department menu

Unit 4: Bibliography

SKIP TO SEE OTHER
LESSON PLANS IN UNIT 4

Suggestions for the Classroom Library

RIDING THE DEVIL

By Robin Radlauer-Cramer
Crystal Pointe Media, Inc.

This book could be read to the class before your unit (or by students), as it describes the Rancho period, prior to the Gold Rush).

José’s story is set in the rich setting of a Southern California Rancho while California was still part of a newly independent Mexico. Eleven-year-old José dreams of being a vaquero, a cowboy. However, he must first conquer his fears by facing the injustices of his era, animal cruelty, wild animals and the vindictive young vaquero, Chaco.


RIDING FREEDOM

by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Scholastic, Inc.

In this fast-paced, courageous, and inspiring story, readers adventure with Charlotte Parkhurst as she first finds work as a stable hand, becomes a famous stage-coach driver (performing brave feats and outwitting bandits), finds love as a woman but later resumes her identity as a man after the loss of a baby and the tragic death of her husband, and ultimately settles out west on the farm she’d dreamed of having since childhood. It wasn’t until after her death that anyone discovered she was a woman. You can’t lose with Pam Muñoz Ryan, right?


THE BALLAD OF LUCY WHIPPLE

By Karen Cushman
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In 1849 a twelve-year-old girl who calls herself Lucy is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a small California mining town. There Lucy helps run a boarding house and looks for comfort in books while trying to find a way to return “home.”  Perfect for students who can’t get enough reading, and want more pertinent to the period!


DAME SHIRLEY AND THE GOLD RUSH

By Jim Rawls
Steck-Vaughn Company

Relates how a series of letters, written by a woman known as Dame Shirley and published in a San Francisco magazine in 1854 and 1855, were instrumental in inciting the California gold rush.


WHAT WAS THE GOLD RUSH?

By Joan Holub
Grosset & Dunlap

In 1848, gold was discovered in California, attracting over 300,000 people from all over the world, some who struck it rich and many more who didn’t. Hear the stories about the gold-seeking “forty-niners!” With black-and white illustrations and sixteen pages of photos, a nugget from history is brought to life!


GOLD FEVER

By Verla Kay
Puffin Books

In a brief rhyming story set during the gold rush, Jasper leaves his family and farm for California to pursue his dream of finding gold, but discovers that panning for gold is dirty, backbreaking work.  Fun!


THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH

By Mel Friedman
Children’s Press

Would you brave blizzards, starvation, unknown territories, and Indians to build a better life for yourself and your family? Journey west with America’s pioneers on foot, on horseback, and in covered wagons-from the Mississippi River to the Oregon Trail-in these true stories of courage and survival that shaped our nation.


GOLD FEVER!  TALES FROM THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH

By Rosalyn Schanzer
National Geographic Society

The author of How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark uses folk-art style illustrations and eyewitness excerpts from letters, journals, and newspaper articles to relate the story of the California Gold Rush of 1848. 15,000 first printing. BOMC.


G IS FOR GOLDEN, A CALIFORNIA ALPHABET

By David Domeniconi
Sleeping Bear Press

This is David’s first children’s book and it contains 40 pages of entertaining and educational facts about California. David captures California on so many fronts – its natural history, social sciences, inventors, and even its forty-niners.


GOLD! GOLD FROM THE AMERICAN RIVER!

By Don Brown
Roaring Brook Press

When James Marshall found a small, soft, shiny stone in a California stream, he knew it could only be one thing: gold! His cry of discovery would be heard around the world. In the third installment of Don Brown’s Actual Times series, Gold! Gold from the American River! is the story of the California gold rush―the uncharted journey across hostile land, the laborious process of panning for gold, the success of savvy entrepreneurs, and the fortunes of the marginalized, from slaves and American Indians to women and foreigners.


THE LEGEND OF FREEDOM HILL

By Linda Jacobs Altman
Lee and Low Books Inc.

During the California Gold Rush Rosabel, an African American, and Sophie, a Jew, team up and search for gold to buy Rosabel’s mother her freedom from a slave catcher.  A picture book with beautiful illustrations (a personal favorite)!

Suggestions for the Classroom Teacher

(Shall we learn more ourselves, at an adult reading level?!)

NOVEL-TIES: BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON!

A Study Guide by Naomi Gross
Learning Links Inc.

This is a reproducible guide to use (if you feel you need it) in conjunction with the novel.  It includes vocabulary for each chapter students – especially if you use some interactive activities with the vocabulary!


THEY SAW THE ELEPHANT: WOMEN IN THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH

By Jo Ann Levy
Archon Books (1990)

If you are feeling like you would like to know more about the women in the Gold Rush period, and the extent of their participation, this is an interesting read.


WOMEN WRITERS OF THE WEST

By Julie Danneberg
Fulcrum Publishing

Told in a unique first-person creative nonfiction narrative, Women Writers of the West profiles five women driven to write and succeed at a time when ambition in women was viewed as a flaw, not an asset–Helen Hunt Jackson, Jessie Benton Fremont, Louise Clappe, Mary Hallock Foote, Gertrude Bonnin.


WHEREVER THERE’S A FIGHT: HOW RUNAWAY SLAVES, SUFFRAGISTS, IMMIGRANTS, STRIKERS, AN POETS SHAPED CIVIL LIBERTIES IN CALIFORNIA

By Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi
Heydey Publishing

The first-ever account of the struggle to develop and protect rights in the Golden State.  This book captures the sweeping story of how freedom and equality have grown in California, from the gold rush right up to the precarious post-9/11 era. The book tells the stories of the brave individuals who have stood up for their rights in the face of social hostility, physical violence, economic hardship, and political stonewalling.

(Winner of the Gold Medal in the 2010 California Book Awards)