“By the Great Horn Spoon” is a coming-of-age story in which a young boy finds out that his family is about to lose their house and sets out on a journey to strike it rich in California during the Gold Rush, according to the Professional Development Institute. The story takes place in 1849, and follows the misadventures of 12-year-old Jack and his butler Praiseworthy.
As Jack and Praiseworthy set out for California, they are quickly robbed by thieves. After this run-in leaves them with no money, they decide to travel the rest of the way to California in potato barrels. The trip there is dangerous and changes Jack's young life forever.
The story is memorable thanks to its cast of oddball characters. This includes an ambitious captain, kind miners and even a horse doctor with a map that leads to gold. Although not all of these encounters turn out for the best, they help shape Jack and Praiseworthy's adventure.
Due to the odd array of problems that Jack and Praiseworthy run into, the story is fun and engaging. The book is completely fictional but based in real historical times. The true nature of friendship is the main focal point of this book.