The Gold Rush Kid by Mary WaldorfWhen 12-year-old Billy McGee’s mother dies suddenly of typhoid fever, he and his older sister, Edna, are faced with the unhappy prospect of getting sent to live with distant relatives. Instead, Edna disguises herself as a boy, and the two set out from their home in Skagway, Alaska, for the Yukon Territory. They know that plenty of adults, with all the right equipment and supplies, have attempted the grueling trek over the mountains to Canada and haven’t made it. But Billy and Ed are determined to find their pa, who left for the gold fields two weeks earlier. With the help of a young man named Jack and a dog named Persey, the McGees persevere and adjust to life on the gold rush trail. Prospecting for gold isn’t quite the grand adventure Billy imagined it would be, though. Survival in such an unforgiving environment demands sacrifices. And sometimes, those sacrifices can seem horribly unfair—like having to say goodbye to a beloved pet. This deftly drawn tale of grit, luck, and survival is full of seamlessly integrated details of the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s. Told with humor and suspense, here is a fast-paced, action-packed story that will captivate the imaginations of adventure and historical fiction fans alike.
Yukon Gold: The Story of the Klondike Gold Rush
Teaching the history of the gold rush can be a lot of fun! We say that a lot. Children perk up at the thought of whether they would have struck it rich had they lived back then, and like most of the prospectors at the time, children nowadays are secretly quite sure that they would have. You can play off that to get them interested in learning more about this historical time period. The following picture books, non-fiction books, and historical fiction novels on the history of the gold rush can help bring this exciting and dramatic but often tragic period to life, interjecting a dose of reality into the tales without spoiling the fun sense of adventure and promise. Gold Fever! Tales of the California Gold Rush a fabulously illustrated non-fiction book by Rosalyn Schanzer 3rd grade - 6th grade.
If you know of other picture books set during this period of Canadian history, please let me know! This picture book addresses a specific aspect of the Gold Rush: the destruction of nature. Old Joe is a prospector who never gets rich, but when he finds a little gold and hollers about it, people flock to the area. Soon the mountains which are personified are all in danger of being dug into oblivion. The illustrations are pen and watercolours.
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After hearing that people are planning to kill a mountain lion in the wilds near her neighborhood, twelve-year-old Izzie decides that it is her duty to protect the animal. A series of letters and newspaper articles reveals life in California in the s, especially for thirteen-year-old Eldora, who was raised in Massachusetts as an orphan only to meet her influential mother in San Francisco, and Luke, who hopes to find a fortune in gold. A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah's father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in San Francisco. In , twelve-year-old California Morning Whipple, who renames herself Lucy, is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a rough California mining town.
In vintage photos, personal stories, and related historic material, Children of the Gold Rush portrays the lives of the indomitable kids who first came to Alaska and the Yukon Territory. In a land where freezing, dark winters and mosquito-filled summers challenged even the hardiest pioneers, the children had to be as tough as the adults and quick to adapt to new conditions — learning to eat caribou and moose and dressing in fur. Some children left after a few years; others stayed and raised their own children in the frontier. American Booksellers Pick of the List. Murphy and Haigh give voices to children who tell of dangerous journeys to Alaskan mining camps, the brutal, cold winters, building small towns in rough terrain, and the disintegration of many families due to gold fever.