Archive for Adventure

Call of the Klondike: A True Gold Rush Adventure

Written by David Meissner and Kim Richardson

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Fast paced action and adventure accompanied with real photos, letters and maps make this an exciting read. Sixth grade readers and beyond will be amazed at how quickly people dropped everything, gathered supplies and headed to the Klondike for a chance at finding gold.

Readers will be shocked at how many people underestimated the difficulties that climate, geography and lack of supplies could cause. Wondering how people will survive and if they will get back home alive keeps the pacing of the story fast. This story illuminates just how desperate people were to get out of poverty. Or, was it the possibility of adventure that lured them out of the rut of boredom?

This well researched book tells the story of two young men, Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond who were college friends and business partners. Fortunately, they had parents who were willing and able to support their adventuresome dream of striking it rich. As soon as word reached California of the discovery in the Klondike, these young men booked passage and were among the very first explorers to reach the gold fields.

An amazing sense of discipline helped these young men to determine even before they left home that they would only try this gold rush thing for one year.  At the end of that time, they would return home. It was the deal they made with their fathers, but makes it more interesting to follow them through the months of struggle and small successes wondering if they really would pull up stakes and go back home. The families kept a bag of letters, photos and maps that were recently used to produce this excellent account of a short, but important time in American history.

This book will be fulfill many standards in the core curriculum dealing with the economic history of America as well as the study of adventurers and the importance of gold to the world.

Using research and learning how to writing non-fiction are among the multiple literacy skills that can be taught and/or enhanced through the usage of this book. It is a volume every librarian will want to have in the collection.


  • Call of the KlondikeTitle: Call of the Klondike: A True Gold Rush Adventure
  • Author: David Meissner and Kim Richardson
  • Publisher: Calkins Creek, 2014
  • Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
  • Format: Hardcover, 167 pages
  • ISBN:  978-1-59078-823-3
  • Genre: nonfiction
  • Grade level 4 and up
  • Extras: Bibliography/ For More Information/ Websites

The Enchanted Attic: Dueling with the Three Musketeers

Written by L.L. Samson

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A mysterious fire threatens a boarding school.  Heroic young people rescue the gruff and intimidating headmistress.  There is a secret passageway.  All this is in chapter one of an adventure story that combines classic literature with a modern mystery.  Linus and Ophelia are teen-agers who have been left with their elderly aunt and uncle who own a bookstore while their scientist parents are on a tropical island carrying out their research.  It is a miserably hot summer, the stuffy and academic narrator tells us.  Bartholomew Inkster cannot tell this story without injecting bits of literary devices, Linus and Ophelia’s history along with background on the literary works they explore.  Linus has discovered writings from an ancestor who tells how to bring literary characters to life.  In this episode, they bring D’Artagnan and the evil Lady DeWinter to life while trying to solve a real life mystery of who wants to destroy their best friend Walter’s school.  But D’Artagnan and Milady are more of a headache than a solution.  And Bartholomew keeps putting in his two cents.

Written with humor and a respect for the classics, Bartholomew manages to entertain and provide descriptions of literary devices.  The story could be a way to develop a guide for writing.  Because the voice is so strong – think a snarky Lemony Snicket – and the characters are so eccentric, this would make a good class read aloud for sixth graders.  Even better let them read it to a book buddy as a literacy activity.  The students could make several lists, any one of them would be a good reading worksheet: the literary devices, story details from The Three Musketeers, even the instructions on how to make literary characters come to life.  There is a great book trailer for the first book in the series on the author’s website:  With the commercially-made book trailer as a model, students could make their own trailer for this installment.  There is a lot of action, and the story problem is maintained throughout.  Not everything seems logical, and the real life villain escapes.  We never do meet the three Musketeers as promised on the cover.  Still the adventure is a lot of fun.

  • MusketeersTITLE: The Enchanted Attic: Dueling with the Three Musketeers
  • AUTHOR: L. L. Samson
  • PUBLISHER: Zonderkidz, 2013
  • REVIEWER: Risa Brown
  • FORMAT: Paperback, 166 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-310-72799-6
  • GENRE: Adventure
  • LEXILE: 1130, Reading level 6.2