February 21, 2003

California Gold Rush, by Peter and Connie Roop

This is a children's history of the California Gold Rush; it's published by Scholastic and is written for kids aged 7 and 8. It's meant to be simple enough for the kids to read to themselves. But David saw it at a book fair at his school, and since we'd recently read a book that takes place during the Gold Rush (By the Great Horn Spoon), he grabbed it and I read it aloud to him over four nights (one per chapter).

On the whole, I'm impressed by this little book. Though it's written for kids, it isn't dumbed down; in particular, it speaks in specifics rather than in vague generalities. The illustrations include many photographs and engravings from the Gold Rush era, including a couple of fascinating advertising broadsheets. All in all, it packs quite a bit of information into 48 pages in large type (there's even a glossary and an index).

I don't expect that many of my readers will ever be in a position to buy this book, let alone read it; but if you need such a thing you could do much worse.

Posted by Will Duquette at February 21, 2003 10:31 PM