Gr 5-8-Gold Rush looks at how the discovery of gold and the subsequent influx of people into California brought opportunity and devastation and radically changed America's culture, geography, and view of itself. Pony Express discusses the organization, people, and continuing legend of the short-lived mail service. Both books include some background information and general narrative, and actual experiences of people involved such as members of the Donner party and Wild Bill Hickock. Illustrations include maps, full-color reproductions and photos, and screenshots of various Web pages. Each volume has a two-page listing of recommended URLs. Although these books are readable, they do not provide a great deal of in-depth coverage or analysis, and they join a field already crowded with solid choices, such as Linda Jacobs Altman's The California Gold Rush in American History (Enslow, 1997) and Diane Yancey's Life on the Pony Express (Gale, 2001). Supplemental material for reports.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.