Reviews for How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush : An Adventurer's Guide to the Fabulous Riches Discovered in 1848

Booklist Reviews 2008 October #2
"*Starred Review* This first book in the How to Get Rich series deftly blends story with history to not only give readers an understanding of a gold rush but also to provide a lighthearted and engaging entry point into frontier life. The story (with a tongue-in-cheek claim to be true) follows three young men as they decide to try their luck as prospectors out west. Period lithographs are reproduced alongside original illustrations, all lending to the historical feel of the gold rush era, as the young men embark upon their journey, meet with moderate but backbreaking success, fall apart when they run out of money, and eventually all set out on their own to pursue different means of getting rich. This is where the book really shines--showing how very few people actually got rich panning and mining for gold, but demonstrating that a vast number claimed shares of wealth by creating the various trades and services necessary to support the influx of people bustling into the new towns out west. A ledger on each page tracks the young men's finances in a genuinely exciting way, adding a sly element of math to this well-conceived and compulsively appealing book. Kids won't even realize how much they're learning." Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
This lively, humorous "account" by a fictional New Englander of his trip to California in search of gold is chock-full of illustrations, facts, advice, and faux artifacts and letters. The text is delivered in a deadpan, period-appropriate manner. Well-designed and appealing, this is a surefire way to make history come alive for young readers. Reading list, websites. Glos. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 December

Gr 4-7--This fictionalized account of a young prospector and entrepreneur's gold rush adventures is presented as if it were an actual historical document recorded between 1849 and 1851. Both an editor's note at the outset and an afterword by Marc Aronson stress the fact that Thomas Hartley's existence cannot be verified. That said, Hartley's journey takes himself and two companions from Connecticut to the California gold fields via the Panama land passage and, ultimately, two years later, back again (wealthier and wiser) to reunite with his family and sweetheart. An antique-looking ledger sheet records his income and expenses on each page as he earns and loses money in various exploits, which include meeting greedy con men, gold strikes, and gambling losses in San Francisco. Old-fashioned language and tongue-in-cheek humor are used throughout. An excellent list of further reading and online resources accompanies the "Encyclopedia of the Gold Rush," in which unusual words and historical figures are defined and described. Richly illustrated with a mix of historically authentic lithographs and "Thomas Hartley's" drawings, this book is a colorful and lively introduction to the period for young history buffs.--Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

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