AGES 10-14: Fictionalized corres-pondences to and from a girl, Eldora, living in Gold Rush California from 1850-1852 provide the narrative of this historical drama.
Unfortunately, Joan Blos struggles to maintain this method and tone, and she digresses into descriptions of the era that are not weaved seamlessly into the plot. Although a great number of valuable historic facts are presented in this fashion, the narrative is slow and the prose can read a bit like a textbook. In a way, the facts of the time can be distracting. The target audience of 10 to 14 year olds might struggle a bit to hurdle through the rather slow-paced narrative and plot for 309 pages. —Rae Schindler