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CALL OF THE KLONDIKE by David Meissner Kirkus Star


A True Gold Rush Adventure

by David Meissner ; Kim Richardson

Age Range: 11 - 18

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59078-823-3
Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

A remarkable collection of documents paints a picture of the Klondike gold rush in vivid detail.

In 1897, two 20-something Yale grads, Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond, were among the first to hear about the gold found in the Klondike. They quickly booked tickets on a ship, gathered food and equipment, and headed north, hoping to strike it rich. Their mining backgrounds and monetary help from their families gave them an edge over their fellow fortune seekers, but the obstacles were still enormous, as their letters make clear, including two months of grueling travel over mountain passes and down the Yukon River. Adding only transitional paragraphs, the authors skillfully arrange these letters plus diary entries, telegrams and Pearce’s articles for the Denver Republican to convey the men’s story in compelling, first-person voices. The attractive design incorporates intriguing pull-out quotes, maps, posters, documents and many well-chosen, captioned photographs, including one of Jack London, who camped near Pearce and Bond’s cabin. London, also mentioned in a diary entry, later kept in touch with Bond and based the fictional dog Buck on one of Bond’s dogs, making this an excellent companion to The Call of the Wild.

A memorable adventure, told with great immediacy. (timeline, author’s notes, bibliography, resources) (Nonfiction. 11 & up)