The Gold Rush Kid

Written by Mary Waldorf
Review by Susanne Dunlap

Billy and his older sister Edna must bury their mother, who became ill and died while their father was off to the Yukon to search for gold. They decide to go in search of their father, which means pretending to be much older than they are, and Edna transforms herself into Ed, an angry, abrupt, and at heart very frightened young person.

Told in the first person by Billy, whose insights and strength draw the reader through this remarkable adventure, The Gold Rush Kid is a reissue of this classic young adult novel.

Waldorf’s voice as Billy is flawlessly believable. His perspective brings the other characters to life, with the inevitable color added by a young boy’s bemused observations of a sister on the brink of womanhood. Together they face danger, heartbreak, and loneliness. They suffer injuries, save a man from drowning, and unearth widespread corruption in the boomtowns of the Klondike. The drama is constant and engaging, and Billy’s indomitable spirit leads to a strong and rewarding ending. A great YA read.