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Boston Jane: An Adventure Paperback – January 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Boston Jane
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375862048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375862045
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Imagine being seasick for five months, two weeks, and six days as you--a girl from Philadelphia--sail farther and farther away from everything and everyone you've ever known to the unknown wilds of the Great Pacific Northwest in 1854: "I felt certain that luck had nothing to do with anything aboard the Lady Luck, a poorly named vessel if ever there was one. I had just spent the morning of my sixteenth birthday puking into a bucket, and I had little hope that the day would improve." Meet Boston Jane, a new reluctant young lady heroine from Jennifer L. Holm, author of the Newbery Honor Book, Our Only May Amelia.

Impulsive Jane, ever on the path to leaving behind her rough-and-tumble tomboy childhood to become a proper young lady, agrees to meet her very genteel fiancé on the rugged west coast of America. Unfortunately, William is not there when she arrives. Suddenly, Boston Jane, as her new Chinook neighbors call her, must cast aside her "faultless young lady" demeanor and depend on her long-suppressed pioneer spirit to survive. Holm cleverly weaves in lessons from Jane's Philadelphia finishing school, Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy, in dramatic and often-hilarious contrast to the trials and tribulations Jane faces at sea and in Oregon country. Readers will be charmed by teenage Jane's ironic tone and inner conflicts and will cheer her on as she sheds layer after layer of decorum. Granted, the budding romance between Jane and sailor Jehu, "hidden" beneath the surface love story of Jane and the more uppity William, is an at-least-twice-told tale; but young readers will get caught up in the excitement of it nonetheless. The intricate details of mid-19th century life on an untamed frontier--complete with carefully researched Chinook tribal history and real-life incidents of white settlers--are absolutely fascinating. A thrilling, entertaining read. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Holm (Our Only May Amelia) returns to the frontier (by way of Philadelphia) in this fast-paced second novel about a blossoming society lady who must surrender etiquette in order to survive. The enormously likable and irrepressible 16-year-old narrator Jane recounts her childhood crush on her father's apprentice William, which caused her, at age 11, to trade her tomboyish spitting and cherry pie-eating for proper deportment and embroidery lessons at Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy. As Jane makes her way to the Oregon territory to marry William, Holm humorously juxtaposes Miss Hepplewhite's lessons with the reality of life at sea and on the frontier in 1854. Such advice as travelers must "dress plainly and pack lightly" does not seem to apply: Jane reflects, "She had been rather remiss in mentioning any hints on killing fleas, avoiding rats, bathing with seawater, or being seasick." The plot thickens when she meets Jehu, an officer on the ship and discovers that William has departed for a project with the governor. Jane (named Boston Jane by the local Chinook Indians) must share a cabin with unkempt, tobacco-chewing men and make herself useful by cooking, washing and mending rather than supervising servants or pouring tea. The developing love triangle (with Jehu and William) takes a back seat to Holm's credible portrait of Jane's budding friendships with the Chinook and pioneers, and the series of challenges that transform her into the outspoken, self-reliant young woman readers will long remember. Ages 10-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE. Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the popular Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She is also the author of several other highly praised books, including the Boston Jane trilogy and MIDDLE SCHOOL IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

