GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! scream the headlines in July 1987, announcing the discovery of gold in the Yukon. Fourteen-year-old James Erickson, alone in the world after his father's death, is mesmerized when he sees the first ship of prospectors enter the San Francisco harbor. Caught up in the gold fever, he books passage on a steamer up to Alaska.
In Alaska, James meets Tip, a skinny boy who turns out to be a girl—and the only person James trusts to be his partner. Together they embark on a treacherous trek over the mountains and down the river, battling rapids, con men, and the cold. When their survival skills—and their dedication to each other—are tested, James and Tip wonder whether their exhausting journey will be worth it. Is their fortune waiting just beyond the next bend? And what are they willing to risk to find out?
Thelma Hatch Wyss lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of Here at the Scenic-Vu Motel, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; Ten Miles from Winnemucca, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year; and on the McElderry list, Bear Dancer: The Story of a Ute Girl, which won the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Regional Book Award and was on the New York Public Library's "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" list.