The Goldrush Girl
March 10, 2020
Victoria Blaisdell longs for independence and adventure, and she yearns to accompany her father as he sails west in search of real gold! But it is 1848, and Tory isn’t even allowed to go to school, much less travel all the way from Rhode Island to California. Determined to take control of her own destiny, Tory stows away on the ship. Though San Francisco is frenzied and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory finds freedom and friendship there. Until one day, when Father is in the gold fields, her younger brother, Jacob, is kidnapped. And so Tory is spurred on a treacherous search for him in Rotten Row, a part of San Francisco Bay crowded with hundreds of abandoned ships. Beloved storyteller Avi is at the top of his form as he ushers us back to an extraordinary time of hope and risk, brought to life by a heroine readers will cheer for. Spot-on details and high suspense make this a vivid, absorbing historical adventure.
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Avi's style is a bit old fashioned, but strong readers will not be too surprised by the language and descriptions. Readers who have enjoyed other titles by this author, such as award winning The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle or Crispin: The Cross of Lead, will be expecting this. There's a reason that Avi is the go-to author for quality, historical nonfiction.
Tory was a great character who proved that she could be adventurous while also fully understanding the constraints on girls' behavior during this time period, especially since Gold Rush era San Francisco seems to have been pretty lawless.
There are a fair number of books about different aspects of the Gold Rush, and this is an excellent addition to titles like Hart's Murphy: Gold Rush Dog, Cadnum's Blood Gold, Rose's Jasper and the Mystery of Riley's Mine, and Jennifer Holm's Boston Jane.
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