Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs

Fifteen-year-old paperboy, Jason Hawthorn, yells to New Yorkers that gold has been discovered in Alaska. Once the news is out, Jason’s eager brothers travel to Seattle so they can join the crowds booking passage to the unknown North. But Jason doesn’t want to be left out from the fortune waiting for him there. Traveling alone, he hops a train for Seattle and stows away on a ship heading to the Klondike. But Jason’s dreams of finding easy gold are dashed when he witnesses both the beauties and terrors of the people, animals, landscape, and weather of the frigid North.

Jason’s Gold is a delicious mix of adventure, action, survival, and history as readers follow Jason towards the Klondike. Jason has his own ideas of how easy it will be to strike it rich in Alaska. But when he actually sees the wilderness and people he is competing against, he begins to focus more on just staying alive than finding his fortune. Hobbs adds an extra historical twist to his tale by weaving in famed author, Jack London, and other Alaskan Gold Rush figures into his story. In Hobbs' Author Note, he explains his inspiration for writing the book and expands on London’s failed attempts at finding gold in Alaska. The sequel to Jason’s Gold is called Down the Yukon. Fans of Roland Smith, Gary Paulsen, or Ben Mikaelsen are sure to enjoy this two book series. Great for ages 10 and up.

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