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Klondike Gold by Alice Provensen
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Klondike Gold

by Alice Provensen

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Set in 1875, Klondike Gold, is the story of Bill Howell, a sheep farmer from Vermont who preferred literature and journalism to farming. Bill decides to set out with his friend Joe, and the other hundreds of thousands of Americans who had it in their minds that they were going to strike it rich in the Yukon.

Bill and Joe endure a treacherous journey to Dawson City, in the Yukon Territory. They laid claim and started digging. After a year, they decided to pack it in with fifty thousand dollars and what was left of their supplies. The hike back (500 miles) was harder than anticipated and 1/2 of their belongings were lost. They made it back to the Seattle alive, which is more than can be said for thousands of other Americans that made the trip to the north.

Of particular interest in this book are the historical “notes” along the lower edge of the page. More than just footnotes, they are actual illustrations of supply lists, maps, diagrams of how to mine for gold, and historical notes from the period. The reader first reads the narrative about Bill and his friend and gold-hunting companion, Joe, then at the bottom are important and valuable tid-bits of history that tie into the story. This added greatly to the character's narrative.

I found this book both entertaining and informative. It is a piece of American history that truly shaped our country. ( )
  bclanphere | Apr 8, 2011 |
When Bill leaves his job in a Boston shop to travel with his friend Joe to search for gold in Canada's Yukon Territory, it seems like a dream come true. The story is about if the two friends strike it rich, or come home empty-handed.
  mrindt | Feb 19, 2011 |
This summer I was on the lookout for some kids' books that told about the highlights of Washington State history. One important event, especially in our hometown of Seattle, was the Klondike Gold Rush. The Klondike rush brought a lot of gold to Seattle as prospectors stopped in town to buy provisions for the long journey north. Anyway, Seattle really only rates one spread in this 34 page book, but it was a good investment anyway. Ms. Provensen follows the trail of two Boston men who catch the gold fever and head across the continent to seek their fortune. Through the first person narrative of one of the men, Bill, and colorful, full page illustrations, one gets a feel of what it might have been like for the thousands of people who traveled north and tried to strike it rich in the Yukon. It's a nice book well worth checking out. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Nov 7, 2006 |
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A fictionalized account of William Howell, a young prospector who braved the arduous journey from Boston to the Yukon Territory in search of gold in the Klondike River valley.

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