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GOLD RUSH FEVER by Barbara Greenwood


A Story of the Klondike, 1898

by Barbara Greenwood, illustrated by Heather Collins

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-55074-852-1
Publisher: Kids Can

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)