Book Review: Gold Rush Fever

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Part 2: Getting the Point Across

The best part of the book, however, is the tremendous detail the author gives us on the hardships suffered by the people who sought the gold.

The Gold Rush is often glamorized and made to look like it everyone made a fortune. This book does a good job telling us that rarely did anyone make a fortune. Mining or digging for gold was hard, back-breaking work. Few were the people who made enough money to pay for their way back home. From the first climb up The Golden Stairs, through the epic trudging through ice-filled wilderness, through the months spent waiting for the daylight sun to return or the river to melt, through the days spent agonizing over whether any gold would be found.

The reader is to made feel all the aches and pains, glories and successes of Tim Olsen, Ray Olsen, and all the people they meet along their journey. Tim and Ray do eventually find a good source of gold, but they had to work very hard to do it, a lot harder than people usually think you have to work do find gold. This book succeeds on many levels (illustrating history, entertaining readers, telling historical fiction, bringing difficult subject matter down to kids' level), and the book succeeds most on getting across the point that the rush for gold required vast amounts of strength, stamina, patience, and plain luck.

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Graphics courtesy of Kids Can Press

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