Gold! Gold from the American River! These words sparked the California Gold Rush and caused adventure seekers to head west in hopes of discovering gold. Some did strike it rich; others went broke. But they all had the adventure of a lifetime. Lively language, historical photos and illustrations, and primary source accounts help readers understand the highs and lows of life as a miner. Meets Common Core critical thinking standards, and provides strong ties to social studies standards on westward expansion.