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GOLD QUEST by Meredith Hooper


A Treasure Trail Through History

by Meredith Hooper & illustrated by Stephen Biesty

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-340-78858-5
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books/Trafalgar

Viewing human history from an unusual angle, Hooper and Biesty follow a scrap of gold as it passes through many forms and hands over thousands of years. Fast-forwarding from its origin in a star, the gold begins its journey as part of a pharaoh’s death mask—stolen by robbers and quickly recast into a chalice that winds up in a temple, and so on down the centuries. Hooper creates scenarios for each stage of the journey, often around such historical figures as Nero, Charlemagne and Robert Boyle. Biesty adds typically well-populated, minutely detailed large scenes and insets. The gold, repeatedly divided, is ultimately scattered over much of the world: some disguising counterfeit coins; some as a ring displayed in a museum; some buried in a field; illuminating a manuscript letter; or turned into buttons on an old uniform—one of which a modern New Yorker turns into a necklace. There’s plenty of food for thought here about permanence and change; young historians will enjoy the metal’s long trip, and will come away understanding that it’s never over. (Nonfiction. 9-11)