Badge of Honor by Susan K. Marlow

It’s 1864 and Goldtown, California, has seen the last of its Gold Rush days. But the flecks of gold twelve-year-old Jem Coulter, his sister, Ellie and their prospector friend, “Strike-it-rich Sam,” find in their played-out claim along Cripple Creek keep Jem’s hope of striking it rich alive.

But when Jem’s father takes on the job as sheriff of lawless Goldtown, Jem’s life turns upside down. He doesn’t want to be a sheriff’s kid. Worse . . . how many outlaws will use Pa’s silver star for target practice?

Then Cripple Creek dries up and Strike disappears, throwing Jem into a quest to find answers. What he discovers plunges Jem into danger, not only for himself but also for Strike and Ellie. Will it prove that the star on Pa’s chest is just a target? Or convince Jem it is truly a badge of honor? There’s plenty of adventure for everyone in this first book of the historical Goldtown Adventures middle-grade series for ages 9-13. See more books and study guides on the website.

Download the free study guide ➡️

  • Grades 4-6
  • California gold rush
  • Classic comparison: By the Great Horn Spoon

A five-week unit study for Badge of Honor. Vocabulary, comprehension, thought questions, writing skills, plus history topics related to the California gold rush.

  • Grades 4-6
  • Geography “Around the Horn”
  • A prospector’s tools
  • Write a gold-nugget story
  • An 1860s gold-stamping mill
  • Flumes
  • 1860s pistols
  • And more!

Author Visits with Susan K. Marlow