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Sharon Siamon
Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1992. 128pp, paper
ISBN 1-55028-380-4 (paper) $6.95, ISBN 1-55028-381-2 (cloth) $16.95. (Lorimer Blue Kite Adventure). CIP.

Grades 3 to 5/Ages 8 to 10

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson.

Volume 21 Number 3
1993 May

The third book in the continuing adven­tures of Josie Moon, Odie Pederson and Kiff Kokatow, a pre-teen trio from northern Ontario's Big Pickle Lake, actually tells two intertwined stories relating to the title's "gold."

In the summer following the action of A Horse for Josie Moon, Kiff determines to become wealthy by finding gold in an area near an abandoned mine. Rich, priggish Remington Wickers, last encountered "two summers ago" in Fishing for Trouble, plans to win "gold" in equestrian competitions, but, because he does not yet know how to ride his valuable Icelandic horse, his parents have sent him to nearby Camp Saddlemore. Used to achieving his ends by simply buying them, Remington, who is afraid of horses, cannot cope with the riding camp's spartan regimen and ends up living with the Kokatows, where his general incompetence causes havoc.

With the surreptitious assistance of Odie's grandfather, Remington eventually masters riding and then heroically uses his new-found skill when a collapsing earthen dam releases poisoned mine waste, which engulfs Camp Saddlemore and threatens to pollute the lake. Though Kiff discovers gold, his almost fatal first-hand observation of the environmental impact of mining, coupled with the fact that someone has already staked a claim to his discovery area, causes him to have second thoughts about his goal.

The oversize paperback format and large print plus Clancy's five full-page line drawings and map underline the fact that the intended audience for Gallop for Gold is the early reader. An acceptable addition to the light reading collections of school and public libraries.

Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and adolescent literature in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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