Valley of Gold, by Jackie French

From the time the Earth was formed four billion years ago, until the present day, Valley of Goldtraces the story of one valley – the Araluen Valley, where author Jackie French has lived for most of her life.

Although the valley is real, the stories in Valley of Gold are fictional, because, as French says, if the neighbours recognise themselves they might throw stones at my windows. Although they aren’t true, the stories could have happened and the characters could have existed, because each story is set in a different period of the valley’s history.

From the hunting of the last ‘tiger’ in 35 000 BC, to the discovery of gold in 1853 and on to French’s own golden discoveries in more recent times, each story gives the young reader some insight into life in the valley in the time period in question, as well as a more general awareness of Australian life in those times.

Valley of Gold is great for personal reading, but would also make an excellent classroom resource, especially for classes learning about Gold mining, Australian history, conservation and other topics.

Valley of Gold, by Jackie French
Angus & Robertson (an imprint of Harper Collins), 2003