Laurie Lawlor:  Author
[Books]   [About the Author]   [Speaking and Author Visits]  [Curriculum Connections]   [Contact the Author]

    Gold in the Hills

    Pa goes off to search for gold in the Colorado Hills (around 1880) and left his two children, Hattie, 10 years-old, and Pheme, 12 years-old, in the care of his Pa's bitter cousin Tirzah. Tirzah is not very nurturing and negotiates with a greedy mine owner, Pug Ryan for the children to work for him -- as virtually slave laborers. They are protected by Tirzah's gruff but reclusive neighbor "Old Judge" who protects the two youngsters. The children's mother died while the family was in Illinois and shortly after Pa and the two children travel to Colorado where Pa is going to seek his fortune. Pa boards the two of them with Tirzah who has been widowed and left with four children of her own. Tirzah does not treat the children with much compassion.

    Reviews and Comments

    "Lawlor fills this compelling adventure with suspenseful drama and period details, including a revealing examination of 19th century child-labor practices...An ambitious effort." -- Publishers Weekly (5/11/95)

    "Readers will be drawn into the mental anguish of these people as they evolve and show some emotional growth. A nicely developed story with some primary and secondary matters that can be discussed or thought about long after the book is finished." -- School Library Journal

    "...tight and full of suspense....interesting historical fiction." -- Booklist

    "[The book] manages to sparkle with deftly detailed characterizations. Hattie's narration is laced with idioms that add authenticity. ... Pheme's encounter with a nine-foot grizzly should make this title as appealing to outdoorsy adventure buffs as it will be to orphan-story fans." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    Gold in the Hills. (1995) Walker. ISBN: 0802783716; (1997) paperback Pocket Books ISBN: 0671568337. 146 pg. Historical Fiction.

[Other Historical Fiction Books] - [All titles by Lawlor] - [Curriculum Connections - List all titles]