Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15
- Grade: 10
Attracting tens of thousands of men and women hoping to strike it rich, the Klondike gold rush brought with it a frenzy of activity unlike anything the world had ever seen. The few children who lived in Dawson City and its surrounding mining camps had front-row seats to this treasure hunt of the century-and to all the antics that a lust for gold brought with it. In this, her companion book to the bestselling Women of the Klondike, Frances Backhouse explores the experiences of the children who followed their parents north in search of fortune or were born in the goldfields. With anecdotes that range from humorous to heartbreaking, Children of the Klondike paints a detailed picture of what it was like to grow up in a rough yet cosmopolitan northern frontier community populated by lucky millionaires, down-and-out dreamers, scarlet women, and a few adventurous families.
About the author
Frances Backhouse studied biology in university and worked as a park naturalist and as a biologist before becoming an environmental journalist and author. Her six previous books include Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver and Children of the Klondike, which won the 2010 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her partner, Mark Zuehlke, who is also a writer. Frances loves exploring the natural world both close to home and far away, especially when those explorations involve tent-camping. If there’s a beaver habitat nearby, it’s even better.
Children of the KlondikeThe 1896 discovery of gold near Dawson City set off the Klondike gold rush. Initially, the majority of people who caught gold fever were men. Eventually, more women moved to the area, and with the women, came children. Some children were born in the Klondike, some came with their parents. The stories of these young pioneers, which are drawn from memoirs, newspapers, letters and photographs, became part of the rich history of the area. Includes a Klondike chronology and endnotes.
Backhouse is the author of Hiking with Ghosts: the Chlikoot Trail Then and Now, which won a 2000 BC Book Award. Women of the Klondike was a finalist for the 1996 VanCity Book Prize and Runner-up for the 1996 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction.
Caution: Use of the term “Indian” in the context of the time.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2010-2011.