bored feet press

The Balloon Boy of San Francisco

Dorothy Kupcha Leland
The Balloon Boy of San Francisco by Dorothy Kupcha Leland

In 1853, San Francisco newsboy Ready Gates lives up to his nickname. He’s ready for anything—whether it’s shouting the latest headlines from a street corner, sneaking onto a river boat, or tracking down a missing gold miner. But when he crosses the bay to watch the ascension of the first balloon brought to California, his adventures suddenly take an unexpected turn.

Based on a true story and extensive research by the author, this book paints a colorful, evocative and accurate picture of daily life in San Francisco five years after the discovery of gold. It’s drawn from newspapers, letters, diaries and many other historical documents.

“...brings the past to vibrant life, recreating history and setting with such detail it’s the next best thing to stepping into a time machine.”
~Midwest Book Review

128 pages, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", full-color cover, one map, 2005.Published by Tomato Enterprises. ISBN 0-9617357-9-1 trade paper

$9.95 add to cart


Get Out In Nature Sale

These are trying times for all of us! But this offers excellent opportunities to get out and enjoy nature!

Sitting at home and worrying is hard. So use this opportunity to get out and recreate and exercise in the open spaces near you and plan future trips to farther away places.

To encourage you to do that, we are offering 15% off our nature guides and all our hiking, biking, and climbing guides. All our recreation maps are 10% off. So take this limited-time opportunity to stock up from Bored Feet Press!

Note: our shopping cart calculates the sale prices. Regular prices are listed throughout the rest of the site.

Here's a complete list of all of the titles covered in this sale.

“...a detailed account of young Ready Gates fantastic voyage . . . paint[s] a fascinating portrait of everyday life in the bustling Bay Area just five years after the discovery of gold in the nearby Sierra.”
~San Francisco Examiner

“With it’s colorful details, this book brings Gold Rush history to life, touching on dangers such as sinking ships, burning buildings and kidnappings, and lively characters such as stowaway newsboys, questionable fortune-tellers, traveling picture-takers and, of course, all kinds of gold-seekers.”
~Washington Post Kids Book of the Week, December 5, 2004

“The history of San Francisco during those rambunctious golden years of the early 1850s comes to life through the eyes of pioneer aeronaut Ready Gates. Historian and novelist Dorothy Leland weaves a story based on solid research that features ship wrecks, fires, gold seeking, a street preacher, fortuneteller, daguerreian artist and the spellbinding performances of Lola Montez all topped off by one of the most improbable events in California history√’√’the death-defying first-ever balloon flight. All ages will enjoy following the adventures of this amazing ’balloon boy’.”
~Gary Kurutz, Director of Special Collections, California State Library

“Colorful and accurate details bring to life California’s fascinating Gold-Rush era in this captivating tale of a hardworking newspaper boy’s excellent adventure.”
~JoAnn Levy, author of They Saw the Elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush


Books and Maps on Related Topics: