winter spent in a one-room cabin with a one-legged boy. Jason's character sometimes takes a backseat to the Yukon setting, especially in the first part of the book. At times, he acts more as an observer than a protagonist; the setting and other characters emerge vividly through his eyes, but readers don't get to know him all that well. He rescues and adopts a dog as his companion, but the animal seems little more than a story prop. As the tale progresses, though, Jason's personality emerges more, especially as he tries to help the amputee adapt to his condition. Many of the incidents Jason observes are based on actual events and other real-life figures make appearances. The successful presentation of a fascinating era, coupled with plenty of action, makes this a good historical fiction choice, despite the lack of a truly memorable hero.-Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Fifteen-year-old Jason first hears about the discovery of gold in the Klondike while working as a paperboy in New York. He quickly rushes to Seattle to meet up with his brothers, only to find that they have left for the Yukon without him. As he goes the trip alone, adventures pile up. Fighting bears, shooting rapids, and even a crazed moose can't stop him from joining his brothers. Author Will Hobbs (Morrow, 1999) threads Jason's travels with actual historical figures, including Jack London. Also, sprinklings of actual events of the gold rush give listeners an idea of the difficulties encountered. Boyd Gaines is up to the task of narrating Jason through each adventure. His steady, but excited voice adds extra suspense to each dramatic event. Voice changes between characters are minor, though Gaines does manage to make one minor character sound like Jimmy Stewart. With sturdy cassette case and inviting cover art, this audiobook will be well received by those seeking to add to their adventure collections for middle school listeners.-Todd Dunkelberg, Deschutes Public Library System, OR Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553502435
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 4 cassettes, 6 hrs.
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.44 (w) x 7.07 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Hobbs is the award-winning author of ten previous novels for young readers including Far North, Ghost Canoe, and The Maze.  He lives in the mountains near Durango, Colorado, with his wife Jean.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


When the story broke on the streets of New York, it took off like a wildfire on a windy day.

"Gold!" Jason shouted at the top of his lungs. "Read all about it! Gold discovered in Alaska!"

The sturdy fifteen-year-old newsboy waving the paper in front of Grand Central Depot had arrived in New York only five days before, after nearly a year spent working his way across the continent.

"Gold ship arrives in Seattle!" Jason yelled. "EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it! Prospectors from Alaska. Two tons of gold!"

The headline, GOLD IN ALASKA, spanned the width of the entire page, the letters were so enormous.

People were running toward him like iron filings to a magnet. He was selling the New York Herald hand over fist. His sack was emptying so fast, it was going to be only a matter of minutes before he was sold out.

"Prospectors from Alaska arrive in Seattle! Two tons of gold!"

Jason wanted to shout, Seattle is where I'm from! but instead he repeated the cry "Gold ship arrives in Seattle," all the while burning with curiosity. Beyond the fact that the ship had arrived this very day--this momentous seventeenth of July, 1897--he knew nothing except what was in the headlines. He hadn't even had a chance to read the story yet.

It was unbelievable, all this pushing and shoving. A woman was giving a man a purse-beating over his head for knocking her aside. "Skip the change!" a man in a dark suit cried amid the crush, pressing a silver dollar into Jason's hand for the five-cent newspaper. "Just give me the paper!"

When there was only one left, Jason took off running with it like a dog with a prizebone. In the nearest alley, he threw himself down and began to devour the story.

At six o'clock this morning a steamship sailed into Seattle harbor fromAlaska with two tons of gold aboard. Five thousand people streamed fromthe streets of Seattle onto Schwabacher's Dock to meet the gold ship, the Portland.


Five thousand people at Schwabacher's Dock! He knew Schwabacher's like the back of his hand. Mrs. Beal's rooming house was only six blocks away! Were his brothers, Abraham and Ethan, among the five thousand? Maybe, but probably not. At that hour they would have been on their way to work at the sawmill. Would they have risked being fired for arriving late? He didn't think so. His older brothers were such cautious sorts. Hurriedly, Jason read on:

"Show us your gold!" shouted the crowd as the steamer nosed into the dock.

