Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Literature

Review & Giveaway for Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold by Pam Berkman & Dorothy Hearst

About the Book:
Author: Pam Berkman & Dorothy Hearst
Illustrator: Claire Powell
Pub. Date:
April 28, 2020

Special thanks to Simon and Schuster and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Publisher’s Summary:

To save their family, Bo-Bo, a golden mutt, and her human brother Sheng must find a legendary treasure during the California Gold Rush in this second book of the At the Heels of History series, inspired by important events and told through the eyes, ears, and noses of dogs.


At the Heels of History is a fictional chapter book series that recounts historical events through the eyes of dogs.  Last year, I had the honor of reading and reviewing Filigree’s Midnight Ride, the first book in this adventurous and informative series.

The second adventure, Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold, takes place in 1852 in the Sierra Nevada foothills in California.  In the first chapter, a golden mutt, Sage, is thrown out of her pack for being weak.  Alone and hungry, a bird takes pity of Sage and introduces her to Sheng, a young boy who left war torn and famine stricken China with his father and uncle to find gold in California.  With his father’s permission, Sheng adopts Sage renaming her Bo-Bo (meaning little treasure).

Powell’s black and white illustrations supports the Berkman’s and Hearst’s text in order for readers to better understand how Sheng and his father prospect for gold in the stream.  To repay their kindness, Bo-Bo vows to be loyal and tough doing her part to help them in their search.  Powell’s drawings of Bo-Bo are especially endearing because her determination is evident in her face and tail.

Interior illus © 2020 Claire Powell from BO-BO'S CAVE OF GOLD by Pam Berkman and Dorothy Hearst_pp 26-27

Interior illus © 2020 Claire Powell from BO-BO'S CAVE OF GOLD by Pam Berkman and Dorothy Hearst_pp 30-31

Readers learn that Sheng’s family have to pay a Foreign Miner’s Tax and if they can’t, the tax collector, Mr. Smeet, can take their claim or land.  When Bo-Bo accompanies Sheng to town to pay for the tax, she feels sorry for a caged bear when she discovers the bear’s young cub is alone in the woods and helps set the mother free.  Her noble action does not go over well with Mr. Smeet who declared the bear to be his property.  Now, Sheng owes $200 or his family will lose their claim. 

Feeling responsible, Bo-Bo is determined to make things right which is why she helps a ringtail (also claimed to be the property of Mr. Smeet) escape from a chain in order to get a map to Crooked Cave, which is rumored to be full of gold.  Together, Sheng and Bo-Bo embark on a quest to find the treasure and save his family.  Whether it’s snakes, a raving river, her old pack or Mr. Smeet, Bo-Bo stays by Sheng’s side finally realizing that it’s not weak to show compassion for other living things whether they have two legs or four legs.

Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold is a story full of history and heart.   Readers will learn how immigrants were treated during the California gold rush through not only the story but also the backmatter.  What I loved most was Bo-Bo’s tremendous heart, which was so well conveyed through Berkman and Hearst’s text.  Bo-Bo’s actions were all admirable for she always wanted to be helpful and because of her immense kindness, she was repaid when she and Sheng were in need.  I hope that there are more adventures to come in the At the Heels of History series!  Until then, check out the fun facts about dogs, activities, and more on the At the Heels of History website!

Get a peek at Filigree’s Midnight Ride with a read aloud by the authors.

Meet the Authors and Illustrator:

Pam Berkman has written books for grownups and At the Heels of History is her first series for kids. She loves writing about events in history and thinking about how they connect to things that are happening today. She also works as an editor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. For more information, visit her website, or on Twitter: @PamelaBerkman

Dorothy Hearst is the author of the Wolf Chronicles trilogy; Filigree’s Midnight Ride and Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold are her first books for young readers. She loves writing about canine characters, birds, and other creatures who can give us the chance to see ourselves in new ways. She is an acquiring editor, a martial artist, a self-defense instructor-in-training, an avid hiker and reader, and a dog lover. She is not entirely domesticated, but is very food motivated. Learn more at her website, or on Twitter: @DorothyHearst

Claire Powell is an illustrator, writer, and designer who lives and works in London. She has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC, and BBC One. To learn more, visit her website or on Instagram at @misspowellposts


Enter a Giveaway!


One lucky winner will receive a copy of Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold, courtesy of Simon & Schuster (U.S. addresses)! Fill out the Google form below to enter. This giveaway is open from Sunday, July 5 through Sunday, July 12, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.

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