By the Great Horn Spoon is a rollicking piece of historical fiction set during the California Gold Rush in the mid 1800s. Jack and Praiseworthy, the family butler, are stowaways on a ship sailing from Boston to San Francisco around Cape Horn. Jack’s aunt has lost her house and all of the family money back in Massachusetts. Jack and Praiseworthy are confident they can regain the family fortune by joining the thousands of would-be miners heading for the gold mines of California. Just from the title, you know this is going to be a fun book! Things look grim, and then their luck turns for the better, then things look grim again, then things look better again, then things look grim again — over and over. And dogging them through their crazy adventures is the villain, Cut-eye Higgins! You won’t be able to put this exciting and hilarious book down!
If you’re not familiar with Sid Fleischman, then you are in for a real treat! Mr. Fleischman wrote nearly 70 books during his lifetime, 44 of which were for children and young adults. He won the Newbery Medal in 1987 for The Whipping Boy and the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award in 1979, for Humbug Mountain. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators founded the Sid Fleischman Award back in 2003 and it is awarded annually to a writer of humorous children or young adult fiction.
Check out Sid Fleischman’s shelf at your local library. You’ll find many titles worth reading!
Middle Grade Reading Level, 224 Pages, Historical Fiction, Books for Boys, Published in 1963.