the king of mazy may annotated a story of the klondike

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The King of Mazy May (Annotated): A Story of the Klondike

“The King of Mazy May” tells an exciting tale of moonlit dog-sleds racing over the frozen Yukon River while bullets whistle past Walt Masters, the brave 14-year-old hero. School students across the United States commonly read this adventure story as part of their English classes, typically in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade.


When the story first appeared, in November of 1899, the Klondike Gold Rush was still news – gold fever infected the nation. The details of gold panning and prospecting were more widely discussed and more widely known than they are today. The story appeared in the magazine Youth’s Companion, and the target audience – teenage boys of the time – would likely have known quite a bit more about gold rushes and gold prospecting than our current-day middle school students do.


This annotated edition seeks to allow 21st Century preteens to understand and appreciate Jack London’s gripping story much the same way 19th Century teens would have. For this reason, the annotations and background knowledge sections strive to present information in a way that will be easy for middle school students to understand, including not only on-level and advanced readers but also struggling readers.


Features included in this edition include:



  • Pre-reading information before the story -- This features helps students set the story in context and pre-activate any relevant background knowledge they may already possess.

  • Annotations in the form of endnotes -- Select the endnote number to go to the note. To go back to the story and continue reading, select the same number where it appears at the beginning of the endnote.


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