This book is part of The NZ Series that provides easily digestible information about historical topics that are commonly learned about in intermediate and secondary schools. The text in this title has been adapted from two previous books by Gordon Ell about kauri and gold.
I liked the stories and asides that are included in the text, little events, biographies or further information, I think that many students will find these memorable and relatable. The snippets of newspaper articles from Papers Past and the images are plentiful. None of the text is overly long, and is chunked in ways that students and teachers will find useful.
There is some information about the importance of Kauri to Māori and the Māori prospectors on the goldfields but I would like to have seen a greater emphasis on the value of these resources and the impact their exploitation had on Māori communities. It would have been a great opportunity to challenge students to consider the way that these industries have impacted the land and the people of Aotearoa today. There’s a little bit of this in the conclusion but it would have been good to have it addressed more explicitly throughout the book, especially as I suspect the book will mostly be consumed in small sections.
I think this book will be really valuable to schools that cover the subjects of the gold and kauri industries, especially as it can be used with students at a wide variety of reading levels and with varying interests.
Title: Rush to Riches: Kauri and Gold
Author(s): Gordon Ell
Publisher: Oratia Books
Date of Publication:May 2020
Age range: Intermediate and secondary
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? No
Reviewer: Esther Casey, Teacher Librarian, Sylvia Park School, Auckland
How highly are you recommending this book? Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? The gold rushes of the mid-1800s are the source of many colourful tales and traditions of early New Zealand.
You can buy this book here