Call of the Klondike: A True Gold Rush Adventure

Meissner, David. Call of the Klondike: A True Gold Rush Adventure. Calkins Creek, 2013. 168pp. Lexile 1100.

Two Ivy League graduates who headed to the Klondike in 1897 when gold was discovered left a vivid record of their year in the North.  Friends Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond, both in their twenties, secured financial backing family, bought supplies, and boarded a ship.  They had some knowledge of mining but underestimated the dangers and difficulties of their goal.  Excerpts from letters, diaries, and newspaper articles they wrote combined with black-and-white photographs give this exciting history a sense of immediacy.  Not surprisingly, they didn't get rich and were more than ready to return to a more conventional life after their tough year.

Fiction tie-In:  One of the photographs shows the two young men with Jack London, who camped near them and later modeled his fictional dog Buck on one of Bond’s dogs.  Have students read Call of the Klondike in conjunction with London’s Call of the Wild, noting overlapping aspects and how much the London  novel is grounded in historical reality.