Reviewed: October 31, 2005
By: Alice Provensen
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
40 pages, $24.95
I have very few quibbles with this
retelling of the Klondike story for the 5 to 10 year old age bracket. One
of them would be on the flyleaf, where the editors have recorded the discovery
of gold as taking place in 1897. The author gives the correct year in the
The other would be her idea of the
waterfront spread that greeted stampeders when they arrived in 1898. Since
Bertonís Klondike Quest was one of her cited reference books, she saw
enough photos to know better than to have a city hall at that time (not until
1902) or to put it in the same building with the jail, the post office and
the mining recorderís office.
Aside from that, the book does a pretty
good job of telling the Klondike story.
Provensenís tale is loosely based on
the the actual experiences of a stampeder named Bill Howell, who abandoned
his job in a dry goods store in Boston and went with a friend to seek his
fortune in the Klondike, which he soon learned was not even part of the United
States (full marks for that, Alice).
Provensenís layout for the book is
interesting. Billís and Joeís story is told in pictures on the top half of
each two page spread, with six lines of full width text just below that on
each page. The bottom section of each spread is given over to illustrations
showing a more general account of the rush.
For instance, for the spread showing
the Bonanza Creek valley, the top section shows a panorama of many workings
and people doing a variety of mining activities. The text talks about Billís
and Joeís experiences. The bottom strip shows a cross section of the gold
bearing land, the disposition of claims along a creek, and several pieces
of mining equipment. along with brief explanations.
The end result is an enjoyable little
book which does justice to its subject at a level its audience should be able