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Books and images are also throughout the site under various topics.

Gold Rush Books for Children

Sailors, Whalers, Fantastic Sea Voyages.

Sailors, Whalers, Fantastic Sea Voyages:
An Activity Guide to North American Sailing Life
Sailors, Whalers, Fantastic Sea Voyages.

Children are fascinated with sailing ships, lighthouses, whaling, shipwrecks, and mutinies, and these 50-plus activities will provide them with a boatful of fun. This activity guide shows kids what life was like for the greenhands, old salts, and captains on the high seas during the great age of sail in the 19th century: aboard square-riggers, clippers, whalers, schooners, and packet ships. Life aboard ship was an exciting subculture of American life with its own language, food, music, art, and social structure. Children will learn that many captains brought their wives and children aboard ship, and that kids who learned how to walk at sea often found it difficult to walk on dry land. The book begins with the China Tea trade in the late 18th century and ends with the last whaler leaving New Bedford in 1924. Kids will create scrimshaw using black ink and a bar of white soap; make a model lighthouse using a bike reflector, an oatmeal box, and a plastic soda bottle; and paint China with traditional designs using a blue paint pen and a basic white plate. Included are additional simple activities requiring common household objects that are sure to please busy parents and teachers alike.

Lighthouses of France.

Click for a Selection of books about LighthousesLighthouses. and DVDs about LighthousesLighthouses. around the World for Kids and Adults: West Coast and East Coast United States, Ireland, South Africa, the Carolinas, mid-Atlantic floating lighthouses, Inland lakes . . .

Lighthouses of France: The Monuments and Their Keepers

Unlike many other countries, France has resisted the trend toward total automation, and in many small ports and seaside towns, the lighthouse keeper is still a well known and respected figure. World renowned lighthouse photographer Jean Guichard's famously dramatic photographs of storms at sea illustrate the perilous working conditions the lighthouse keepers face, and the text by Rene Gast provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of these men and women, whose determination and nerves of steel have saved countless lives over the centuries. Even the workmen who built these technological marvels risked their lives with every wave, and had to be strapped bellydown on the rock to avoid being washed away. Today, the job still requires a great deal of nerve where keepers are still winched down to the deck of the relief boat by hand, dangling from ropes over crashing seas. The book also contains reproductions of a number of historical documents about lighthouses.

A Tale of Gold.

A Tale of Gold

California Gold Rush.
Thelma Hatch Wyss
GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! scream the headlines announcing the discovery of gold in the Yukon. Fourteen-year-old James Erickson, alone in the world after his father's death, is mesmerized when he sees the first ship of prospectors enter the San Francisco harbor. Caught up in the gold fever, he books passage on a steamer up to Alaska.

In Alaska, James meets Tip, a skinny boy who turns out to be a girl -- and the only person James trusts to be his partner. Together they embark on a treacherous trek over the mountains and down the river, battling rapids, con men, and the cold. When their survival skills -- and their dedication to each other -- are tested, James and Tip wonder whether their exhausting journey will be worth it. Is their fortune waiting just beyond the next bend? And what are they willing to risk to find out?

This is the story of a young man who follows his dreams. Thelma Hatch Wyss re-creates the harsh experience of life on the Gold Rush Trail, weaving a tale of adventure, peril, and ultimately, belonging.

The Balloon Boy of San Francisco by Dorothy Leland.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

The Balloon Boy of San FranciscoBalloon Boy of San Francisco.

Dorothy Leland
Children's historical novel based on events that happened in San Francisco in 1853. Though the book's signature event has to do with the first balloon ascension in California, the story has quite a lot about ships, shipping lines and the San Francisco waterfront. The book opens with a newsboy selling the Alta California "extra" edition announcing the sinking of the steamship "Independence" off the coast of Baja California. Several other shipwrecks enter into the story: the "Tennessee," the "SS Lewis," and the "Jenny Lind."

Peter Simple written for young people.book tag.

Peter Simple, Rewritten for Young People

Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Life at sea by Captain Frederick Marryat (1792-1848), who served in the British Navy. Captain Marryat ranks alongside the greatest, most colorful story tellers with his tale of Peter Simple, who, as the least-brightest of a large family, is sent to sea. Rewritten for young people, and, unfortunately quite expensive and difficult to find (but worth it!)

Dragonwings by Lawrence Yep.

Dragonwings
(Golden Mountain Chronicles, 1867)

Dragonwings (Golden Mountain Chronicles, 1867).

Laurence Yep
Historical fiction reflecting on the Chinese experience in America. The story follows Moon Shadow, a boy sent from his native China to live with his father, Windrider, in San Francisco in 1903. The book is written for children, but one reviewer remembers having to read it as a child and not finding it sufficiently educational or a "good read."
Still, it is a telling of one Chinese family in the San Francisco Bay Area at the turn of the Century.

Lighthouses for Kids. Lighthouses for Kids: History, Science, and Lore with 21 Activities (For Kids series)
Hannahs Journal.

Hannah's Journal: The Story of an Immigrant GirlThe Story of an Immigrant Girl.

Marissa Moss.
Hannah's small European village buzzes with tales of life in America--a life free from persecution. Cousin Esther has passage for two aboard a ship bound for New York, and Hannah convinces her parents to let her use the extra ticket. Will America be everything they've ever dreamed of? Full-color illustrations.

Sea captains lives and legends.

Pirates of the Caribbean for Children

Sea captains lives and legends.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

DELUXE SAO FENG WITH FIRING DOUBLE DRAGON CANNON AND SINGAPORE SWORD

Sea captains lives and legends.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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