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Harriet Palmer's mother has just died and if that isn't bad enough the children's caregiver is talking about taking her brother away Harriet decides that she must disguise herself as a boy and travel overland to the Cariboo gold fields to find her father and reunite what remains of her family But will her disguise hold out?

10 thoughts on “A Trail of Broken Dreams The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer Dear Canada

  1. says:

    Although I have definitely enjoyed meeting Barbara Haworth Attard’s Harriet Palmer and do much appreciate the look see into British Columbia’s 19th century gold rush and in particular how difficult and dangerous travelling overland from Manitoba and points further east to the gold fields of British Columbia was prior to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad I also have found some parts of A Trail of Broken Dreams The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer rather annoyingly and frustratingly unrealistic For indeed I definitely do consider how easily Harriet Palmer is able to leave Fort Garry disguised as a boy a bit hard to fathom because while her disguise is of course later discovered en route I just find it hard to see as realistic that Harriet really had no major issues hiding the fact that she is a girl when leaving Fort Garry since from her fictional diary entries it is also and in my opinion rather clearly shown that Harriet Palmer's boy disguise is not really all that well thought out and yes that most of her fellow travellers would simply accept that she is travelling with a constantly not present and accounted for male guardian her father that is also a bit too much to simply swallow and accept and not to mention that how suddenly and easily at the end of A Trail of Broken Dreams The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer Harriet both finds her seriously ill father and of course then also rescues his successful and money making gold claim that all does feel both a bit too good to be true and really rather artificially optimistic and too film like for my personal reading tastes And finally while Harriet’s fictional journal entries are certainly full of life and generally show a wonderfully descriptive sense of historical time and place and that I do enjoy how Harriet is obviously an artist and sees especially the prairies not as monotonous stretches of flatness but as vibrant canvasses to be painted I also sometimes feel that Harriet’s voice reads a bit too much on the surface and lacking in emotionality and as such also rather too adult like for a teenaged girl but yes then totally and really quite majorly suddenly changing into a high adventure type of movie script voice that has left me with finding A Trail of Broken Dreams The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer while definitely engaging and sometimes even a rather fun and amusing instalment in the Dear Canada series of fictional diaries for me personally and according to my own reading tastes also much much too cinematic and not nuanced and developed enough in scope and feel for me to consider than two stars and therefore only to be recommended for readers who actually like historical fiction that often reads like a moving picture like a film script

  2. says:

    Twelve year old Harriet Palmer's father left several months ago to join the 1862 Cariboo Gold Rush leaving his family behind at a fort halfway along the way Now Harriet's mother has died after a difficult childbirth along with the new baby and Harriet has no way to support her ten year old brother William and four year old sister Luella The three siblings are taken in by the Owens a childless couple who live at the fort but then Harriet learns that when they return to Toronto next year the Owens plan to take William and Luella with them and leave Harriet behind as a servant to another family Harriet is determined not to allow what is left of her family to be torn apart Disguising herself as a boy she joins a party of miners headed for the gold fields hoping and praying that she will find her father there During the difficult journey Harriet faces many dangers and hardships but also makes new friends and finds adventure But what awaits her at the end of her journey and will she be able to find her father? I really enjoyed this book from the Dear Canada series Harriet is a wonderful character who was determined to help her family and do whatever it takes to accomplish her goal and I enjoyed reading about her adventures and about life during the Cariboo Gold Rush I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoyed the previous books in the Dear Canada series

  3. says:

