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Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (Dear America)
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Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (Dear America)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  2,300 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Grade 5-8-Fourteen-year-old Susanna Fairchild and her family embark on a journey that they hope will bring them good fortune. Boarding a ship sailing from New York to the West, the Fairchilds set out for Oregon where they plan to start a new life. Tragedy strikes when Susanna's mother is lost at sea, and they must continue on without her. Hearing stories of enormous wealth ...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Scholastic Inc.
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Jun 03, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
4.2 stars because, this book had a lot of cliffhangers when we had to reach out goal and couldn't go on. A lot of fears and there's a lot going on, like murders. But overall, it was pretty decent.
Aug 13, 2010 Megan rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2015 Claire rated it liked it
I loved Kristiana Gregory's other two Dear America books, so I was surprised that I didn't enjoy this one as much. It wasn't bad. But it wasn't great either.

(Also—the father leaving his two teenage daughters alone for weeks surrounded by sketchy mining men?? He totally would NOT have done that in real life, if he were the good father the author portrayed him as. Anyway. Just had to get that off my chest.)
Jan 06, 2013 hamptonenglish10 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Erik Steinmetz

Mrs. Brooks

Academic English 10

Due: Monday, January 7, 2013

Susanna Fairchild, a fourteen year old girl, is the first person speaker of the book. It is January 1849, and her, her father and sister Clara are on a ship about to finish their long voyage from New York to Oregon. Susanna is writing journal entries in her mother's old journal. After the death of their mother her dad lost a lot of money and they are pretty much broke, so when Susanna's dad hears about a gold strike in Calif
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Seeds of Hope (California Gold Rush) / 0-590-51157-2

Once again, the Dear America formula has rendered complex and difficult history into an entertaining and personal portrayal. When Susanna's mother dies en route to Oregon, her grieving father turns to gold fever to dull his loss and Susanna and family turn gold miners. In this way, Susanna is able to note carefully the follies of those stricken with gold fever and is able to describe, in detail, how the only people who reliably struck it rich w
Sarah Crawford
Feb 01, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
The story takes place in 1849. Susanna, her father, mother and sister are on a ship going around South America, taking them ultimately to Oregon.

Things go bad, though, when rough seas sweep her mother overboard, and they are unable to find her or her body. When the boat docks in San Francisco Bay almost everyone deserts the ship, rushing to the areas where gold has been found. Even Susanna's father is bitten by the gold-rush bug and they go off to the wilds.

The novel gives a good idea of just h
Apr 01, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
It is January, 1849. Fourteen-year-old Susanna Fairchild, her father, and her sixteen-year-old sister Clara are on board a ship, almost to the end of their long sea voyage from New York to Oregon, when they hear news of a gold strike in California. Susanna's desperate father, grieving after the death of his wife and nearly penniless after losing all his money, abandons his plan of establishing a medical practice in Oregon and decides to mine for gold in the hope of gaining back the money he lost ...more
Emily Whelchel
Mar 05, 2016 Emily Whelchel rated it really liked it
What I Liked

I enjoyed Susanna's voice of innocence and growing maturity as she steps into a world of violence and greed. Lust for gold brings out the worst in people. Susanna begins as a girl who easily makes friends and who easily trusts. The story ends with a close-knit group of people who can trust one another and not likely anyone else.

The Gold Rush has always fascinated me. Thousands of people left their states, their families, their jobs, and all security, to go dig for gold in horrendous
May 07, 2009 Jorge rated it really liked it
"Seeds of Hope." One of the best stories that I've ever read. A very descriptive and accurate tale written by Kristiana Gregory about the Gold Rush.
Susanna Fairchild and her family have been traveling at sea towards Oregon for many months. Susanna's pregnant mother was thrown overboard during a storm. Suanna is now traveling with only her sister and father. Soon afterwards, President James K. Polk announces a discovery of gold in the mines of California.
After hearing the news, dozens of dozen
Jeni Enjaian
A review from my old blog...

I have never been disappointed with any of the books in the Dear America series. I love the idea of reading someone's journal and getting a glimpse into someone's life. Though these journals are not probably what would have been written... much more storytelling has to be done than is usually done in a journal.
Now I'll admit... sometimes on trips my journal entries will approach story telling but these books always make me want to pick up my journal and start writing
Mar 13, 2016 Megan rated it liked it
My daughter, a fourth-grader currently, has read several of the Dear America series lately. This one was her favorite; she has read it twice already, and absolutely insisted that I read it, too. I asked her why this one was her favorite, and she said it was because she thinks the ending is really sweet. I found the diary format very personable, and the story packs a lot of historic detail and adventure in for something of this reading level (grade 6.1). While it felt a little bit like the author ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Logan rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, geography
Susannah, 15, is on a ship with her family from New York to Oregon Territory to start a new life. But when her mother dies on the journey, things begin to change in ways Susannah couldn't have imagined. When they reach San Francisco, everyone is talking gold, gold, GOLD! Her father decides that he will join in the rush for gold. Realistic and detailed story of the Gold Rush, told in the form of Susannah's diary. Some pretty dark bits about the dangers for women in the camps, the violence, the pr ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Beverly rated it it was amazing
This Dear America book shows to what length Eastern Americans went to, to become prospectors in California. Greed has an ugly face, but I shudder to realize professional people, such as printers,doctors, and those with comfortable lives would throw it aside for gold. Did they not realize the danger of sailing around the Cape of Storms, or the pestilence of walking across Panama? There was no known cause/cure for malaria then. The Overland Trail was a plethora of Indian danger, rattlesnakes, rive ...more
Ashley Diller
I read the book called Seeds of Hope the Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild by Kristina Gregory. The book is about a girl named Susanna who is 15 years old. She is on a ship with her family from New York to the Oregon Territory to start a new life. When they reach San Francisco and everyone is saying gold gold GOLD!

