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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 to avoid paying the fare, or tracking down a missing gold miner. But when he crosses the bay to watch a balloon ascension, his adventures suddenly take an unexpected turn. Based on a true story, this book paints a colorful picture of daily life in San Francisco five years after the discovery of gold in California. It's drawn from newspapers, letters, diaries and many other historical documents.