Ever since our family visited the St. Louis Arch, we have been a wee bit obsessed with America’s expansion into the West. So when a friend recommended Boom Town, a story set during the gold rush that focuses on a little girl full of business ideas, I knew we had to check it out. Unfortunately the book is out of print but in the age of Amazon being a massive dealer in used books it was easy to track down a quality copy at a great price.
Boom Town is pretty straight forward. A young girl named Amanda moves to California with her family and turns her homemade gooseberry pies into a thriving business. One good idea spurs on another and before long her pie shop is next door to a trading post, hotel, bank and school. The illustrations are engaging but what really got my kids excited is the idea that a little girl was the catalyst for the birth of a whole town. I often forget that my kids don’t think about how cities and businesses get started…they just assume they exist. But Boom Town showed them in a very practical way how an idea and hard work can turn a dusty patch of earth into a vibrant city.
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