"Seeds of Hope" is one of the best books I have ever read. Its a very descriptive and accurate story about Susanna Fairchild. the only part I hated was when Susanna's mom got thr
Young Adult Historical Vault
Evocative, enjoyable, sad, a little slow, but good in its own way. I love Kristiana Gregory's books, and I love that this took the tack of being a little bit removed from the "action" of the gold fields--the danger and the drama of it. It's pretty accurate, but it doesn't move along as quickly and energetically as some of her other books. All the same, I could smell the pine trees and the mountain streams and the campfires while reading it--Gregory has a gift for bringing out those tiny details ...more
Kelsey Harding
Seeds of Hope was an outstanding book. I Am not the book type of person but when I started this book I could take my eyes off of it. This book is about a girl named Susanna who is on a boat with her sister and father. Their mother has just died and all of their savings is gone because of the huge wave. When the family finds out that their is a gold rush they get off the boat in San Francisco instead of continuing the rest of the way to Oregon. Will the family make enough mint to go back to Orego ...more
Elaine Shipley-pope
Apr 09, 2013 Elaine Shipley-pope rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
While this Dear America followed quite a different path then most of the others but I really enjoyed it. Susanna and her sister are traveling with their father aboard a ship to reach family on the coast. Their mother is swept over board and when their father takes off his coat to jump in and save her his coat containing all their money is lost as well. Still reeling from the loss of their mother when they reach the next port the family decides to stay and try their luck at the gold rush. Life th ...more
Jul 27, 2008 Molly rated it really liked it
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
Kelsey Hanson
The Gold Rush made people nuts! Why else would anyone live in these lawless towns? This story was interesting and I definitely feel for the few women who lived in these areas. It was clearly not a safe or comfortable place to be and it seems like the payoff was definitely minimal. This one wasn't perhaps as entertaining as some of the others in the series, but it was interesting enough and I was able to read it quickly so I might stand a chance of actually completing my goal.
Jul 16, 2015 Cece rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Besides that the book was very good, I thought it was interesting that Susanna is Hattie's cousin from, Dear America: Across The Wide And Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary Of Hattie Campbell! Check out the epilogue. Bennie and Jake are Susanna's cousins and Hattie's little brothers.
Aug 11, 2014 Drucilla rated it really liked it
Shelves: dear-america
I don't know why I like this gold rush diary more than the other ones (and the frontier ones in general). Maybe because all of the characters are nice, not stupid, and there's a happy ending. It also might have something to do with the fact that Susanna gets a beau. : ) Although there could have been more description in that regard, especially since she did minutely describe the family's meals almost every entry.
In this book a girl stays in a cabin with her sister and they deal with the happiness and scariness of the California Gold Rush. (10 & up)

I can't rememeber much about this book, all I remember is that one of the girls didn't like to wear corsetts and that there fathers friend stole their money. I know this was a good book for one it was Dear America for another it was historical fiction. I think everyone should read this.

Apr 30, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
I liked this more than anticipated. I'd visited some gold rush areas of northern CA as mentioned in the book, which made it more interesting. I can't imagine the life this girl lived, but I liked reading about it. I especially liked the Miner's Griddle Cake recipe at the end - I look forward to trying it!
Dec 03, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
My daughter really loves these books. She brought this one home from school and insisted I read it. I had learned a bit about the gold rush in school, but before this, I hadn't seen any historical fiction books with this setting. It was a nice and new perspective. The romance and baby were well written too. A good blend of details and leaving things to the imagination.
Nov 05, 2012 Liana710 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 7th-grade-books
This wasn't a book that I... liked. It was really hard to tell what the point of this book was. To learn more about the gold rush? I didn't really learn much. To read a person's diary? It didn't seem like a realistic diary. I just didn't get it. Aren't people supposed to get something out of reading a book? I GOT NOTHING.
Jan 15, 2011 Melinda rated it really liked it
Love these kind of books. Wish I had these kind of books when I was growing up. Ah well not to old to read them now! This was about the Gold Rush in California and one family's perspective. I liked it.
Anna Silva
May 08, 2015 Anna Silva rated it really liked it
Seeds of Hope was very good, but really slow. There wasn't much action until the end, and I often got bored. But I loved how the author made the characters seem and act so much like real people. You can imagine yourself in their world.
Mar 21, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Girls 8+
Okay, now I think this one must be my favorite DA. Susanna's story is gripping, adventurous, and endearing. I really appreciated the way the girls kept house for their father and how they were so close to each other. This book, set in the gold rush of 1849, shows the dangers and tragedies of greed.
Alyssa Greatbanks
Sep 08, 2013 Alyssa Greatbanks rated it liked it
This was a pretty good read. One of the better Dear America books. It showed a lot of what it was to live around the mining area, but not so much of the actual mining, which is what the whole situation was about.
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Kristiana Gregory grew up in Manhattan Beach, California, two blocks from the ocean. She's always loved to make up stories [ask her family!], telling her younger siblings whoppers that would leave them wide-eyed and shivering. Her first rejection letter at age ten was for a poem she wrote in class when she was supposed to be doing a math assignment. She's had a myriad of odd jobs: telephone operat ...more
More about Kristiana Gregory...

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