Presentations/School Visits

Good Sources for Research on the Alaska Gold Rush:

Alaska Historical Society:

Alaska’s Digital Archives:

Other Blogs That Discuss Alaska History:

49 History:

Aunt Phil’s Trunk:


Discussion Questions for Lynn Lovegreen’s Gold Rush Books

Teachers: please feel free to copy and paste into your document. If you need help with answers, please write Lynn at


Discussion Questions for Worth Her Weight in Gold:

What is Tom’s job?

What does Ada do (with her family) as her job?

Why doesn’t Tom think he has a chance with Ada?

What interest do Ada and Tom share?

Why does Ada have to have a chaperone when she sees Tom?

What choices does Ada have in life? Why are they different than Tom’s choices?

Why are people wanting to force China Joe out of town?

What factors make Ada and Tom want to help him?

Did they make the best decision, to help in that way?

If you were in their situation, what would you have done?


Discussion Questions for Fools Gold:

Why do Ellie and Billy go to the gold rush?

What prevents them from getting to the gold fields?

How does Ellie feel about that?

Why do the men help Ellie with the pie tent?

How does Ellie help Frank get his stolen poke back?

At what point does Duke fall in love with Ellie?

At what point does Ellie fall in love with Duke?

What kind of relationship does Ellie have with Billy? Does it change over time?

How does Ellie grow and mature by the end of the book?

How does Duke grow and mature by the end of the book?


Discussion Questions for Quicksilver to Gold:

Why is Jeannie Kelly in Nome, Alaska?

What does she really want from her father?

Which members of the family are into mining, and which are not?

What is Clint Tilghman’s first impression on Jeannie?

What does he want in life?

Why are they kicked off their mining claims?

What keeps Jeannie and Clint apart, and what draws them together?

How do they get their claims back?

Which famous couple run the Dexter Saloon?

What lessons does Jeannie learn from Ellie and Josie?


Discussion Questions for Golden Days:

Why does Elizabeth’s family go to Alaska?

How do they travel to Fairbanks?

How does the boiler help James and his uncle in gold mining?

Compare and contrast Elizabeth and Betty.

What is “break up”?

What helps Elizabeth face challenges and help her family?

What would be the hardest part for you in living in Fairbanks back then? The best part?

Why don’t people take Elizabeth’s art seriously?

How do Mrs. Thompson and Elena help Elizabeth grow into the woman she becomes?

How does Elizabeth help Judge Wickersham and vice versa?


Discussion Questions for Gold Nuggets:

Why does Henry go to Alaska?

What does Charlotte’s family do there?

Why does Charlotte think about leaving home?

What is she afraid of? Are her fears valid?

Why are the miners suspicious of the park plan?

What do Charlotte and Henry learn from reading Emerson?

How does Henry change his goals in life?

How are they able to help create Mt. McKinley National Park?

How is Aunt Alice an early feminist?

What can you do to change your world or help a cause you care about?