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:
A 2018 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year A 2018 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award Finalist A 2017–2018 Camellia Children’s Choice Book Award Nominee An Amazon Best of the Month Pick for February 2017 A Junior Library Guild Selection
“A rollicking adventure, warm and funny, chockablock with bad guys and good guys, mysteries and deceptions, dangers and disasters . . . A rip-roaring tale and a romping good read. Try to resist!” —Karen Cushman, Newbery Award–winning author
“A rousing historical adventure . . . Rose’s carefully plotted clues, along with colorful supporting characters and narrow escapes, keep the pace brisk . . . Highly recommended for fans of adventure and historical fiction, or as a classroom read-aloud.” —School Library Journal
“It’s the brothers’ struggle to survive the Yukon wilderness with its harsh beauty and unforgiving cold that will keep readers entranced.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Mash-up of clue-driven mystery, historical fiction, and survival story.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“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 is action, history, survival, and the bond of brotherhood all rolled into one . . . Strikes all the right chords.” —Barnes & Noble Kids’ Blog
Praise for Blue Birds: A 2018 Nevada Young Readers Award Nominee A 2017 New Mexico Zia Book Award First Runner-Up A 2016 Jefferson Cup Award Winner A 2016 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award Finalist A 2015–2016 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominee A 2015 New Mexico–Arizona Book Award Winner A 2015 Nerdy Book Club Award Winner for Poetry and Verse Novels
“An excellent historical offering and belongs on public and school library shelves.” —VOYA
“With two compelling main characters and an abundance of rich historical detail, Rose’s latest novel offers much to discuss and much to appreciate.” —School Library Journal
“Composed in varying formats, the descriptive and finely crafted poems reveal the similarities the two girls share, from loved ones lost to hatred between the English and the Roanoke to a desire for peace . . . Fans of Karen Hesse and the author’s May B. (2012) will delight in this offering.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A memorable account of a friendship that transcends culture and prejudice.” —Publishers Weekly
“Using language that’s both plain and exquisite, Caroline Starr Rose weaves history seamlessly into the stories of two girls with distinct backgrounds and voices. The crossing lives gave me a big world that lingered past the pages.” —Jeannine Atkins, author of Borrowed Names
“An imaginative historical novel with two sympathetic protagonists.” —Booklist
“Rose has given us a complex story, a real and researched story, a story that, despite its roots in late 16th century America, feels contemporary. In bringing readers Alis and Kimi, Rose has not just brought us a distant era. She’s brought her readers a way of sinking in with real questions about difference—and a credible suggestion that such differences might be overcome.” —Beth Kephart, author of This Is the Story of You
“Themes of fear and freedom will appeal to a wide audience.” —School Library Connection