Novel Guide: Jason's Gold
 
 

Background

Will Hobbs grew up with a parent in the military, moved around a lot, and was exposed to several different regions of the world. The Yukon was one of these regions. Hobbs’s family finally settled down in California, and Hobbs continued to explore the outdoors every day. After graduating from college, Hobbs and his wife settled in southwestern Colorado. Many ideas for his stories have come from his personal experience in the outdoors.

The Novel

The Journey Begins
Jason is a newspaper vendor on the streets of New York. Recent news is of personal interest to him. A ship filled with gold has arrived in Seattle, Jason’s hometown. Ten months before, Jason had been living in Seattle with his brothers. That was before this 15-year-old had decided to seek his fortune.

Charting the Course
The book is about Jason’s quest to find his brothers. Jason returns to Seattle to learn that his brothers have taken his nest egg and have headed for the gold fields of the Yukon. Jason, in an effort to rejoin his family, stows away on a ship that is heading to Skagway. He is thrown off the ship in Juneau but eventually makes it to Skagway. Jack London is an important character in the storyline. London was a real person, as were the men who are mentioned in his party. Research who London was and why he was famous.

Journey’s End
Jason goes through much to reach his family. He grows as a person in several different ways. Think about the story. What hardships did he overcome to arrive in Dawson City? List these hardships. How many 15-year-olds do you think could do these things today? Why was he determined? What made Jason so strong? What is different today? With these thoughts in mind, write a five-paragraph essay on the differences between 15-year-olds of the 1800s and of today.

Activities

Create a Diagram
After reading this book, compare the gold rush in the Yukon with the gold rush in California. Make a Venn diagram to show these comparisons.

Research a Character
At the end of this book, the author indicates where he got his information. Especially look at the names of the real persons who were characters in the story. Pick one of them and see what you can find out about him or her before and after he or she was in the Yukon.

Illustrate a Guide
Illustrate a guide to gold mining; include pictures and step-by-step instructions.