By Paul Robert Walker
Kingfisher, $9.99, 32 pages

In 1848, a carpenter named James Marshall made an amazing discovery…gold! People from all over flocked to California and neighboring states to search for the precious metal. The Gold Rush was on! Gold Rush and Riches, by Paul Robert Walker, takes readers into the gold fields to see what tools the miners used, how they built boom towns, and what people gave up when they caught “gold fever.” Someone traveling from New York to California would travel 13,600 miles over six months to reach the gold fields. Others went by covered wagon, horse, or even by foot! Finding gold was not the only way to make money. Selling supplies to gold miners made some men millionaires. The miners needed mining pans (which cost $8-16, $224-448 in today’s prices), shovels, picks, blankets, a tent and food.

Young readers will learn how to use a Table of Contents, a glossary, a timeline, and an index. Walker also lists websites and additional books to look at for more information. Enjoy studying paintings, photographs, artists’ drawings, and maps. Walker’s text is reader-friendly and geared toward boys and girls. Don’t be surprised if your young reader catches gold fever!

Kathryn Franklin