Dear Canada: A Trail of Broken Dreams: The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer by Barbara Haworth-Attard (Published by Scholastic Canada, September 1, 2004)
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 either the previous books in the Dear Canada series or books in the similar Dear America series.