Saturday, May 14, 2011

Klondike Gold

Provensen, Alice. (2005). Klondike Gold. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Literary Genre: Historical Fiction (Picture Book) 

Bill Howell and a friend drop everything and head to Canada in search of gold in this adventurous tale. Alice Provensen organizes each page into three panes to provide the reader with more details and background knowledge about the 1897 gold rush of the Yukon Territory. The top pane highlights the detailed artwork that corresponds with the middle pane’s main story of Howell’s journey. More artwork, facts, maps, and diagrams are presented in the bottom pane to assist readers in expanding their knowledge about the daily lives and experiences of the people and prospectors that traveled to Yukon Territory looking for gold.

Alice Provensen proves to readers that the information shared in this text is authentic and accurate by acknowledging her sources of information. I am not sure how I feel about Provensen’s method of displaying some of the historical information in the bottom pane of the page. I like the added learning value but feel that the bottom pane is distracting and possibly overwhelming to readers. Additionally, while the story is intriguing, it is written much like a miniature textbook and may not appeal to children. When combined with other books, activities, resources, this book could be used to help children understand how tough and dangerous it was for the people that traveled to and sought gold in the Yukon Territory.

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