For more information, visit her website at

Customer Reviews

The book started off a little slow but once I got in to it it was great.
Hope Fallin
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction with a twist of romance and adventure interwoven within the story.
My daughter and I will definitely read the next book in the series to find out what adventures Jane will get into next.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By hiphopgirl_1000 on August 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sixteen-year-old Jane Peck used to be the tomboyish, unladylike sort, until she decided to enroll herself into Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy and become a "proper lady". For Jane things couldn't be better now that she is a lady, and when her childhood crush, William Baldt, asks her to marry him and go to the Northwestern Territory, Jane consents, even against the wishes of her beloved father. Soon though, Jane begins to kinda regret her decision as she suffers seasickness, deals with the young, despicable, yet charming sailor Jehu Scudder, and sees her companion Mary die in a storm. Jane knows, however, that William will be waiting for her and she perseveres. Unfortunately when she arrives, she learns that Willliam won't be back for months after he was sent on a mission by the Governor. Soon Jane learns that the wilderness life is quite unsuitable for her ladylike ways, and she finds herself going back to her old ways, the person she truly is. In just a few short monthes Jane has had as many adventures as we might have in a lifetime, from forage for salmonberries, almost drowning, sharing a cabin with flea-bitten, dirty men, and the one thing that Jane fears the most: her growing relationship with the young sailor Jehu Scudder. Her mind tells her though that she must stay loyal to William, even though her heart says something else, so she rejects Jehu, telling him she has no choice. The hurt Jehu leaves the settlement and for the first time Jane feels very much alone...until finally William returns! However William has brought secrets back with him, and when Jane finally finds out the truth she learns how ignorant she was to her father's warning, but the thing that she regrets the most is telling Jehu she had no choice...
This is the first novel I have ever read by Jennifer L.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Motherless Jane Peck ran wild until age eleven when, against her father's wishes, she decided to become a proper young lady at the urging of her father's apprentice, William. When William leaves for the wilds of the Northwest frontier, Jane is devastated. When, at age fifteen, Jane receives a letter from William proposing marriage, she is eager to accept, even though her father does not want her to. But Jane gets her way, and she sets sail from Philadelphia on a ship bound for Washington. But the year is 1854, and sea travel is not easy. Jane faces dangers and hardships on board, and when she finally arrives at her destination, she finds that William is not there to meet her. Alone in this harsh wilderness, Jane is going to have to work to survive, even if it's something no "proper lady" would ever do. I highly reccomend this historical novel. It's very different in style from Jennifer Holm's first book, but is just as good nonetheless.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amelia Merwin on July 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Boston Jan tell the story of Jane Peck in the 1800s. Her father is a surgeon and she gets to help him cure people. In her spare time, she enjoys spitting and throwing things. But things change when her father's apprentice, William, tells Jane that she should be a lady. Because she had a crush on him, she enrolls in a girl's school. Within a few years she is a lady. Willaim goes west to the fronteir, and sends a letter asking Jane to marry her. To her father's dismay, she goes. You have to read the book to find out what happens next. This is a fantastic book! I felt so sorry for Jane at certain parts of the book. And, this book is way better than Our Only May Amelia, the other book by the author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laura Lynn Walsh on March 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I always seem to enjoy books for teens and pre-teens that include something about the things society deems important for people to learn and this is highlighted amusingly by Jane's going to school to learn to be a lady. Readers will delight in the tomboy Jane's prowess at spitting and throwing manure, while at the same time realizing that she does, in fact, need civilizing. Unfortunately, the education she receives isn't exactly one that fits her to live on the frontier in wild Oregon, where she is determined to go to pursue a childhood crush. It is the contrast between the "learning to be a lady" and the realities of life on the frontier that provide a good deal of the humor in the book. The added advantage here is that the picture of the primitive conditions is well researched and accurate.

Interesting and fun, though probably not as deep as some treatments of this era.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mindy Ganz on November 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In this story, a very refined young lady Miss Jane Peck follows her fiance' to the Oregon frontier. Jane grew up in Phiadelphia with her father. She is very much a tomboy until she attends Miss Hepplewhites young ladies academy. This is where she learns etiquette, French, music, and embroidery. She decides to travel by boat halfway around the world to become William's wife after he has sent a letter asking for her hand. She is seasick throughout the trip, and most uncertain when she arrives and learns William is nowhere to be found. Jane is now forced to live with a group of smelly, rude, uncivilized male traders. She soon has to learn how to live on the frontier. This story is hilarious as the reader watches Jane learn that her finishing school skills are useless and that she quickly must learn new skills to survive in this pioneer life. I enjoyed watching Jane grow and develop new friendships with the Native Americans as well as the hidden romance that develops between Jane and a sailor named Jehu. There is so much excitement in the story for readers to get lost in as they read. This book which is carefully researched by Holm portrays real-life incidents in pioneer life that are sad yet very entertaining. I would recommend this book for classroom use and for readers who really enjoy curling up to a page turner!
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