Bo at Ballard Creek

Kirkpatrick Hill; illustrations by LeUyen Pham

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

It's the 1920s, and Bo was headed for an Alaska orphanage when she won the hearts of two tough gold miners who set out to raise her, enthusiastically helped by all the kind people of the nearby Eskimo village.

Bo learns Eskimo along with English, helps in the cookshack, learns to polka, and rides along with Big Annie and her dog team. There's always some kind of excitement: Bo sees her first airplane, has a run-in with a bear, and meets a mysterious lost little boy.

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill is an unforgettable story of a little girl growing up in the exhilarating time after the big Alaska gold rushes.


Read an Excerpt

BO HAD TWO FATHERS and no mothers, and after she got the fathers, she got a brother too. But not in the usual way.
*   *   *
HER TWO FATHERS were Jack Jackson and Arvid Ivorsen. They’d come to Alaska with the 1897 Klondike gold rush when they were young, a long time before they got Bo. The girl Jack was going to marry had died, and Arvid had just buried his mother, so they didn’t have any reason to stay where they were.
They were both extra big. Not just tall, not that beanpole tall, but that kind


Praise for Bo at Ballard Creek

Praise for Bo At Ballard Creek:

"Endearing." - School Library Journal
*"Cheerful and uncomplicated." -- The Horn Book, starred review 

"A warm tale set in an Alaskan gold-mining town in 1929-30 . . . Bo is an endearing Pollyanna in a parka." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Fans of the classic Little House books, will soak in the atmosphereic look at a particular time and place. A great choice for classroom unites on the gold rush." —Booklist


Praise and Awards for The Year of Miss Agnes:

California Young Reader’s Medal

Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award

South Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominee

Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee

“Hill has created more than just an appealing cast of characters; she introduces readers to a whole community and makes a long-ago and faraway place seem real and very much alive. This is an inspirational story about Alaska, the old and new ways, a very special teacher, and the influence that she has over everyone she meets. A wonderful read-aloud to start off the school year.” —School Library Journal

“An uplifting portrait of a dedicated teacher.” —Booklist

“A quiet, yet satisfying account.” —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Kirkpatrick Hill; illustrations by LeUyen Pham

  • Kirkpatrick Hill lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. She was an elementary school teacher for more than thirty years, most of that time in the Alaskan “bush.” She has written several books for young readers, including Toughboy and Sister, Winter Camp, and the award-winning The Year of Miss Agnes.

    LeUyen Pham has illustrated numerous popular books for children, including Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore and Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio. She is also the author and illustrator of book such as Big Sister, Little Sister and All the Things I Love About You. She lives and works in San Francisco with her artist husband, Alex Puvilland, and her sons Leo and Adrien.

  • LeUyen Pham LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland


Available Formats and Book Details

Bo at Ballard Creek

Kirkpatrick Hill; illustrations by LeUyen Pham

American Library Association Notable Children's Books, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction Winner, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI)


Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)