Cover image for Murphy, Gold Rush dog
Murphy, Gold Rush dog
Hart, Alison, 1950- , author.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Atlanta, Georgia : Peachtree Publishers, [2014]
Physical Description:
160 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
"In 1900, a dog named Murphy wants to help Sally and Mama build a new life in Nome, but life in the mining town is not easy. Can the three of them find a home--and maybe a fortune?"--
General Note:
Reading Level:
680 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.6 3.0 169119.
Format :


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North Park Branch Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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On Order



An action-packed and heartwarming story of a dog in gold rush-era Alaska
All Murphy wants is a home and a loving family. After escaping from his brutal and merciless owner, he is taken in by a young girl named Sally. She and her mother have just arrived in Nome, Alaska, intent on joining the other gold seekers and making a new life there, free from their wealthy but oppressive family in Seattle.
Yet even with Murphy at their side, Sally and Mama find living in the mining town harsh and forbidding. When it seems they may have to give up and return to Seattle, Sally and Murphy decide to strike out on their own, hoping to find gold and make a permanent home. But dangers await them - not only blizzards and grizzly bears, but also Murphy's original owner, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, whether it is an ill-gotten fortune or a valuable dog.

Author Notes

Alison Hart is the author of more than forty books for young readers, including Emma's River , Anna's Blizzard , and the Racing to Freedom trilogy. Hart is a teacher at Blue Ridge Community College and lives in Virginia.
Michael G. Montgomery has illustrated numerous children's books. He attended Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia. Montgomery lives in Georgia.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Hart introduces fictional Murphy, a dog that knows abuse at the hands of a crooked claim jumper, while telling the historical story of the harshness of 1900s Nome, Alaska, at the height of the gold rush. Murphy longs to find someone to love him, so he escapes but finding the right owner eludes him. Instead, he knows hunger, cold, and more abuse. At last, he encounters energetic Sally and her mother, who have come to Nome to prove their independence. He joins their family and becomes a constant companion to Sally, keeping her safe even as she runs away to prospect for gold. Readers will be quickly hooked by how Murphy tells his own story, sharing his fears, excitement, and joys. Montgomery's childlike pencil-and-ink drawings add a nice touch. Hart includes historical notes and resources, completing this second volume in the Dog Chronicles series.--Petty, J. B. Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Murphy, a sled dog, narrates this light adventure story. As the book opens, he's being run ragged at the hands of his cruel master. Stumbling into their new camp in the gold-rush town of Nome, Alaska, Murphy decides that he can't abide Carlick's brutality for one more day. He escapes, but life as a stray isn't much better-until he meets Sally. She and her mother are also new in town, and girl and dog forge an immediate bond. The scrappy duo meet with all kind of adventures, from a close call with a pack of wolves to getting up close and personal with corrupt Carlick. Will their bond and their wits be enough to sustain them in this rough-and-tumble town? Hart once again blends first-person canine narrative with period details and events. Though turn-of-the-century gold mining could be a cutthroat enterprise, the tension and violence are never ratcheted up too high. Montgomery's smudgy pencil drawings have a soft look, reinforcing the feeling that the story will reach a peaceful conclusion. Back matter gives further information and resources for learning more about the Alaskan gold rush. Give this one to sensitive readers who love dog stories but aren't ready for the heartache of books like Fred Gibson's Old Yeller (HaraperCollins, 1995) and Wilson Rawls's Where the Red Fern Grows (Yearling, 1996).-Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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