I Witness: Hard Gold: The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859: A Tale of the Old West

I Witness Hard Gold The Colorado Gold Rush of A Tale of the Old West Early Whitcomb s family needs a miracle Their Iowa farm has been in the family for generations but a long drought has withered their savings and left them in debt Meanwhile the great Chicago and Nor

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  • Title: I Witness: Hard Gold: The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859: A Tale of the Old West
  • Author: Avi
  • ISBN: 9781423105190
  • Page: 297
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Early Whitcomb s family needs a miracle Their Iowa farm has been in the family for generations, but a long drought has withered their savings and left them in debt Meanwhile, the great Chicago and Northwestern Railroad wants their land, and if the Whitcombs can t pay their loans, the local banker, Judge Fuslin, will foreclose and sell the farm as his own Early s uncleEarly Whitcomb s family needs a miracle Their Iowa farm has been in the family for generations, but a long drought has withered their savings and left them in debt Meanwhile, the great Chicago and Northwestern Railroad wants their land, and if the Whitcombs can t pay their loans, the local banker, Judge Fuslin, will foreclose and sell the farm as his own Early s uncle though he s like a brother , Jesse, thinks he has the solution to head West and dig for gold Fueled by reports of prospectors striking it rich in the Rocky Mountains, Jesse can t think about anything but gold, and his determination to get to the western territories grows stronger by the day Early is wild to go with him, as much for the adventure as for the gold But the journey costs money than the boys can afford and when Jesse flees during the night, after being accused of a robbery, Early doesn t know what to believe Then Jesse sends an electrifying message that he has found gold, but his life is in danger and Early knows he must do whatever it takes to find him, even if it means running away and joining a wagon train with a strange family The journey is dangerous and full of hardships, and the closer the travelers get to their destination, the ruined lives they encounter lives consumed by the hunt for gold Then to his horror, Early learns that Jesse has been accused of another, much bigger crime and has fled to a secret place in the mountains Somehow, Early must get to him without leading Jesse s pursuers right to his door And even if he succeeds, Early will still have to make the hardest choice of his life.

    One thought on “I Witness: Hard Gold: The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859: A Tale of the Old West”

    1. I received this as a free download from Audiojukebox. Avi does a wonderful job of bringing to life the midwest of the late 1850s. It's also an interesting tale of the Colorado Gold Rush (Pike's Peak or Bust!) that most of us never learned a lot about.Early Whitcomb is a 14-year-old farm boy living with his mother, father, older brother, and an uncle, Jessie, who is only a few years older than he is. A railroad wants the land the Whitcomb farm is on and seems willing to try anything to force the [...]

    2. this book left you on a cliffhanger with no sequel, and just forgets about Lizzy and just lets Jesse run away.

    3. A readable and informative novel for middle-grades, with interesting historical illustrations.I really liked the tone of this novel. The protagonist, thirteen-year-old "Early," was thoughtful and likeable, and his struggles seemed fairly realistic to me.The author didn't shy away from harder aspects of life in that era. For instance, though Early does have parents, he must also, as a matter of course, constantly obey his self-centered older brother. Early works very hard on the farm, knowing all [...]

    4. Early was a boy on a mission. This story of a young boy going across the country to find his Uncle Jesse was a well-written book. It is a very easy book for children to read and since Avi, who wrote “City of Orphans”, wrote it I can see his style of writing very clearly. How it is written is probably it’s best aspect to the book along with the main character and his journey to Cherry Creek. “Hard Gold” is written mostly in a journal style of writing, which I thought made it a very chi [...]

    5. In late winter 1858, Early Whitcomb and his family were struggling to save their farm. After a dry year and poor harvest, their savings were barely enough to pay the mortgage. Threats from the bank were becoming more severe and financial ruin seemed inevitable. About this time, the farmers began to hear rumors of gold found out West at Pike’s Peak. Early’s Uncle Jesse is caught up in the gold fever and is sure that digging for gold will solve all their problems.When Jesse disappears, Early j [...]

    6. An deft narrative in journal entry form of an adolescent boy's journey to the Colorado gold fields. Early's family is in dire financial trouble, their farm about to be seized by the lender. His uncle Jesse has left to find his fortune and rescue the family by looking for gold in Colorado.Jesse is accused of killing a man before he left, and Early is determined to find him and clear his name, as well as help save the family from financial ruin.Concise and well written, this is an interesting read [...]

    7. Young Early (age 12ish?), in an effort to help his family save their farm, follows his uncle Jesse (an uncle who was raised with him like a brother) to Colorado. Jesse was searching for gold. Early is searching for Jesse (and maybe some gold, too).I read this book for the first time with a group of 4th graders in a literature circle. I think this is a fantastic book to use as a compliment to teaching Colorado history in 4th grade. It is a great story that keeps students engaged, but also include [...]

    8. This one started off well in typical Avi fashion with lots of rich detail, but it ended rather suddenly so that it felt more like half a book. It almost seemed as if Avi had started to write it as a book twice it's length and was told it had to be shorter, so just abruptly ended it. Having said this, it was still an entertaining read with a glimpse of what it felt to catch "gold fever." I am slightly troubled (spoiler ahead) that the main supporting character and role model for the protagonist i [...]

