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Letters from the Corrugated Castle: A Novel of Gold Rush California, 1850-1852
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Letters from the Corrugated Castle: A Novel of Gold Rush California, 1850-1852

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  71 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Dear Cousin Sallie,

I begin with words I never thought to write:

I am not an orphan!

Thirteen-year-old Eldora has always believed that her mother died when she was very little, and for nine years she has lived with people that she calls Aunt and Uncle. The year is 1850, and all three have exchanged their quiet lives in New Bedford, Massachusetts, for new ones in San Fran
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting concept of a 13 year old girl in San Francisco during the gold rush. The novel is written through letters primarily from the girls perspective. However, you don't see every letter from her nor the responses from the people she wrote. This is definitely a novel for the young teen girl. I enjoyed some of the issues she faced and also enjoyed how innocent Eldora is. However, it does lack adventure and despite being in the hustle and bustle of San Francisco life, it is mostly set in neig ...more
P.D.R. Lindsay
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s

In the form of letters, this unusual book is about 13 year old Eldora. Eldora has just moved with her Aunt and Uncle from New Bedford to the gold rush bustle of 1850 San Francisco.

Eldora is an orphan. Her mother, ill with cholera, was refused passage on a ship to San Francisco. The Captain promised to take baby Eldora to her father and her mother sent her. But in San Francisco the Captain could not find Eldora's father. He took her home to New England and gave her to his childless aunt and uncl
Jun 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Historical fiction kids
I found this a little boring, unfortunately. I really wanted to like it, but i just couldn't. It's great in that it's an epistolary novel, which gets kids thinking about their own writing and puts them very much in the narrators head. It's also interesting in that it gives some wonderful details about the settling of California during the gold rush years, the hard realities of the mining camps and perhaps a not-so-nice facet of our "melting pot" country (dealings between Mexican and Euro settler ...more
Bonnie Zhong
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book is about a girl named Eldora. Eldora lived in Massachusetts with her aunt and uncle. She has always thought her mom was dead. Then one day, she goes and moves to San Francisco. She gets a letter from an unknown person that she thinks could be her mom.
I just started reading this book but it sounds alright. Well, personally, i dont like books that takes place in history. But this book has that mysterious touch to it that makes it interesting. Also, as i read on, i really wanted to know
Jul 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
I read to page 180, but it was pretty boring, actually, so I quit.

It's an epistolary novel, but you only get the letters going one way, and not the responses, so it was kind of weird.

Also, the main girl meets this guy, and she doesn't like him at all, but all of a sudden, the book splits so half of it is letters from him, and half is letters from her, and suddenly the two of them are great friends. That was also weird.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was a historical fiction, which I liked. But the book wasn't my favorite. It took me sometime to read it. It was definitly a simple and easy read, it just didn't draw me in. I wish more had been played up on the little love story. I also felt like they made it difficult to really get to know the main characters.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
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Aug 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
I love historical fiction but this one just didn't do it for me. The setting is California during the Gold Rush. The book is written as letters by different characters. But it's always one-sided. You never get to read the return letters. It feels like a half-told story.
Karen Pickard-Four
Jun 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Historical fiction set in California in the 1850s and told through a series of letters. Quick read and really takes the reader just into the beginning of California's Gold Rush era and the racism/hardships of the era.
Like a "Dear America" book but not as interesting or nearly as long. Some closure, some satisfaction, but most of those books end on a happier note, not an abstract. Eh.
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
I found this book slow and heavy. Plus, all the characters seemed to have the same voice - serious. Surely there was some joy to be found in Gold Rush California!
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Carmen Lin
It's really great book. This book is about 1850 life.
Barbara L.
Jan 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
I liked the idea of a historical novel set during the California gold rush, but the story was slow and, at least to me, pretty boring and the characters failed to engage. Disappointing.
Mar 27, 2008 rated it liked it
A quick, easy read and interesting. Not too much of a story, but still fun to pick up and read.
Oct 14, 2009 added it
this is a book i am reading for history
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