Coats, J. Anderson The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming, 278 pages. Atheneum (Simon), 2017. $17. Language: PG (5 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.
Jane’s stepmother, Mrs. D., has dragged Jane and her young stepbrother across the United States in order to start a new life in Washington Territory. Mrs. D. is sure that wealthy men are there for the choosing and she’ll be able to just keep house instead of working to support two children. Life on board the ship is an eye-opener for Jane and Life in Seattle is absolutely nothing like the pamphlet promised. Both Jane and Mrs. D. have much growing up to do in this new land.
I have read books about the drive to bring marriageable girls and women to Washington Territory before (Voyage of the Continental), but I like Jane’s version even more. I felt like I was down in the dirt of the fledgling city with her and her challenges, her friendships, and her learning all touched me deeply. Of course, I know that historical fiction is not the biggest seller for school libraries. But this book will find its readers. If you are looking for a book to read aloud with your daughter, buy this. And if I lived in Seattle, I would share this even more widely as a classroom read.
EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher