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Children of the Gold Rush Paperback – March, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, March, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-The allure of gold drew thousands west to California in the 1850s, yet, equally as significant, although perhaps less popularized, the call of gold also pulled families north to Alaska. This unique book explores the Yukon Gold Rush of 1879-1898 from the perspective of native and immigrant children who were forced to live with divorce, death, separation, and constant change brought on by their parents' quests to strike it rich. The book introduces a diverse group of youngsters: Crystal and Monte Snow, singing on stage for miners at the ages of five and three; Anto and Nettie, twins whose mother was the daughter of an Athabascan Indian chief, and father a former circus acrobat; and Klondy Nelson, who was abandoned by her gold-crazed father and became a success as a musician. The children's reminiscences range from fond memories of reindeer herders, ice fishing, and gold-nugget necklaces, to worms in oatmeal, poverty, loneliness-and love. All of the youngsters are marked by their resiliency and their capacity for happiness in an unfamiliar and often harsh environment. Each profile is augmented with diary excerpts, advertisements of the day, archival photographs, maps, and illustrations. The effect is a colorful, albumlike melange that reflects the diversity of the children's lives. The photographs are especially effective, supplementing the short text with factual information on aspects of the social conditions of the day. A positive, satisfying immersion into a little-known subject.
Jennifer A. Fakolt, Denver Public Library
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

This excellent, well-researched book offers a rare peek into a fascinating culture, history, and people, in portraits of eight intrepid children and their families during the Alaskan/Yukon Territory gold rush. 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. The children adapted to a whole new way of life, prospected, entertained miners, and felt the effects of sudden fortune or bleak poverty. Fascinating sidebars address other children of the gold rush or other facets of that life, from schooling and the use of sled dogs, to panning for gold. Although the hardships are never glossed over, the design of the book has an antique charm, with photographs, ticket stubs, old handbills, maps, and journal excerpts. (glossary, further reading) (Nonfiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1070L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 82 pages
  • Publisher: Roberts Rinehart Pub; 1St Edition edition (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570982570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570982576
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,530,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Saw this book at the Anchorage museum and just had to have it. So interesting and simply written with tons of authentic pics. This would also be great for children 10 and up doing book reports . The pics that go along with the personal stories will hold children's attention and expand thier world by learning how other children lived during the Alaskan gold rush.
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Format: Paperback
With the huge number of books that are available on the Klondike Gold Rush, it's always a pleasure to see a new viewpoint being used. There are now several books dealing with the part played in the development of the North by women, but this is the first time that children have been the focus. I've heard this book referred to as a children's book (and in fact Amazon has it listed as reading level 9-12), but I consider it to be suitable fare for anyone with an interest in Northern history. The first aspect of the book that impressed me was the production - from cover to cover it is beautifully laid out, and graphics and photographs are used extensively throughout its 82 pages. While some are common images (the Chilkoot and gold camps), the majority are ones that I have seldom or never seen. The introduction to the book serves its purpose well - describing the conditions that families had to endure both en route to the North, and while living there. Cold, the hard work and the usual lack of schools were significant elements in most children's lives in the Yukon and Alaska, and often forged the types of personality traits important in later successes. Contrary to modern theories that growing up too quickly can be bad for a child's development, Murphy and Haigh argue that "Learning to work hard at a very young age may have been their best lesson of all." With stories in the book ranging from sad and introspective to comical, "Children of the Gold Rush" will make a worthwhile addition to the library of anyone who wants a more rounded perspective on the development of the Northern frontier.
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By A Customer on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was another great book by Jane Haigh and Claire Rudolf Murphy! It was great to hear about how tough children were in the goldrush! This book takes you into the world of many small children in a gold oriented society. It really showed how easy most of us have it now! This is a "must read" for any one who wants to learn about the goldrush, is a goldrush fan, or is just looking for a good book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too often children are the neglected participants in history. Children of the Gold Rush offered an insightful glimpse into what life was like for children during the heady days of the Alaskan Gold Rush. The use of photos and primary sources were outstanding and gave credibility to the author. This book is essential for understanding the reality of the Gold Rush, not just the glitziness and glamour of the era.
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