Horatio Alger wrote 135 dime novels in the latter part of the 19th century. His stories were rags to riches stories illustrating how down-and-out boys might be able to achieve the American Dream. Alger's stories empathize the need for hard work and honesty as a way to get ahead. An excerpt from The Young Explorer reads, "Ben ten years old, and having neither brother nor sister was left quite alone in the world. At one time his father had possessed a few thousand dollars, but by unlucky investments he had lost nearly all, so that Ben's inheritance amounted to less than four hundred dollars." Ben did not want to work for his uncle a shoemaker. His dream was to go to California to seek his fortune.