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By the Great Horn Spoon! [Paperback]

Sid Fleischman , Brett Helquist
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 8.00
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Book Description

April 30 1988
In this rollicking adventure set during the California Gold Rush, Jack's aunt is forced to sell her beloved mansion to meet her debts. She is still unable to raise enough money to pay her creditors, and twelve-year-old Jack goes to California in search of gold to help her. Joined by his trusty butler, Praiseworthy, Jack finds adventure and trouble at every turn. Will Jack strike gold in San Francisco or come home empty-handed?

This new edition features illustrations by Brett Helquist.

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Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Two tales of trickery and exaggeration by the Newbery Medalist feature adventures in the Old West and during the California Gold Rush. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–Listeners are in for a treat with this satisfying reading of Sid Fleischman's novel (Little, 1963). Brimming with riveting adventure, the story is set during the Gold Rush. The fast-moving plot follows the high spirited young Jack and his aunt's faithful butler, Praiseworthy, as they set out to strike it rich in order to support the financially strapped and beloved Aunt Arabella. As Jack and the loyal butler travel by sea and land, the pair meet a series of memorable characters such as the daring, crusty sea Captain Swain and the diabolical Cut-Eye Higgins. The individual personalities of the characters are reflected through the expressive voices rendered by the large cast of 24 readers. Jack and Praiseworthy are the most well-rounded characters. While some of the readers use more expression than others, Willard E. Lape, Jr.'s strong narration is crisp and well-paced. Bouncy folk-style music, appropriate to the historical setting, separates each chapter. This entertaining production is a worthy purchase for libraries with large children's audio collections.–Lynn K. Vanca, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read-aloud! It's a fun adventure!! Feb. 21 2013
By Darlene TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I read this book aloud to my children. It won the 1972 George C. Stone Center for Children's Books Recognition of Merit Award.

This is a fantastic adventure story that is set in 1849 during the time of the California Gold Rush. It features an orphaned 12 year-old boy named Jack Flagg, who lives with his aunt, Arabella, in Boston. In order to save the family from financial ruin and force the sale of the family’s estate, Jack sets out to strike a fortune in California. Accompanied by the family’s butler, Praiseworthy, the two set off to purchase their tickets to sail aboard a ship. Unfortunately, their money to pay for their passage is stolen and they must stow-away on the ship. They work off their passage by stoking the boiler with coal. One of the passengers has his map marking the site of gold stolen, and Jack and Praiseworthy devise an ingenious method of ferreting out the thief.

Jack and Praiseworthy encounter one obstacle after another, but they are unswerving in their dedication to complete their mission. They make a great team! I loved seeing the change in their relationship over time from butler/master to more of a father/son dynamic. Praiseworthy really surprised me with his cleverness, and my kids and I laughed on many occasions. It was also really interesting to see what life was like as a gold miner.

