Kitty Hawk’s favorite place in the world is in her pontoon plane flying over the earth. She’s been flying with her dad since she was tiny, but the summer after high school Kitty makes a plan to leave her hometown of Tofino on Vancouver Island and head up to Alaska. There she’ll spend the summer using her plane and specially mounted cameras to observe humpback whales in their feeding grounds.
In Juneau Kitty learns a lot about the whales and their habits, and she also learns about Alaska’s gold rush history. Before long, Kitty’s caught up in a modern news story of a gold robbery–so caught up, in fact, that she just might be heading into trouble, but that trouble might just turn into the adventure of her life.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold begins with not one but two prefaces. Each presents a different cliffhanger that will occur at some point in Kitty’s future. I found this confusing. Once through the prefaces, this action-packed adventure has a decidedly slow start which I fear is likely to discourage young readers. In addition Kitty Hawk’s practically perfectness can be annoying at times. That said, after about chapter nine I read more enthusiastically through to the book’s conclusion.
Billed as a young adult book, I’d recommend Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold for upper-middle-grade readers. It’s clean and young-feeling, and I think Kitty’s idealism will appeal more to tween readers than to those in high school. It’s a travelogue as well as an adventure story, so readers who are eager to learn about different places all over the world will likely embrace this and the other Kitty Hawk stories in the series.