Hoping to strike it rich, two brothers escape an abusive father and set out on a treacherous journey to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Desperate to get away from their drunkard of a father, eleven-year-old Jasper and his older brother Melvin often talk of running away, of heading north to Alaska to chase riches beyond their wildest dreams. The Klondike Gold Rush is calling, and Melvin has finally decided the time to go is now—even if that means leaving Jasper behind. But Jasper has other plans, and follows his brother aboard a steamer as a stowaway.
Onboard the ship, Jasper overhears a rumor about One-Eyed Riley, an old coot who's long since gone, but is said to have left clues to the location of his stake, which still has plenty of gold left. The first person to unravel the clues and find the mine can stake the claim and become filthy rich. Jasper is quick to catch gold fever and knows he and Melvin can find the mine—all they have to do is survive the rough Alaskan terrain, along with the steep competition from the unscrupulous and dangerous people they encounter along the way.
In an endearing, funny, pitch-perfect middle grade voice, Caroline Starr Rose tells another stellar historical adventure young readers will long remember.
About the Author
Caroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. As a girl she danced ballet, raced through books, composed poetry on an ancient typewriter, and put on magic shows in a homemade cape. She's taught both social studies and English in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. In her classroom, she worked to instill in her students a passion for books, an enthusiasm to experiment with words, and a curiosity about the past. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novels in verse May B. and Blue Birds. Caroline lives in New Mexico with her husband and two sons.
Praise for Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine: An Amazon Best of the Month Pick for February 2017 – Ages 9-12 A 2018 Bank Street Best Book
“[I]t's the brothers' struggle to survive the Yukon wilderness with its harsh beauty and unforgiving cold that will keep readers entranced.”—Kirkus Reviews “[A] rousing historical adventure . . . Highly recommended for fans of adventure and historical fiction, or as a classroom read-aloud.”—School Library Journal
“Mash-up of clue-driven mystery, historical fiction, and survival story.”—BCCB
“Filled with witty characters, the suspense of survival, and rich period detail, this book will quickly draw in readers, who will likely appreciate both the well-crafted setting and the bond between brothers, who ultimately discover a happiness independent of the wealth they set out to find.”—Booklist “Jasper’s voice and Caroline Starr Rose’s writing style brought her characters alive, bursting with warmth and spirit. The rich details and historically accurate setting took me back to the era of the Gold Rush.”—Terry Lynn Johnson, author of Ice Dogs and Falcon Wild
“Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine takes two brothers and plunks them right into a hair-raising journey to the goldfields of Canada. It’s a rollicking adventure, warm and funny, chockablock with bad guys and good guys, mysteries and deceptions, dangers and disasters. With courage and persistence, Melvin and the delightful Jasper discover the true meaning of riches, friendship, and family. It’s a rip-roaring tale and a romping good read. Try to resist!”—Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist for The Midwife’s Apprentice