We enjoy reading aloud daily in our home while cuddling on the couch along with bedtime stories. These are just a few of the times when we pick up a good book and enjoy family time together. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading aloud Jem Strikes Gold and Jem’s Frog Fiasco. These are the first two books in the Goldtown Beginnings Series published by Kregel Publications.
Jem Strikes Gold and Jem’s Frog Fiasco Summary
Jem Strikes Gold is a story based in 1859 in Goldtown, California and is about a seven-year-old boy named Jem. His father pans for gold and his mother bakes pies that Jem and his sister deliver to the miners. Jem gets bullied by a boy in town, Will Sterling. When a prospector friend, Strike, finds a dog, Jem is hoping that he can convince his parents that he can keep the dog. The dog may even help him solve his problem with Will Sterling.
Jem’s Frog Fiasco is a story about how Jem must make money to pay for his new dog, Nuggett. He gets a job from a cafe owner and must collect bullfrogs. However, Jim gets upset when Nuggett and Jem’s sister get in the way. Then his sister goes missing so Jem must find her.
Both books have soft covers with a good size text for reading with young children. They each are 80 pages in length with 10 chapters and they had good black and white drawing scattered throughout. There is a list of new words at the beginning of each book to teach your child some new vocabulary to relate to the story.
How We Used The Books
In our home, we have talked quite a bit about gold mining so these two books were a great addition to our studies. My 4 year old and 6 year old were eager to listen to one short chapter each day. I really liked how the book was a great reading level for my sons and the chapters were short enough to keep their attention and intrigue them. Susan K. Marlow did an excellent job teaching the reader about gold mining by incorporating it into the storyline while gearing the books to young children. My boys favourite part of the book was how Nuggett, the dog, was incorporated into the storyline.
Kregel Publications also provides some free activity pages. I used the activity pages as a guideline for discussion with my sons. However, these pages could also be very useful for children to work through to help with their reading comprehension. Through the website, you can also purchase lap books relating to the books and a 14-week reading unit study for grades 2-3. We were able to incorporate math, science, social studies and language arts all into our read aloud time each day very easily with the activity pages.
I would highly recommend this great series from the Goldtown Beginnings Series published by Kregel Publications for young children, up to the ages of 9. My boys thoroughly enjoyed the storyline of both Jem Strikes Gold and Jem’s Frog Fiasco while learning lots about gold panning and gold mining town life in the 1800s. Be sure to read more Homeschool Review Crew reviews on this great series by clicking here.