The prospectors thronging the bow obliged by holding up their riches in canvas and buckskin sacks, in jars, in a five-gallon milk can, all manner of satchels and suitcases. One of the sixty-eight, Frank Phiscator, yelled, "We've got millions!"



Jason closed his eyes. He could picture this just as surely as if he were there. He'd only been gone for ten months. Suddenly he could even smell the salt water and hear the screaming of the gulls above the crowd. Imagine, he told himself, millions in gold. His eyes raced back to the newsprint:

Another of the grizzled prospectors bellowed, "The Klondike is the richest goldfield in the world!"

"Hurrah for the Klondike!" the crowd cheered. "Ho for the Klondike!"



Klondike. Jason paused to savor the word. "Klondike," he said aloud. The name had a magical ring to it, a spellbinding power. The word itself was heavy and solid and dazzling, like a bar of shiny gold.

One of the newly rich disembarking the ship was a young man from Michigan who'd left a small farm two years before with almost nothing to his name. As he wrestled a suitcase weighing over two hundred pounds down the gangplank, the handle broke, to a roar from the crowd.


It almost hurt reading this, it was so stupendous. Two hundred pounds of gold!

That man had left home with almost nothing to his name, Jason thought, just like I did. That could have been me if only I'd heard about Alaska ten months ago, when I first took off....It could have been Jason Hawthorn dragging a fortune in gold off that ship.

Jason could imagine himself disembarking, spotting his brothers in the crowd, seeing the astonishment in their eyes ... their sandy-haired little brother returning home, a conquering hero!

"Dreams of grandeur," he whispered self-mockingly, and found the spot where he'd left off:

A nation unrecovered from the panic of '93 and four years of depression now casts its hopeful eyes upon Alaska. Today's events, in a lightning stroke, point north from Seattle toward that vast and ultimate frontier whose riches have only begun to be plumbed. It may well be that a gold rush to dwarf the great California rush of '49 may already be under way as these lines are penned, as untold numbers of argonauts, like modern Jasons, make ready to pursue their Golden Fleeces. Klondike or Bust!


The rush is only beginning, he realized. It could still be me.

A grin was spreading across his face. A modern Jason he already was, and in fact his father had named him after the treasure-seeking hero from Greek mythology.

In a split second all his plans were turning about like a racing sloop. His sails were filling with a wind blowing from an entirely different direction.

Then he hesitated, remembering the vow he'd made to himself to live on his own hook for a year before returning home. But ten months was nearly a year, he reasoned, and he knew from his brothers' letters and telegrams that they were already impressed by his stamina and resourcefulness, as well as by the marvelous mountains and prairies and cities that he had seen.

Just think how it would strike Abraham and Ethan if he returned from the road only long enough to pack tip and light out for the Klondike!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Great!

    I am reading this book right now and it is great!! Definately recommend this book!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

    Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs

    This book tells about a boy named Jason who believes he can do anything he wants to. After he gets to Seattle from New York, he finds out his brothers went to find gold in the Klondike. He sets off on a journey to find them. He saves a dog named King and goes up the Golden Stairs. He gets a canoe, and canoes through rivers and lakes. He survives rapids and canoes the Yukon. He stumbles on a cabin and winters there. While there he meets someone named Charlie and helps him solve his problem. While there he goes bear hunting with King. Three bears attack and terrible things happen over the hunt. Jason and Charlie canoe to Dawson where Jason's brothers should be. Will he find them? Will Hobbs tells a great story of adventure, action, and survival. This book is a great example of life in the Klondike gold rush. I strongly recommend this book to people, especially boys, who like adventure and action. I do not recommend it to girly girls.

    by Brett

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Will Hobbs

    Will Hobbs puts alot of interesting facks about jason.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Awsome

    I had to read this book for school, and at first it seemed boring, but then got extrrmely good. But, be warned! It gets gruesome, and pretty sad ( i cried when king died, which is unusual for me. Over all, its a very captivating, adventorous historical fiction book for 10-12 year old boys.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Great book!

