BOOK REVIEWS

Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-04-25 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0805097570
LANGUAGE:English

"I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush tells the story of well known author Jack London and the time he spent as a miner during the gold rush of the 1890s. While London never struck it rich-in terms of gold-he returned home with stories and experiences that found their way into his best selling novels and short stories.
Laurie relates London's time in the Klondike in rich detail, using first person accounts and period photographs to bring it to life. It was not easy going for London, but his refusal to give up in the face of incredible hardship is impressive. Lovers of adventure and literature alike will enjoy reading about Jack London's early life and his time spent prospecting. Readers unfamiliar with the Gold Rush or Jack London will find help at the back of the book in the form of a notable places list, a timeline and a glossary.
My one complaint with the book is its jumpyness. One moment Jack would be struggling up an frozen mountain and then suddenly, he's a child in California. The back story on London's life is interesting, but it doesn't mesh well with his adventures as a stampeder.
" said.

" Good for young readers of informational text. I personally enjoyed the setting and adventure element of the story. I will be adding this title to my classroom library. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. " 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.

"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.


" said.

"ARC provided by the publisher at ALA

Jack London certainly lived fast and died young. He is the embodiment of the life of adventure in the days when there were still frontiers to be conquered. Not content with a rough and tumble life in the US, he took off (with his elderly brother-in-law, who funded the trip) to the Yukon to prospect for gold in 1897. He managed to get all of his gear to a camp (no small feat; the living conditions were unimaginably terrible), rounded up a good group of people, and was making a fairly decent go of it before succumbing to, of all things, scurvy! His experiences, as well as his practice of talking to everyone he met, gave him ample fodder for his writing, which still provides the most intimate picture of living conditions in this particular place and time.

I've been looking for more interesting narrative nonfiction for my students. Byrd and Igloo, The Boys in the Boat, and No Better Friend have all done very well in my library, and I foresee this joining the ranks of those fine tomes. This book is well-formatted, with good sized text and a lot of illustrative photographs. These don't necessarily show London himself, but aptly illustrate what is going on in the text. The only thing that I didn't like about the formatting was the inclusion of a quantity of illustrations by Wendell Minor-- while well done, they just seemed odd, and I would have preferred period illustrations, perhaps from the news publications of the day.

Excerpts from London's writings, great appendices of people, places, and information about the Gold Rush, as well as a very nicely arranged timeline of London's life all add informational value to a riveting read about a fascinating time and place.
" said.

" Very interesting! I loved all the photographs. " said.

May 2017 New Book:

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