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The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming

The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming

Book - 2017
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"Jane is excited to be part of Mr. Mercer's expedition to bring orphans and Civil War widows to Washington Territory, but life out west isn't at all what she expected"--
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781481464963
Branch Call Number: J COATS
Characteristics: 278 pages ; 22 cm


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Middle Grade Readers (ages 8 to 12)

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May 04, 2021

We read another book by the author, J. Anderson Coats, R is for Rebel, two Christmases ago and really liked it.

We decided to give this one a try, and we're glad we did. My daughter and I loved it. The cover art is fantastic in capturing the essence of this book. It's an East Coast girl meets West Coast wilderness and is transformed by her experiences story.

It's an example of a book with a gentle, quiet conflict. There are no obvious villains, she's not trying to survive in horrific conditions (although the story does revolve around nature and weather, a lot). It's more centered around Jane Deming's personal, internal struggle to "fit-in" on the Northwest Pacific frontier.

While Jane's step-mother, who's also a widow, comes to the Washington territory planning to marry a banker, Jane's got no such illusions. She's her little brother's babysitter and nothing more to her step-mom.

But Jane promised her father, before he died, that she'd finish school. It's the one thing that keeps her going on the long sea voyage to Seattle, and in fact is the only thing that helps the two young women earn cold, hard cash to keep them afloat for a little while.

When Jane's step-mother finally gets off the boat, what greets them is not a hotel filled with rich, eligible bankers. Not even penniless bank tellers. Rather, it's a horde of rag-tag roughs who crawled out of the wilderness looking to bring home brides in canoes.

Jane meets and steers her step-mother toward the one man in the bunch who seems gentle and kind: Mr. Wright. (I wondered, as I read, if the pun was intended?)

What happens next is the meat of the story, how Mr. Wright and the natural environment all around Jane shape and mold her, until she realizes she's getting the education she promised her father she'd get -- even if there's no certificate at the end.

It was a joy to read!

Nov 27, 2019


LibrLdyMapleValley Sep 04, 2019

There is a review of this book on the website "American Indians in Children's Literature" in case you were also wondering about how Native Americans are portrayed in this book like Chapel Hill was.
The reviewer was not impressed. The review has some positives but in the end she cannot recommend the book.

Jun 08, 2019

Living in Washington, it's sometimes hard to find good fiction set here, but this is definitely one of them. Jane's growth is amazing to read and I almost feel like I need a sequel just so I don't have to let go of her character yet.

ArapahoeSteffen Jun 26, 2017

A fast paced and interesting, historical fiction, coming of age story set in the Pacific Northwest.
The author covered a LOT of ground here and I learned many interesting facts about Seattle in the 1860s that deserve some further research of my own.
Compelling grade school historical fiction.


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CHILDREN'S BPL Mar 25, 2017

CHILDREN'S BPL thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13


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