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How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush

How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush

How to Get Rich in the California Gold RushIf you want to know what it was really like during the California Gold Rush, this book is a great place to start. It isn’t a textbook telling all the facts, this is the inside story of the gold rush told by one of the miners himself, Thomas Hartley. Thomas tells the story from the day he heard about the discovery of gold in California. All the people around him can talk about is gold, “how much and how to get it and how to spend it once you’ve got it.” Of course, they forget to talk about all the work…and the danger. Thomas’s story includes blisters and rotting teeth, scurvy, dysentery, scheamers, crooks and murderers. A true adventure that just might end in fortune. Author: Tod Olson Illustrator: Scott Allred

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The Legend of Bass Reeves

The Legend of Bass Reeves

The Legend of Bass ReevesGary Paulsen, the author of this book, calls it “the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West.” Mr. Paulsen adds a little here and there to fill in the places where history left gaps…but for the most part, this is the story of a real guy – the first African-American U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi – and this was in the 1870s! Bass became a legend, even in his own time. Some outlaws turned themselves in once they heard it was Bass that would be looking for them!

Bass was born to slave parents in the 1830s but escaped to the Indian Territory during the Civil War and lived with the Seminole and Creek Indians. After the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in 1863, Bass returned from the Indian Territory and settled in Arkansas. Because he knew how to speak several tribal languages and knew the land so well, he was hired as a U.S. Marshal. In his lifetime he brought in over 3,000 outlaws. This book is the story of how he went from being a child slave to being one of the most respected lawmen in the West. A really inspiring story and fun to read too. Bass was not boring and thought up all kinds of interesting ways to trap outlaws or trick them into custody. He could fight and he could shoot when he had too, but mostly, he was smart! Truly, one-of- kind! Author: Gary Paulsen

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Rapunzel’s Revenge

Rapunzel’s Revenge

Rapunzel's Revenge

This Rapunzel is no princess in distress waiting to be rescued, in fact, she’s an Old West cowgirl ready for action. She can handle those braids like Indiana Jones and his whip. When Rapunzel discovers that she is indeed strandard in the tower until death, she makes a daring escape and discovers the truth about her stay in the tower and about what lies behind the wall that encircles her kingdom. She sets out to right the many wrongs that have been done against her and the people she cares about. This one is a graphic novel – it looks like a comic book inside. Take a look at the excerpt to see what I mean – it is action packed and a lot of fun! Author: Shannon Hale Illustrator: Nathan Hale

  • Look at a 15 page Excerpt from Al’s Book Club
  • Print and Color Rapunzel Paper Dolls by the Illustrator
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Piper Reed Navy Brat

Piper Reed Navy Brat

Piper Reed Navy Brat

Piper Reed is a great character to read about on Veteran’s Day – today – the day our country honors the men and women who serve or have served in the military.

Piper Reed is proud of her Navy Dad and her Navy family. Piper calls her father Chief and loves to salute. She has never minded the moves the family must make because of the military but then again she has never had to move in the middle of the school year before. In Piper Reed Navy Brat, Piper’s father announces they are moving from a very comfortable home in San Diego to military housing in Pensacola, Florida. Piper feels her life has come undone. But change can bring surprises as Piper finds out. Piper is an adventurous fourth grader never lacking in excitement. -Recommended by Laura Dixon, Outreach Service Section

Piper Reed The Great GypsyIn Piper Reed The Great Gypsy, Piper’s Dad ships out for six months leaving Piper, her Mom and her sisters to face many months — even Christmas — all alone. Dad’s girls make the best of it and try as hard as they can to keep their Dad in the loop of family news and activities. Two good stories about a proud girl doing her part to keep the home fires burning for her Navy Dad. Author Kimberly Willis Holt Illustrator: Christine Davenier

#1: Piper Reed Navy Brat on CD
#2: Piper Reed the Great Gypsy on CD
#3: Piper Reed Gets a Job on CD

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Duel! Founding Fathers Behaving Badly

Duel! Founding Fathers Behaving Badly

Duel!

Look at that cover! Talk about making history intresting. Do you know the names Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton? Both worked for George Washington during the Revolution. Eventually, Aaron Burr became Vice – President and Alexander Hamilton became Secretery of the Treasury – he’s the guy on our $10 bill. Here are two guys you would consider pretty smart…yet they both couldn’t think of a better way to settle their differences than a duel – a fight to the death. And like many disagreements, their reasons seem very silly now! That’s the thing about fighting, it usually seems pretty dumb later.

These two guys both had tempers, they were jealous, they argued, and they talked badly about each other to other people. They sound like a couple of school boy brats rather than the educated adults they were. Rather than work out their differences they agreed to have a duel, and they even sneaked off in the night to do it because they knew it was illegal. That’s a lot of bad choices made by both of them. In the end, one walked away from the duel but lived out his life in disgrace…and the other was dead. Now that’s a no-win situation!

This is a great book that brings two historic figures to full color life. It also goes to show you what a poor choice fighting is! Fighting has never been a smart way to solve differences. Thankfully, our politicians today use debates and interviews and speeches to settle their differences. So let’s hear it for the 2008 presidential election, a war of words and not of fists. Author: Dennis Fradin Illustrator: Larry Day

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