    Twelve year old Harriet Palmer's mother has just died after a difficult child birth With Mr Palmer being out in the gold fields Harriet and her little brother and sister have no where to go Except the general store owners who they owe debt to They aren't even glad to take them in despite Mrs Owen claiming that she spent all her time nursing Harriet's mother Then Harriet hears a conversation in the night Mr And Mrs Owen have plans to move back to Toronto the next spring They say that they can take Harriet's younger siblings but not Harriet because she's to ugly and she is old enough to have a job So Harriet is numb there is only one solution she must set out to British Columbia in the Gold Fields to find her father She cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy to set out with the Overlanders setting out from Fort Garry because no petticoats are allowed on the journey except Mrs Schurbert who is pregnant and insists that she and her three small children will travel with her husband But Harriet's plan does not get off on a good start she must be very secretive and try not to let the slightest thing slip Also there are two new bullies John and Thomas Drummond and the new blisters on her feet from walking many miles per day but there are good things that come Harriet earns a small amount of money from doing the men's laundry and meets a friendly boy named Talbot who is smart and funny That's until he finds out that she's a girl Hé swears that he will keep it a secret and won't tell anybody So life will be good for Harriet Correct? Wrong soon when John and Thomas tease Harriet and rip a blank page out of her diary Talbot shouts at them to leave her alone and everybody finds out But as she pours out her story they let her stay with them because she hasn't delayed them so far and she's a helpful person That's until they reach the mountain area and Talbot's father becomes gravely ill They eventually carry on barely But Talbot and Harriet have to part because of the different ways they take to the Carriboo When Harriet gets to Richfield there's no happiness and buttercups there either she gets a job as a cook on a saloon but is soon kicked out when John and Thomas Drummond reveal her secret so she has to go out in the worse blizzard ever to find her father's claim but soon here's that he died a week ago of Mountain Fever but with Harriet's spunk and determination sets out anyways But who should she meet on the way but Talbot They go onto Mr Palmer's claim and it turns out that he is very ill He tells them were his gold is and they soon find it But there seems to be somebody following Harriet but Talbot tells her it's just a gut feeling but it isn't It turns out to be John Drummond but eventually the judge charges the Drummond brothers and there is a happy ending after allThere was alot of issues going on in this book It's so sad at times but enjoyable There are so many things I love about this book too My favourites were how she dressed up as a boy just to save her family and all her spunk and determination Great qualities in a likeable charecter's The only little thing was that sometimes Harriet seemed to much like a boy and used modern language Otherwise read this amazing addition to the Dear Canada Series

  4. says:

    This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents I find today's generations seem to recall when they learn through other people pop songs celebrity gossip etc so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes authentic diaries would be better but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not

  5. says:

    Loved loved loved I really enjoyed the whole cross dressing part Definitely one of my favourites

  6. says:

    Well that was excellent

  7. says:

    This was a very very good Dear Canada adventure It also a very sad one a very hard one and a very humorous one tooHarriet Harry Palmer is one spunky girl Yes she is stubborn but it's that particular quality which sees her through her journey from the Red River Settlement overland to the Cariboo where she hopes to find her fatherI think this adventure was funnier than the other ones because the heroine disguises herself as a boy and so is exposed to a lot things than the other girls I've read aboutI love reading about these historical moments and seeing them through the eyes of young girls who lived through them It's very enlightening even if the characters are mostly fictional I find it interesting though that these girls managed to make it through I wonder if I would have been able to withstand such conditions

  8. says:

    A typical story of the hardships going along the trail overland from Winnipeg to the Cariboo during the Cariboo Gold Rush of British Columbia I've read so many books about the various gold rushes that this had nothing new to offer and was a fairly uneventful tale though I did find the ending picked up and went in a different direction than I had at first expected The story also has a girl pretending to be a boy and I really don't like this device in juvenile historicals as it usually as it does here follows the expected tropes of wow how much easier it is to be a boy I can wear pants and swear Haworth is a good writer though and if you've not read anything about the Cariboo before the experience is fully realised here for the intended age level Not bad

  9. says:

    Another book from the Dear Canada series which provides the readers with knowledge on Canada's history This book is a really good read as it keeps the readers on the edge of their seats in suspense wondering what will come next Although A Trail of Broken Dreams is one of the shorter books in the Dear Canada series it keeps the readers wanting to read of the adventures of Harriet Palmer

  10. says:

    This book was the first ever dead Canada book I had read and after reading this book I hoped that ever other dear Canada book was like this sadly not This book was written extremely well and I loved Harriet and her determination This book had a mixture of adventure and romance and I couldn't put it down