    9. Avi is the author, and so you really can't go wrong. I did enjoy this historical fiction piece on westward expansion and the Colorado gold rush. It is really hard to find literature specific to the Colorado Gold Rush (as opposed to the California Gold Rush) so this is a wonderful book to have in our library. It is a good one, and nominated to perhaps join our Battle of the Books list. While I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other nominees, I do like the connection this one has to our stat [...]

    10. I love reading history, so I picked up this book. When I finished reading this book, I decided it was one of the better ones I have read in a while. The 1859 gold rush was a period in U.S. history I did not know much about, and this book made me want to read more about it. When I read this book, I didn't realize the characters were fictional, because I didn't read the author's letter at the start of the book. The farther I got into this book, the more I wanted to find out if Early would find Jes [...]

    11. A great first person account of a boy who ventures Westward in order to help his family save their Iowa farm into gold country. What it is like, through the eyes of a teenager, how you needed to keep your wits about you, and how the boy grows into the man he is about to become, making the choices of a good woman over his family, to avoid the temptations of gold and succomb to the allure of natural beauty, and other wise pearls.

    12. I read this as a quick departure from the thriller and mystery novels I often find myself involved in during the summer. The hope with this one was to find something to complement a pioneer unit and teaching standards with a nice read aloud that students will enjoy and find engaging. Although I enjoyed this book, this will not fit my need as I found this to be intended for older audiences than those I teach. However, I learned a bit more and enjoyed this historical fiction story.

    13. This book definitely has the feel of one written to be a part of a series, the "I Witness" History Series in particular. It didn't seem as richly imagined as some of Avi's other works. That said, it's an approachable way of introducing the subject of 1 of the 19th-c American gold rushes to children approximately 10-12 years old. I can't say that I loved the book, but it was a pleasant, interesting read.

    14. Hard Gold was a pretty interesting book, considering I am not one for reading about history. We were actually learning about the Gold Rush in U.S. History while I was reading this book. I don't think I would read this again because of the fact that history doesn't interest me but it was a pretty good book.

    15. Early Whitcomb's family needs a miracle. Their Iowa farm has been in the family for generations, but a long drought has withered their savings and left them in debt. Meanwhile, the great Chicago and Northwestern Railroad wants their land, and if the Whitcombs can't pay their loans, the local banker, Judge Fuslin, will foreclose and sell the farm as his own. Early's uncle (.

    16. This is a book for children - one of the "I Witness" books where the story is told in first person narrative from the perspective of a youth, in this case a 14-year-old boy. I enjoyed the book, only took one evening to read, and I will look forward to having my children read it when they're a little bit older.

    17. I really like the storyline of this book. It is about a family that is in debt and this is happening when a gold rush is going on in Colorado. So first his uncle goes out to Colorado to get gold to pay off the debt. But then his Nephew followed him to Colorado. Then thats when the real story begins and i did not want to put it down after he followed his brother there.

    18. I think that the book Hard Gold is a very wonderful interesting book with some exiting partsrsonly I love the book Hard Gold. I think that the book is one of the many good books that I have read in the past that I have liked. I think that Avi is one of the best authors that I have read a book from.

    19. Another one of those historical fiction books that completely shocked me! The difficult journey that many people took to discover gold is unbelievable. The book includes a gripping story that has the suspense that draws you through, but also the real life story of a family that is broken by its need for money for survival.

    20. This is a cute book about the Colorado Gold Rush of 1859. Early's family is in trouble because of the drought, so his uncle (age 19, who has been raised as his brother) decides to go to Colorado and get enough gold to pay the mortgage. Early follows him out there. The book has a good moral and is really interesting.

    21. You are there each day as fourteen-year-old Early Wittcomb joins a wagon train headed to Colorado where his young uncle has found gold. The gold will help pay the mortgage on the family's Iowa farm. The primary sources, maps, and photographs make this time period come alive.

    22. i think that this book is a very meaning book and you can learn alot about the 1859 gold rush of colorado I read this for literture in school and i thought it was pretty meaningful to have a young boy go out and find his uncle like he did.

    23. Early leaves the only home he's ever known in Iowa to follow his uncle Jesse who left in search of gold in Colorado save the family farm. On his journey he has to escape death, keep his secret, and plan how he's going to find Jessel while working on a wagon train and surviving on the trail.

    24. This is the story of Early, who set out with a wagon train to get to his uncle in the Colorado gold mines. Troubles, dangers, and suspicion follow Early all the way west. Informative, fun, and great descriptive lead characters, this an enjoyable work of historical fiction.

    25. Another Avi: Beautifully written, compelling characters, and hard to put down. And yet that plot. Really? Like that would happen? Nope, sorry, don't buy it.

    26. Early Whitcomb heads to Colorado to find his Uncle Jesse who left several months earlier to strike it rich. Good historical fiction for young readers.

    27. Even though written for a YA audience, I found this book most enjoyable. Easy to read with interesting characters and descriptions.

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