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A Trail of Broken Dreams: The Gold Rush…

A Trail of Broken Dreams: The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer

by Barbara Haworth-Attard

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A typical story of the hardships going along the trail overland from Winnipeg to the Cariboo during the Cariboo Gold Rush of British Columbia. I've read so many books about the various gold rushes that this had nothing new to offer and was a fairly uneventful tale; though I did find the ending picked up and went in a different direction than I had at first expected. The story also has a girl pretending to be a boy and I really don't like this device in juvenile historicals as it usually, as it does here, follows the expected tropes of "wow! how much easier it is to be a boy. I can wear pants and swear!" Haworth is a good writer though, and if you've not read anything about the Cariboo before the experience is fully realised here, for the intended age level. Not bad. ( )
  ElizaJane | Oct 6, 2014 |
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
  benuathanasia | Sep 9, 2012 |
Twelve-year-old Harriet Palmer's father left several months ago to join the 1862 Cariboo Gold Rush, leaving his family behind at a fort halfway along the way. Now Harriet's mother has died after a difficult childbirth, along with the new baby, and Harriet has no way to support her ten-year-old brother William and four-year-old sister Luella. The three siblings are taken in by the Owens, a childless couple who live at the fort, but then Harriet learns that when they return to Toronto next year, the Owens plan to take William and Luella with them and leave Harriet behind as a servant to another family. Harriet is determined not to allow what is left of her family to be torn apart. Disguising herself as a boy, she joins a party of miners headed for the gold fields, hoping and praying that she will find her father there. Along the difficult journey, Harriet faces many dangers and hardships, but also makes new friends and finds adventure. But what awaits her at the end of her journey, and will she be able to find her father? Harriet is a wonderful character who is determined to help her family and will do whatever it takes to accomplish her goal, and I enjoyed reading about her adventures. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoyed the previous books in the Dear Canada series. ( )
  rebecca191 | Nov 12, 2008 |
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Still reeling from the death of her mother, Harriet sets out on a dangerous journey – disguised as a boy – determined to find her missing father in the gold fields of British Columbia’s Cariboo. The journey itself is incredibly difficult, and Harriet still has to find her father before the winter snows close down the entire Williams Creek area. Will she be able to find him, or will her journey be for nothing?
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