Download Hard Gold: The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859: A Tale of the Old West Audiobook

Hard Gold: The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859: A Tale of the Old West Audiobook, by , Avi Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: , Avi Narrator: Alston Brown Publisher: AudioBookShelf Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781620641316
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Early Whitcomb’s family needs a miracle. Their Iowa farm has been in the family for generations, but a long drought has withered their savings and left them in debt. Meanwhile, the great Chicago and Northwestern Railroad wants their land, and if the Whitcombs can’t pay their loans, the local banker, Judge Fuslin, will foreclose and sell the farm as his own. Early’s uncle (though he’s more like a brother), Jesse, thinks he has the solution—to head West and dig for gold. 

Fueled by reports of prospectors striking it rich in the Rocky Mountains, Jesse can’t think about anything but gold, and his determination to get to the western territories grows stronger by the day. Early is wild to go with him, as much for the adventure as for the gold. But the journey costs money—more than the boys can afford—and when Jesse flees during the night, after being accused of a robbery, Early doesn’t know what to believe. Then Jesse sends an electrifying message—that he has found gold, but his life is in danger—and Early knows he must do whatever it takes to find him, even if it means running away and joining a wagon train with a strange family. 

The journey is dangerous and full of hardships, and the closer the travelers get to their destination, the more ruined lives they encounter—lives consumed by the hunt for gold. Then to his horror, Early learns that Jesse has been accused of another, much bigger crime and has fled to a secret place in the mountains. Somehow, Early must get to him without leading Jesse‘s pursuers right to his door. And even if he succeeds, Early will still have to make the hardest choice of his life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The detailed, authentic touches of history and adventure are a good combination for readers who might resist straight nonfiction.”

    Booklist

  • “Alston Brown’s easy pace is well suited to descriptions of boundless opportunities and the wide-open prairie. Brown is the personification of innocence and naivete as he describes this book’s romantic visions of Colorado gold. The story is told by fourteen-year-old Early Whitcomb. Brown subtly differentiates between characters, allowing Early’s earnestness and Uncle Jesse’s charisma to distinguish them.”

    AudioFile

  • “What will make this interesting for readers who like action is the relentless foreshadowing of evil and heartbreak, the short chapters, the trademark Avi cliffhangers, sharp attention to interesting (but not overwhelming) historical detail.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Avi is the author of more than fifty books for children and young adults, including the 2003 Newbery Medal winner Crispin: The Cross of Lead. Along with his two Newbery Honors, he has won many other awards for his fiction. He lives with his family in Denver.

About the Narrator

Alston Brown is an actor and writer, currently enrolled as an MFA candidate in the Brown University / Trinity Repertory Company’s acting program. He has worked extensively in theater in New York and regionally, including workshops of the Broadway play Next Fall and at the Sundance Institute, and appeared in the film Observe and Report. Alston lives in Providence, Rhode Island.