If you are looking for a funny adventure story to enjoy with your kids, I highly recommend this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Book Report Dec 4 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Whaho! Bang! Bang! Sorry folks, didn't mean to scare you there. Anyway, welcome to Sacramento 1852 where the gold rush was found. We've all been waiting here to tell you about the new book Sid fleischman wrote about us, By The Great Horn Spoon. I'm sure you're just happy enough to be on land and alive. I don't really like those sea voyages myself but it's the safest way to get to California. So let's walk into town and have us some lunch shall we? Oh, by the way . Have you heard of Bullwhip and Jamoka Jack? Jack is a mere scrawny boy. He's got blonde hair and brown eyes. He got his name by drinkig coffee and plenty of it. And Bullwhip? By gods, I hear he knocked a road-agent fifteen feet up hill! He's got brown hair and a shave of a beard, but he used to be called "Praiseworthy" the butler. They say they're going to see Doc Higgins, the dentist, at Shirtail Camp. They say he's a thief. I personally think he's a nice guy, but who's talking.
This whole story is about a boy, named Jack who figures out about the gold rush and decided that he wants to go to California and search for gold to help his Aunt Arebella who is going to lose her house. Jack and his butler, Praiseworthy, gets aboard as stowaways and crosses the dreadful Cape Horn to California. But they don't know about searching for gold. And you'll have to read the rest to find out how they get rich. The reader will like this book because it has a lot of good information about the gold rush, and it has fun turns and loops. Enjoy this book about the fun and treacherous gold rush.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read out loud. Feb. 13 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
When I was nine, I read this book. At age 40, I read the same copy to my children, ages ten and eight. As much as I enjoyed reading it the first time, reading it out loud was a much richer experience.
The writing flows naturally, and encourages a great variation in expression. The adventure truly comes out in the reader's voice. I am an actor, but I felt that this story would bring out the actor in anybody.
The story was so exciting and surprising that long reading sessions never dragged. At several points, my children threw themselves down on the floor and yelled, "Oh my gosh!"
This experience brought it all together for me, if I may speak personally: books, performing, involvement with my children, a classic story that I relished as a child myself. Those evenings added up to the happiest time of my life.
The plot concerns a boy who runs away during the California gold rush--with his butler!--to try to get his family out of debt. The adventures along the way are episodic, and each episode is an amazing and believable story in itself. Every step in the journey is given full attention: the voyage from Boston to San Francisco, the trip to the gold fields, the experiences among the miners. There are plenty of colorful characters, and plenty of opportunities for the two main characters to grow. There are also several threads that run through the whole story, maintaining suspense. Their resolution is unpredictable and satisfying.
There was very little in the book that could make a parent squirm, and very little that sounded out of date. But there were three moments that made me pause: 1) There is a fist fight, though it is handled in a light-hearted way. 2) There is a reference to corporal punishment when an adult threatens to "take a hairbrush" to a child.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and a useful teaching tool March 1 2000
Format:Paperback
I am a 4th/5th grade teacher. I used this book as a core novel in class and it worked extremely well.
Both my students and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The hilarious antics of Jack and Praiseworthy taught my students a great deal about the gold rush and about US and world geography while they were being entertained by the story. I was able to use the book as the basis for a host of writing and other activities.
The richness of the language, especially the similies, made the book a great model for teaching writing.
The book held the interest both of boys and girls alike. If you are a child looking for a good book to read, check out this one. If you are a parent or teacher looking for a book that is both high in quality and interesting to children, you will be glad to selected this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gold Rush of the Forty-Niners
Reason for Reading: read aloud to my 9yo to go with our history studies.

Summary: Aunt Arabella is in imminent danger of losing her estate so Jack and the butler,... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2009 by Nicola Mansfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventures of Jack and Praiseworthy in 1849
Have you ever read a book that will keep you reading for hours? Well if you have, I bet you read this book. Read more
Published on June 10 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars why by the great horn spoon is great but bad
By the Great Horn Spoon! is an OK book. If you have read The 13th Floor and hated the way it ended then you will also hate this book. Read more
Published on June 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Rush Fever
By the Great Horn Spoon was by far the most enjoyable social science book I have read. The book truly captures the the spirit of what life (Gold Rush life) was like in those days. Read more
Published on May 12 2003 by Robert B
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Horned Spoon review
By the Great Horned Spoon, an Historical fiction novel by Sid Fleichman, is such a geat review that it will knock your socks off. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Horned Spoon review
By the Great Horned Spoon, an Historical fiction novel by Sid Fleichman, is such a geat review that it will knock your socks off. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best adventure books around for 4th grade boys!
I teach Special Ed. in a mainstream class setting for fourth grade. Which is when California students study the CA gold Rush. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2002 by Kat of the North
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure!
I think that By the Great Horn Spoon! has a great adventure. It is about a boy and his family's butler who sail from Boston, Massachusetts to California during the gold rush. Read more
Published on June 7 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Bullwhips mighty power
I Like how the weak little butler Praiseworthy, beats up the mightiest bullies in town, and gets him his mighty nickname "Bullwhip". Read more
Published on April 10 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON
This is an extremely wonderful book. It tells you all neat and interesting stories of a boy and his butler, who are going to San Francisco to find gold. Read more
Published on April 5 2000
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