Friday, January 20, 2012
Book Review: Tales and Treasures of the California Gold Rush by Randall Reinstedt
Tales and Treasures of the California Gold Rush is an engaging book told in the first person narrative of the author, a storyteller. Chapters cover stories about the first gold discovered, how the 49ers arrived in California, famous and infamous bandits, what the 49ers did for fun and many, many tales of lost and buried loot from the mines, never found, to ignite the imaginations of the listeners of the tales. I read this book to my 1st and 4th graders in our California State study. Both were engaged in the lively tales, nearly always involving some sort of guns, hanging or a posse. So be forewarned, this book has quite a bit of death and burials, but not gory, and unavoidable given the subject matter. The early mining camps were not peaceful places. In terms of the kids' visualization of the time, place and people of the Gold Rush, this has far been their favorite resource this year. We very highly recommend it, both for the content and the easy narrative style of the storytelling, as either a read aloud selection or as a reader for older kids.