City of Gold
City of Gold

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Annotation: Rich in adventure, history, and humor, an odyssey set in the twilight of the Wild West spun by Will Hobbs Weeks after ar... more
Catalog Number: #238813
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 256
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-170881-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8624-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-170881-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8624-9
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
After Owen's father passes away and Owen moves from Kansas to Colorado with his mother and brother, Owen knows that selling crops is the only way his family will survive. When he spots a thief stealing the family's beloved mules aches and Hercules en sets out in pursuit, a journey on foot through rough terrain and weather that ultimately brings him to the mining town of Telluride. With help from kind miners and a young girl, Owen tracks down the mules and learns more about this City of Gold and the difficulties faced by its people, and along the way, he rubs shoulders with some of the most famous outlaws. Fast-paced, suspenseful chapters will have readers flipping pages and cheering on patient, persevering Owen on his quest to recover Peaches and Hercules. Fans of historical fiction and adventure will find much to love here, and readers are sure to appreciate discovering what happens to the characters after the adventure is over.
Kirkus Reviews
Miners, cowboys, outlaws, and lawmen get a genre revival in Hobbs’ new historical adventure.Owen Hollowell is the man of the house at just 15 since his father’s untimely passing from the scourge of tuberculosis eight months earlier. The Hollowell clan—Owen, Ma, and younger brother Till—are trying to stake a claim on a new life in turn-of-the-20th-century southwestern Colorado when a rustler steals their two prized mules. Without the mules to help plow and cultivate their inherited land, the widow and her boys face destitution. Owen sets off across the San Juan Mountains on the trail of their stolen mules, later joined by Till, who is itching for an adventure to call his own. Along the way they encounter corrupt lawmen, greedy mining corporations, workers advocating for safe and humane work conditions, and two of the most famous outlaws to ever rob a train: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Like a steam locomotive, the story takes a bit to get going, but once it does it chugs right along. While Hobbs at times applies artistic license to the true history of Telluride and surrounding areas, the story is vividly moored to its setting. Tying in true events, real people (most white, like the Hollowells), and a clearly intimate knowledge of the terrain of the Four Corners region, Hobbs weaves a tale that will transport readers back in time and never let them get bored.A Western romp with anchors in history and geography that will leave readers anxious to explore more. (historical note) (Western. 8-14)
School Library Journal
Gr 47 Part quest and part adventure, this story of courage and resilience describes one family's journey across Colorado in search of two stolen mules and a family's legacy. Following the death of their father, the Hollowell family has just settled on their new farm when 15-year-old Owen discovers their two mules have been stolen. Knowing they won't survive without livestock to plow the fields, Owen sets out to track down the rustler and bring home their beloved Hercules and Peaches. After a dangerous mountain trek, he finds himself in Telluride, the self-proclaimed "City of Gold." With help from a colorful assortment of townsfolk, miners, a girl named Molly, and even his Wild Westloving brother Till, Owen learns the truth about the mules and the man who took them. Now all he must do is convince the town's infamous marshal to help him catch the outlaw. Balancing a narrative packed with descriptive details and a full range of characters, including some notorious names from Wild West lore, Hobbs's oftentimes slow trudge through the Colorado mountains is lightened by rich dialogue and the protagonists' strong sense of purpose. VERDICT This historical novel set in the American West touches on everything from unions and illness to xenophobia and criminality. Hobbs seamlessly surrounds the Hollowells' quest with an authentic view of mining life at the turn of the century. Rebecca Redinger, Lincoln Park Branch, Chicago P.L.
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School Library Journal (6/1/20)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 5-9

Rich in adventure, history, and humor, an odyssey set in the twilight of the Wild West spun by Will Hobbs Weeks after arriving in Colorado to start a new farm, the Hollowell family is looking at disaster when fifteen-year-old Owen witnesses the theft of their mules. Learning that Hercules and Peaches will likely be sold to the mines, Owen sets out to track the rustler over the mountains. It's all Ma can do to hold back little brother Till, who's more than a handful. The outlaw's trail leads to Telluride, the turbulent "City of Gold." Owen gets help from a resourceful girl named Molly and dubious assistance from Till, who shows up on the train from Durango. Telluride's notorious marshal finally takes an interest when he identifies the rustler as one of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. The lawman leads Owen and Till on horseback into the canyon country and all the way to Robbers Roost. For readers who love adventure and humor, Will Hobbs delivers a stirring tale of two brothers who risk it all to recover their mules and secure their future.

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