Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-28 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" Well researched. Excellent adventure! A great introduction for young readers to Jack London's Klondike tales. Especially good companion book for The Call of the Wild and White Fang. Don't miss this one! " said.

" Reviewed for professional publication. " said.

"This book has broad appeal as a biography (while it only covers one year in London's life flashback provide information about what would drive him to go hunting for gold), a grand adventure (there are all kinds of near-death experiences for London and his pals as well as real ones shared around camp fires and in saloons, etc, and a close up picture of an important historical event in American life (lots of photographs supplemented by Wendell Minor's illustrations that emphasize certain details). An effortless read in terms of the interest and pacing sure, you can't miss recommending this one. " said.

"A really entertaining, solid biography. More importantly this is a book with lots of potential. I say potential because this is the type of book I would want to carry; the reason is: it is a teaser for readers and creates in them an appetite to read more Jack London books and books on the gold miners. What more can you ask for in a book than to motivate a reader to read more!!! I came away with the desire to get as many Jack London stories as possible and consume them. Adventure, risk, GOLD, outdoors living, no showering for months! Jack London is like a superman carrying a literal ton of supplies over a mountain in the hopes of discovering gold. I’ve tried to imagine the hardship that one went through just to get to the gold fields; like the cold, mosquitoes, food shortages, lack of shelter, madness, death…but it is difficult to comprehend. I especially LOVED the black and white photos which are dispersed frequently throughout the text. In addition to the Black and white photos, there are illustrations and maps. The back-end of the book has a time line, glossary, bibliography, list of books London wrote and websites related to Jack London. It’s amazing to me that this man who accomplished so much only lived to the age of 40!

" said.

" Enjoyable, quick read. Tough to discern truth from fiction; wish it had appropriate footnotes. " said.

"It's crazy to think that humans endured these nearly impossible living conditions even a mere hundred and some years ago. Living in -50 degree winters with no sun, burning one $30 candle a day in an uninsulated cabin frosted 3" thick with ice, trying not to die of scurvy from a diet consisting almost solely of fermented bread and beans, and then also do back-breaking labour in the meantime.

Perhaps it doesn't matter what Jack wrote, in the end, or whether you like it - he was one indomitable kid who did absolutely anything he could to even achieve the freedom to just write in the first place, something we can all do freely at any time and take for granted.
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"Author Jack London is revered by his adventure stories set in the great outdoors along the Klondike trail. The first American author to earn $1 million from his writing during the twentieth century, his stories and books have stood the test of time, and readers still savor the realistic descriptions found in his short story"To Build a Fire," and his books, Call of the Wild, and White Fang. This account of London's life covers an important year in the future writer's life, from August 1897 to July 1898, when the twenty-one-year-old caught gold rush fever and headed to Alaska with his elderly brother-in-law. The book describes in vivid detail the trials and tribulations London and his crew endured as they had to deal with harsh weather conditions that made travel challenging, and they had to carry all their supplies with them. Once Jack reached his destination and staked a claim, he was unsuccessful in finding any gold, but as the author points out, he found gold of a very different kind--the inspiration and material for the writing material that would make him famous. Not only is the description of this pivotal year captivating, but it is accompanied by several archival black and white photographs that enable readers to put themselves in Jack's shoes and imagine how desperate the men who went north to Alaska were to find gold for themselves and how few of them succeeded. There are even photographs and a slight mention of the environmental cost of mining for gold. Many middle grade readers will be riveted by the stories in this book and wish to know more about London. The many resources provided in the back matter give them a place to satisfy their curiosity. I already appreciated London's work, but this book made me appreciate it even more and wonder about how it would have been possible to survive under the conditions described here. " said.

"Jack London’s short but action-packed life was positively stranger than fiction. From a young age Jack was single-minded in his desire to become a writer and tried to write a thousand words a day. With money always in short supply, London was forced to quit school and worked twelve-hour days as a young teen doing all sorts of labor: canning, running paper routes, selling vegetables and even sailing on a sealing schooner. News that gold had been found along the Klondike River in 1896 gave Jack the perfect new adventure to challenge his high-energy personality. Ambitious and thrill seeking, twenty year old Jack joined the frenzy of the Klondike Gold Stampede and embarked on a true battle against nature. The extreme temperatures of the Yukon Territory bested thousands of men but Jack, tenacious and smart, completed the journey and lived in harsh conditions for nearly a year. For all his blood, sweat and tears he came back to California penniless but rich in story. He had an insider’s knowledge of rugged surroundings which gave authenticity and depth to his writing career. This slim biography is action-packed and even reluctant readers will be swept up by the sheer courage and fortitude London exhibited in his short life. Black and white photos and illustrations are included amidst the text and the novel includes several interesting features on Jack London as well as a time line, glossary, bibliography and index.

Recommended grades 5 and up.

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