The Klondike Kid–a Review by Patsy Ledbetter

The Klondike Kid, Book One: Sailing for Gold, by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth and published by Aladdin Paperbacks is the first story in a series of three books for children six- to nine-years-old. It centers around a boy named Davey and the Alaskan Gold Rush of 1897.

Davey Hill is on his own. After his father died, his mother took the little money that was left and bought train tickets for herself and Davey from New York to Seattle, Washington. There, she found a job working as a maid and cook’s helper at Mrs. Tinker’s Boardinghouse. She and Davey were very happy. But the winter rains came and she caught a cold and died soon afterwards. The cook talked Mrs. Tinker into keeping Davey on to help. As the story begins, Davey tells us he wants to leave Mrs. Tinker’s and that he has a secret plan to do it.

He has an Uncle Walt Thomas, whom he thinks has gone up to Alaska to search for gold.  He has written to him about his situation, but so far, no reply has come. A friend tells Davey that if his uncle has gone there, he might be returning on a ship called the Portland which makes trips up and back to Seattle. Davey goes to the dock often to check, but with no success.

Eventually, Davey saves up some money and has an adventure of his own. This little story (64 pages) is not a Christian book, and does not mention God, but you find yourself interested in what will happen to Davey and sympathizing with him. He has had a rough time so far, and a relationship with God would certainly be the answer he needs.

Though he does not discover that, his story could stimulate a conversation with your child about how the Lord is the answer to every difficult situation. I enjoyed this story, and so did the students I read it to. It is filled with adventure for young children and will encourage them to seek their dreams and their own adventures.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law and one-daughter-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for more than 35 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”

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