Fields of Silver and Gold

The Fields of Silver and Gold series brings the past alive. Meet the trailblazers and the pioneers, the first people and the famous explorers, the legends and the everyday heroes that shaped the history, land, and culture of the West. Their powerful stories will fascinate and inspire you.


Age Range: 9 - 13 years
Grade Level: 4 - 7
Lexile Levels: 1070L - 1200L
Language: English




Native Nevadan John L. Smith is a longtime journalist and the author of more than a dozen books. He has won many state, regional, and national awards for his writing and was inducted into the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame in 2016, the same year that saw him honored with the James Foley/Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Award, and the Ancil Payne Award from the University of Oregon. He freelances for a variety of publications, including The Nevada Independent. The father of a grown daughter, Amelia, he is married to the writer Sally Denton and makes his home in Boulder City, Nevada. 



Check back often for additional content!


 Powerful and Educational (Sarah Winnemucca: A Princess for the People)
This is a great introduction to Nevada history and Native American history in the West. Sarah Winnemucca's story is told in such an easy to understand and inspiring manner.
Caelin D.

Wonderful Biography! (Sarah Winnemucca: A Princess for the People)
Sarah Winnemucca is a towering figure in the history of Nevada and of the Indigenous People of the West. John L. Smith brings her vividly to life in this wonderful biography.
Michael Green, UNLV History

Great Research! (Snowshoe Thompson: Sierra Mailman)
Telling the story of Snowshoe Thompson, John L. Smith gives us a great, carefully researched, highly readable account of a memorable figure in the history of Nevada and the American West.
Michael Green, UNLV History 

Great introduction of African American history in Northern Nevada! (Ben Palmer: Black Pioneers on the Frontier)
"Ben Palmer: Black Pioneers on the Frontier" by John L. Smith offers a clearer picture of the character, accomplishments, challenges, and personality of Ben Palmer. This book presents, in a tangible way, the social and political environment in which Ben Palmer, his family, and other African American trail blazers thrived in Nevada during the mid 1800's. I feel this is a great introduction of African American history in Northern Nevada and I encourage folks to dig deeper into this subject.
Demetrice Dalton, Our Story, Inc.