    I had to read this book for school. I relly liked it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2008

    A Great Look at History

    Jason¿s Gold was a great historical fiction with the right mix of real and fictional characters. Though he does take some artistic license with history, he bases it on historical research. I highly recommend reading the Author¿s Note before, during or after reading since he explains his research and how he ties in real historical characters. He does a great job of taking historical facts and working them into his story in a creative way. Jason¿s Gold though dim and dreary at some points while showing the horrors of the Alaskan Gold Rush still has a sense of Hope throughout the book as Jason never gives up on his journey. While Jason faces the reality of the evils of some men, soon or immediately after he encounters a person with redeeming qualities who saves him in some way. It has the right amount of hardship to make it real, mixed with the right amount of hope. There were points when I couldn¿t put the book down if I wanted to. The story pulls you in as you fight with Jason against all the odds that he faces as he heads to Dawson City. Though the odds at some points do seem a little unrealistic, I think that Hobbs does a good job of making Jason¿s story too unbelievable. This book can be a great tool to get your young adult interested in history and learn more about a time in history that isn¿t talked about as much. It does reveal the evils sides of the Klondike, but it in a tactful way. We cannot ignore the evil parts of history, otherwise we don¿t learn. This book helps face the reality of a gold rush. Even though that basis is Jason going to make a quick fortune in Dawson City, by the end you realize that it takes a lot of work and it¿s not as glamorous as it seems.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    Kay

    Jase are u the one ik?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Sammi

    Lol

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    Ashley

    Walks in

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Nydia

    Walks in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Stupid gross book

    This book is terrible everytime i read i wanna barf my head off dont read this book get a knife ready to kill urself if ur going to read this

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Awesome

    This is the most fantastic book ever or at least 1 of them

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    Jason's Gold

    This book is wonderful. I just finished reading the sequel "Down The Yukon" and it was just as great. These books are good for people who love to keep the adventure alive with a second book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Jason's Gold

    Jason's Gold was a addicting book. Once i picked it up it was hard to put down. The book takes you with a 15 year-old boy named Jason Hawthorne on a great journey to try and strike rich in the gold-fields of the Klondike Rush.I understand that people would be very overwhelmed by a gold rush but thought at times that some of the parts were very hard to believe. Still the book was great, and is a book i wouldnt mind re-reading. Hobbs does a great job of putting the reader in the journey with Jason and King(Jason's Husky), the great discriptions are very picturable. All the geographic facts are a good way of learning about the Klondike. This is a great read for thrill and adventure seeking readers.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2008

    Jason's Gold

    Jason a 16 year old boy wanted to go on a great adventure. He wanted to go to the Klondike in Alaska. On his way to ask his brothers for money he finds out that they had already left. He had a rough journey just getting to Alaska, but that is where the real challenge begins. Steadily moving forward he makes many friends. He ended up receiving a whole pack of things. The problem is that he wants to get to the Klondike before the river freezes up so he can stake some land. One thing I did not like is that the book does not tell much about the train ride that he had to take. I liked how the book ended in a good way instead of just dropping off. The book also introduced the other characters very well. This book did a wonderful job of adding up the suspense until something big happens. This is the first book of the series so this is the book that you will want to read. There is a second book in the series and that book is called Down the Yukon. I think that boys around the ages 11-14 would like this book. This book is very similar to the Gary Paulson books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    Jason's Gold

    This book is about and teenager that lives with his two brothers because his mother and father died. Jason has to work for a newspaper company passing out newspapers to make little money to spend on food and cloths. One day as he was passing out the papers he found a title that said gold rush in Alaska. So Jason found out how much it would cost and found the money his parents left for him and he went to Alaska. Once he got into Alaska he had to get a canoe and travel by him self to get to Klondike. So Jason traveled threw many rivers and lakes to get to Klondike. On the way before he gets to the Yukon he sees a moose that is wounded and then the moose attacks him. Then after he goes through the Yukon he arrives at Klondike. After looking for gold with his brothers they give up and all three of them start and run a saw mill. I like even thought he didn¿t find any gold he still made money by working with his brother, I also liked how he had to travel by himself. This book is the first one in the Jason series. I would recommend this book to anybody that like adventure and outdoors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    Best of the west

