Thursday, 1 April 2021

Gold

Gold by Jackie Kerin and Annie White (Ford Street Publishing) RRP: $24.95 ISBN: 9781925804539

Reviewed by Jeffery E Doherty

Gold is an illustrated non-fiction picture book about the goldrush in the Victorian goldfields, and four men who struck it big. The Blanche Barkley nugget was one of the biggest gold nuggets ever found in Australia. Although the government at the time tried to keep the find a secret, word got out and triggered the Victorian goldrush.

Gold is a non-fiction book but Jackie Kerin’s text reads like a story. It is evocative and in parts poetic. Young readers who thrive on factual texts will find this book exhilarating. There are several pages of cameo appearances at the back of the book from the diggers, young Blanche, for who the nugget was named, through to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. These expand on the historical importance of the story. The illustrations by Annie White are delightful and bright. They capture the feel of the gold diggings and complement the text beautifully.

The gold rush in Australia is a staple history subject in primary schools and Gold would make an excellent learning resource. I definitely recommend this book for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 teachers to enhance their lessons on this subject. This is a must-have book for school libraries.

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