Kregel Publications Review
Kregel Publications Review

Kregel Publications Review

Jem Strikes Gold & Jem’s Frog Fiasco

If you’re looking for some fictional history books that your young readers can both read themselves and enjoy these books will definitely appeal to you! In these books by Kregel Publications you get to follow the life of a young boy in the 1850’s who lives in California during the gold rush. Currently, there are two books in the Goldtown Beginnings Series, Jem Strikes Gold and Jem’s Frog Fiasco. Each book is about 75 pages filled with easy to read stories accompanied by black and white pictures. The recommended reading level of these books is 6-8 years old but my son who is nine years old has really enjoyed reading these books. He is a bit of a struggling reader but I think the topic is interesting enough that the fact that the reading level is geared towards a slightly younger audience.

About the books

You can find both the books currently in the series here:

Jem Strikes Gold

In this book, you meet Jem, a seven-year-old boy living in a town in California during the gold rush. He spends his time playing and helping out his family. Jem runs into some trouble when trying to do some errands for his family. A disaster with the pies that his mother had made to sell to other people in the town. Through some struggle, adventure, and the help of a friend Jem is able to overcome the challenges and makes a new four-legged friend along the way!

Jem’s Frog Fiasco

This story follows Jem, that you met in the first book, through another adventure. In order to buy food for the dog, he convinced his parents to let him keep he has to go out and find a way to make money. The owner of the cafe in town gives him the opportunity to make money by catching frogs. Although, this isn’t as easy as a job as he thought it would be with his little sister and dog Nugget constantly getting in his way. His bad attitude towards his sister ends up causing a whole new problem!

What I think you’ll like

  • Easy to read, would also make good read-aloud for young children
  • Beautifully done black and white illustrations
  • Each book contains a “New Words” list that you could use as weekly spelling words
  • You can download FREE colouring pages and learning activities:
  • Ability to buy even more extras to go along with the books:
  • Reasonably priced at $5.99USD each
  • Even more books to look forward to in the future!
  • Where you can find more like these

    You can find even more books like these, written by Susan K. Marlow, on the Kregel Publications website! She has written a few series, the “Circle C Beginnings” series in particular looks very similar to the Goldtown Begginings!

    Also, just in general Kregel Publications has a ton of amazing children’s books on their site! You can definitely find some amazing gems on there! They also carry different things like sticker books, games, and puzzles that children would really enjoy as well. I think if you are looking for a place to buy children’s gifts you should definitely take a look!

    Jem Strikes Gold & Jem's Frog Fiasco  {Kregel Publications Reviews}

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  1. Thanks for the lovely review. I am going to send Okan Bubul (lives in Turkey, go figure!) a screen shot of your kind words about his illustrations. I think he will appreciate it. Yes, the Circle C Beginnings are the same reading level and girls especially love the ranch life and “horsey” stuff portrayed in the 1874 ranch series.
    I’m sure my publisher, Kregel, also appreciates the shout out about their other kids books.
    Thanks again!

    1. dusty_beatofourdrum

      Thank you for your kind comment! We really loved the books and I will be getting the Circle C Beginnings ones too because I think my daughter will really enjoy the stories!

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