Gold! Gold from the American River!: January 24, 1848: The Day the Gold Rush Began
Gold! Gold from the American River!: January 24, 1848: The Day the Gold Rush Began

Series: Actual Times Vol. 3   

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Annotation: The story of the California gold rush, from the uncharted journey across hostile land to the success of savvy entrepreneurs.
Catalog Number: #76555
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Square Fish
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 64
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-04060-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-79531-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-04060-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-79531-0
Dewey: 979.4
LCCN: 2010014375
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In the same format as his early-reader histories of the first days of the Revolutionary War (Let It Begin Here! 2008) and the sinking of the Titanic (All Stations! Distress! 2008), Brown here takes a look at the 1849 California gold rush. With easygoing prose and revealing quotes from forty-niners and historians alike, Brown recounts how easterners made their way to California, and once there, how they spent what little money they had on outrageously priced supplies and toiled under harsh conditions to strike it rich. Aside from the grizzled army of prospectors, Brown also shines light on the roles of the few women present and the plight of the California Indians (including an illustration of one being shot in the back). The inventive page compositions and scratchy watercolor cartoon figures carry small, telling dramas (the tiny grin that punctuates a successful panner's face is priceless), and sweeping western landscapes come into full relief, bringing not only visual context but a sense of playfulness to the book. A solid look at an eventful period in American history.
Horn Book
Brown turns his earthy palette and voice to the California Gold Rush. His unique tone is both larger-than-life and precisely detailed, and the treatment suits his subject. Well-composed watercolors convey action and emotion, giving just enough detail and variety. Combining pathos and humor, the book communicates much with an engaging and brief text, making it a first-choice introduction to the subject. Websites. Bib.
Kirkus Reviews
Watercolors and text depict the story of the discovery of gold in the Territory of California. It is an exciting tale of special interest to Californians and marks a key period in U.S. history. Unfortunately, this book fails to convey both excitement and description of characters, of which the time and place had many. The author tells of the discovery at Sutter's Mill and of Sam Brannan's shouted news in Yerba Buena (later San Francisco), which caused the Rush. Why not say more about Brannan, an interesting cad? Why not more about John Sutter, a disappointed man? The remainder of the book relates the experiences of the emigrants and the successes and failures of the gold hunters, but this breadth of approach reduces the overall energy of the book. Readers may find themselves wishing for both a glossary—what was meant by the "cradles" miners used?—and a map. Brown's illustrations show scenes and representations of persons but are not really helpful. The California Gold Rush was energetic, thrilling and important. Alas, this book is none of those things. (author's note, sources) (Nonfiction. 8-10) 
School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;6&12; This colorful book recounts the discovery of gold in the American West circa 1848. From James Marshall's discovery through the treacherous trip by more than 300,000 migrants willing to leave home to try their luck, Brown relates their history through firsthand accounts from the Library of Congress and personal stories of success and failure. The author offers facts and describes experiences to show the arduous travel, toil, and suffering that the forty-niners found at their destination. The full-page pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork surrounds the text nicely with detailed maps and realistic vignettes of the travelers' and miners' lives. The author does not hesitate to reveal the darker side of mining communities. One illustration vividly depicts the shotgun murder of an American Indian, with a description of the tragic fate of many Indians in the goldfields through violence, disease, and enslavement. The book presents a thorough description of a unique period in American history, illustrated in a manner to attract younger readers.&12; Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 2,869
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 142573 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.6 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q52903
Lexile: 1010L

When James Marshall found a small, soft, shiny stone in a California stream, he knew it could only be one thing: gold! His cry of discovery would be heard around the world. In the third installment of Don Brown's Actual Times series, Gold! Gold from the American River! is the story of the California gold rush--the uncharted journey across hostile land, the laborious process of panning for gold, the success of savvy entrepreneurs, and the fortunes of the marginalized, from slaves and American Indians to women and foreigners.

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