Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (Dear America)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,691 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Susanna Fairchild and her family are on board a ship sailing from New York to the West, where they plan to start a new life in Oregon. But tragedy strikes when Susanna's mother is lost to the sea. Hearing stories of great wealth, Susanna's physician father decides he wants to join the hordes of men rushing to California to mine for gold.
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Scholastic Inc.
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Seeds of Hope, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Seeds of Hope

Voyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson WhiteAcross The Wide And Lonesome Prairie by Kristiana GregoryStanding in the Light by Mary Pope OsborneThe Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana GregoryA Coal Miner's Bride by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Dear America Series
18th out of 42 books — 166 voters
Marie Antoinette by Kathryn LaskyCleopatra VII by Kristiana GregoryAnastasia by Carolyn MeyerElizabeth I by Kathryn LaskyVoyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson White
Our favorite diary books
30th out of 173 books — 82 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,748)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Megan Marie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
"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...more
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
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...more
Courtesy of Caity's Readviews:

Susanna, her parents, and her sister set sail from the U.S. east coast to the west in hopes to reunite with family in Oregon. However, on their voyage, their mother is taken by the sea when a giant wave sweeps upon deck. Susanna, her father, and sister are devastated by their loss, but must continue on; thus is the beginning of this interesting Dear America novel, Seeds of Hope by Kristiana Gregory.

When the Fairchilds finally makes it to the west coast, Susanna’s fa...more
Ana Mardoll
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...more
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...more
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.
Elaine Shipley-pope
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
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.
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.
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.

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.
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!
Mar 23, 2013 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Jennifer Marie
Definitely one of the better (and more happy) Dear America books. I read one every so often. And usually enjoy them. The whole diary format story telling is hard, and I can't take a bunch back to back, but I do like them every now and then.
Alyssa Greatbanks
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.
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.
Kathy Pearce
This Dear America series captivated me when I was in late elementary school. Each time I opened these novels, I really got to experience what the characters were experiencing.
I liked how the author made the characters related to those in Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie. She made the connection clear without being too obvious.
Dec 02, 2008 Audrey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All girls
Recommended to Audrey by: My libraian
This book was great! It was full of mystery and murder. Some parts were really sad and I nearly cried. I want to read this book over and over again.
It was a good book. as are most of the books i rate. anyway. if your looking for a good book thats easy to follow in a fun format. you've found it.
Another amazing Dear America book by Kristiana Gregory; like her other two, this one is one of my top favorites in this series.
Cecilia Dupre
Loved it! I wish that there was a second like some of the other books in this series! THis is the only series that I read!
A fictional journal about a young girl during the California gold rush. Simply written but very interesting.
Mayda 11-12
I have given this book a 4 because
1: I felt the rush of the gold
2: I cried
3: It really reached out to me
Leta Blake
The kid and I loved this one. It's our second favorite Dear America book we've read so far.
Emma Rasband
it was a good book. now i have to read it again while i make the timeline for it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 91 92 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl (Dear America)
  • Dear America, Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City 1909 (Dear America Series)
  • When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer (Dear America)
  • Valley of the Moon: The Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta Valley, California, 1846, (Dear America)
  • Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota (Dear America)
  • My Face to the Wind: The Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher (Dear America)
  • All the Stars in the Sky: The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder (Dear America)
  • Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (Dear America)
  • A Time For Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen (Dear America)
  • Early Sunday Morning: the Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 (Dear America)
  • Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards (Dear America)
  • A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 (Dear America)
  • My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York 1941 (Dear America)
  • A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 (Dear America)
  • Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: The Diary of Molly MacKenzie Flaherty (Dear America)
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...
Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile - 57 B.C. The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777 (Dear America) Across The Wide And Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary Of Hattie Campbell Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136 The Great Railroad Race: the Diary of Libby West (Dear America)

Share This Book