Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Murphy, Gold Rush Dog

Part of Dog Chronicles

by Alison Hart
illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery

An action-packed and heartwarming story of a dog in gold rush-era Alaska.

After escaping from his brutal and merciless owner, Murphy 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. 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, 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.

In the second installment of their Dog Chronicles series, Alison Hart and Michael Montgomery bring readers an exciting tale exploring the roles that dogs played during the Alaskan gold rush.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-769-4
Publication Date: 10/1/2014
Page Count: 160
Size: 5-1/2″ x 7-1/2″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-68263-039-6
Publication Date: 4/1/2018
Page Count: 160
Size: 5-1/2″ x 7-1/2″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-875-2
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 4.6
F&P: V, Gr 5, Genre F
Lexile: 680L
Themes: Alaska Territory, Gold Rush, Westward Expansion, Working Dogs
BISAC 1: JUV016150 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century
BISAC 2: JUV001010 JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
BISAC 3: JUV002070 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dogs


“Equal parts heart-wrenching and -warming…its message of the value of love over greed is as subtle as it is powerful. An adventure-filled tale set within a fascinating period of history.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“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 (HarperCollins, 1995) and Wilson Rawls’s Where the Red Fern Grows (Yearling, 1996).” ―School Library Journal

“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.” ―Booklist Online

“This charming dog’s-eye-view adventure set in 1900 will please dog lovers and historical fiction fans alike.” ―The Horn Book Guide


Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2015

Great Stone Face Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―Children’s Librarians of New Hampshire, 2015-2016

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Meet the Author

Alison Hart is the author of more than sixty books for young readers. Hart was a teacher at Blue Ridge Community College and lives in Virginia.

Meet the Illustrator

Michael Montgomery

Michael G. Montgomery has illustrated numerous children’s books. He attended Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia. He lives in Georgia. You can visit his website here.