The adventure-packed, award-winning book Call of the Klondike by David Meissner brings a whole new perspective about the historic Klondike gold rush. You get to follow Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond on their adventure! In 2009, Meissner was having dinner with his inspiration of this book, Kim Richardson. Richardson mentioned a huge bag full of historic and old letters from his ancestor, Stanley H. Pearce. After Richardson’s request to shape the letters into a story, and after an editor got involved, Meissner agreed to the proposal. Meissner knew little about the significant gold rush, but he traveled far and found the facts.
In 1897, gold was found and was worth millions. Thirsty for money, citizens of Seattle quit their jobs and headed towards Canada and Alaska. They trekked a perilous journey for months before arriving at Dawson, Canada. In Dawson, Pearce and Bond met Jack London, author of White Fang and Call of the Wild. Buck, the character in The Call of the Wild, was based off of one of the two adventurer’s dogs, Jack.
Many folks didn’t make it, and tens of thousands of horses wouldn’t make it, either. The ‘White Pass Trail’ was re-named the ‘Dead Horse Trail’ because of all the horses. Only four percent of 100,000 people made money.
Meissner wrote this with primary sources such as letters and Bond’s diary. It was all glued together with research. I, as a reader, liked how the book showed the actual letter, along with the words. To get these facts, Meissner got up-close and personal. He hiked the Chilkoot Pass in misty weather like the old-timers.
“It’s super cool.” states Meissner, “The reason I did it was because of research and I was following in their footsteps.” Meissner twisted his ankle in the long hike. In the steep parts, he discovered artifacts such as boots, a razor, picks, shovels… and a stove. Once done with his hike, he arrived at a town and began writing.
Finally, he finished his book in October, 2013. He is glad to come to schools and teach about the historic event. This book is exciting and informing, the author recommends it for fifth grade plus. Tag along in history with Bond and Pearce and experience the Klondike gold rush.