    This book is about a boy named Jason who finds out about gold in Alaska and goes there all by himself from New York. Jason has a rough time along the way, but meets many new friends on his journey. What I didn¿t like about this book is that it never really picked up until about half way through the story, and then it got interesting. I did like the book¿s storyline though, about surviving in the wilderness and being able to make it on your own. This book is a part of a series, but you can read it without any of the other books, because it is the first book of its storyline. This book doesn¿t really remind me of any television shows or movies, except for maybe some of the old western movies. This book is sort of similar to Gary Paulsen¿s books, such as all of the Brian books and also the Mr. Tucket series of books. This book is adventurous and can be far fetched, because some of the things this fifteen year old kid did would be unimaginable to any grown man¿s abilities. Overall though, this is a pretty good and interesting book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    Jason Hawthorn was selling papers in New York which read that there was gold in Alaska. Jason was officially from Seattle but he ran away from his home and he was traveling across the country. All Jason knew was that he had to get to Alaska to get some gold. What he didn¿t know was the crucial conditions he was about to get himself into. The book started off at a slow pace. I had to read into the book a couple of chapters to get to the point where it really started to take off. I could also relate to the book a little. I have been to many different states like Jason. Also, in the book, Jason had to shoot animals for food. Every year my dad, two brothers, and I go hunt deer and rabbits. In the book, Jason killed three black bears. My dad has killed a black bear too. Jason¿s Gold is part of a series. I think you would have to read Jason¿s Gold before the other books in the series. You definitely want to because it is such a good book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Also, anyone who really likes adventure books would like Jason¿s Gold. If you enjoy reading books by Will Hobbs like Jason¿s Gold, you would probably like to read books by Gary Paulsen. Gary Paulsen writes adventure books like Will Hobbs does. All I can say is that anyone who likes adventure books should read Jason¿s Gold.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2007

    Jason and The Gold Rush

    This is about a boy named Jason Hawthorn trying to get all the way to Dawson City, Canada, for the gold rush. He is trying to get there all the way from New York City. To get the money he needs to get there he heads to his brothers house to get the five hundred dollars he inherited from his father when he past away. But his brothers have decided to go to Dawson City themselves and they took all of his money. Now he has to get to Dawson City with only twelve dollars. He has to fight bears, moose¿s, and even gangsters so that he can get to Dawson city for his share in the gold. There are several things that I liked and several things that I didn¿t like about the book. One thing I didn¿t like about it is that at the beginning of the book it was confusing. I didn¿t quite get it until I reached the second chapter and that¿s when I finally got what the book was about. Another thing I didn¿t like is that I didn¿t like is that it used all these big words. Most of them I didn¿t quite get, so I had to use a dictionary to hook up some of the words. There were still some things I did like about the book. One of those things was that it really had my interest. It kept me guessing of what was going to happen next and when it happened, I would have never of guessed that. Someone that would like this book would most likely love to read adventure books, and they would also like to read books that keep you guessing of what is going to happen next. Someone who also likes the outdoors and likes to read about ways to survive out in the wild would like this book. This is a very good book and I think you should read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    Jason and The Gold Rush

    This is about a boy named Jason Hawthorn trying to get all the way to Dawson City, Canada, for the gold rush. He is trying to get there all the way from New York City. To get the money he needs to get there he heads to his brothers house to get the five hundred dollars he inherited from his father when he past away. But his brothers have decided to go to Dawson City themselves and they took all of his money. Now he has to get to Dawson City with only twelve dollars. He has to fight bears, moose¿s, and even gangsters so that he can get to Dawson city for his share in the gold. There are several things that I liked and several things that I didn¿t like about the book. One thing I didn¿t like about it is that at the beginning of the book it was confusing. I didn¿t quite get it until I reached the second chapter and that¿s when I finally got what the book was about. Another thing I didn¿t like is that I didn¿t like is that it used all these big words. Most of them I didn¿t quite get, so I had to use a dictionary to hook up some of the words. There were still some things I did like about the book. One of those things was that it really had my interest. It kept me guessing of what was going to happen next and when it happened, I would have never of guessed that. Someone that would like this book would most likely love to read adventure books, and they would also like to read books that keep you guessing of what is going to happen next. Someone who also likes the outdoors and likes to read about ways to survive out in the wild would like this book. This is a very good book and I think you should read it.

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