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Wilderness Days (Boston Jane Series #2)

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Overview

Fresh from Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies' Academy, sixteen-year-old Jane Peck has come to the unknown wilds of the Northwest to wed her true love, William Baldt, her idol from childhood. But her socially correct upbringing in straitlaced Philadelphia is hardly preparation for the colorful characters and crude life that await her in Shoalwater Bay in the Washington Territory. In a few short months, as she's waiting for her absent fiancé to return from an errand, Jane will have slept under a tent, befriended a ...
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Wilderness Days (Boston Jane Series #2)

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Overview

Fresh from Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies' Academy, sixteen-year-old Jane Peck has come to the unknown wilds of the Northwest to wed her true love, William Baldt, her idol from childhood. But her socially correct upbringing in straitlaced Philadelphia is hardly preparation for the colorful characters and crude life that await her in Shoalwater Bay in the Washington Territory. In a few short months, as she's waiting for her absent fiancé to return from an errand, Jane will have slept under a tent, befriended a gloriously beautiful Indian man named Handsome Jim, foraged for huckleberries, shared a cabin with a group of ill-assorted, flea-bitten men, and nearly drowned—all while completely unchaperoned! Thrown into the wild with only her wits to keep her safe, Jane learns not only to survive, but to thrive—and to discover for herself whether she is truly proper Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia, faultless young lady and fiancée, or Boston Jane, as the Chinook dub her, fearless and loyal woman of the frontier.

Drawn from historical material of the region, Boston Jane is a rich potpourri of adventure, humor, romance, and suspense, featuring a dashing new heroine who will win readers' hearts as she discovers her own true desires.

Far from her native Philadelphia, Miss Jane Peck continues to prove that she's more than an etiquette-schooled graduate of Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy as she braves the untamed wilderness of Washington Territory in the mid 1850s.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The heroine of Boston Jane, whom PW called an "outspoken, self-reliant young woman readers will long remember," returns for Boston Jane: Wilderness Days by Jennifer L. Holm. As the novel opens, Jane receives news that her father has passed away in Boston. Her ex-fiance describes his plans to move all of the Washington Territory's Shoalwater Bay Indians to a reservation.
From The Critics
Fiesty Jane Peck is determined to return to her native Philadelphia from the remote settlement of Washington's Shoalwater Bay. But her loyalty to the settlers and the Native American community and her growing passion for a sailor keep her from leaving. The second in the Boston Jane trilogy exposes readers to an early American reality: the harsh wilderness can become a home, complete with neighbors and friendship. Simple living surpasses city life when one's community is welcoming. Though Jane often complains about the living conditions, she takes pride in her ability to sew shirts and bake homemade pies. At 16, she runs an oyster business and exhibits bravery in several dangerous situations. This quick, fun read includes an author's note that places the context in history. Jane Peck is an admirable, though perhaps not totally plausible, heroine. It's a terrific book for 10 -12 year olds. 2002, HarperCollins, 242 pp., Winkler
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-Boston Jane is as feisty as ever, but with a distinctively sharper edge. And with good reason. She has endured several months with smelly, uncouth old men, in less-than-pristine living conditions, in the wilderness of Washington Territory. Now, to increase her emotional burdens, the "proper" young woman from Philadelphia receives word that her father has died. The challenges of the wilderness begin to bring out the worst in her; she is prickly and feels unappreciated by those around her. Trusting a "gentleman" stranger, she inadvertently puts a friend's life in danger and she and two companions, one of whom is a love interest, trek through the wilds to reach the Stevens Negotiations between the Indians and the territorial government representatives, including Jane's pompous former fiance. She comes to recognize her true friends as she braves adverse conditions and returns to Shoalwater Bay with her emotional wounds less raw, and her retorts less sharp. Readers unfamiliar with Boston Jane: An Adventure (HarperCollins, 2001) are quickly brought up to speed on the previous events and memorable characters. Details are interestingly revealed and are, for the most part, historically accurate. The Stevens Negotiations actually took place, although the timing has been changed. (Holm acknowledges this in an author's note.) The depiction of life in the wilderness reflects experiences found in first-person accounts of pioneer women in the 1850s. Holm once again delivers an action-packed story with a strong female protagonist.-Carolyn Janssen, Children's Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
Kirkus Reviews
It's etiquette versus exigency in 19th-century Washington Territory. Jane Peck wasn't always a lady; until the age of 11, she was the very picture of a hoyden, terrorizing the neighborhood with rotten apples and manure pats. But prodded by the censure of the ladylike Sally Biddle, and with the encouragement of her physician father's apprentice, William of the dazzling smile, she enrolls in Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy. In the space of four years, she goes from being an independent and opinionated, if messy, girl to a very proper young lady, much to the dismay of her independent and opinionated Papa. But when she sails from Philadelphia to Shoalwater Bay to join William, she finds that he has gone, and she must make a place for herself among rough mountain men and the Chinook Indians, none of whom give a hoot for the accomplishments of a young lady. Holm ("Our Only May Amelia", 1999) gives readers an original, likable narrator in Jane and a good-humored, rip-roaring romantic adventure, with colorful secondary characters to spare. These include Mr. James Swan, who left his family in Boston to pursue anthropological study (an actual historical figure), and the blue-eyed Jehu, the sailor who encourages Jane to revise her notion of proper young ladyhood. A couple of subplots are left hanging or seem out of place: the obvious decline in Jane's father's health goes unresolved, and the introduction of the ghost of Jane's traveling companion does little to further the plot. An unfortunately young-looking cover illustration will limit the usefulness of this otherwise highly enjoyable historical romp. (author's note) "(Fiction. 10-14)"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375862052
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Series: Boston Jane Series , #2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 287,586
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.68 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer L. Holm is the author of the Newbery Honor Book Our Only May Amelia and the contemporary young adult thriller, The Creek, as well as the other books of the Boston Jane trilogy: Boston Jane: An Adventure and Boston Jane: Wilderness Days. She lives with her husband and son and cat in the wilds of Maryland.

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Read an Excerpt

It was a sweet September day on the beach, much like the day I'd first sailed into Shoalwater Bay that April. The sun was skipping across the water, and the sky was a bright arc of blue racing to impossibly tall green trees. And for the first time since arriving on this wild stretch of wilderness, I felt lucky again.  

You see, I had survived these many months in the company of rough men and Chinook Indians, not to mention a flea-ridden hound, and while it was true that my wardrobe had suffered greatly, one might say that my person had thrived. I had made friends. I had started an oyster business. I had survived endless calamity: six months of seasickness on the voyage from Philadelphia, a near-drowning, a fall from a cliff, and a smallpox outbreak. What was there to stop me now?  

Although a life on the rugged frontier of the Washington Territory was not recommended for a proper young lady of sixteen, especially in the absence of a suitable chaperone, I intended to try it.   After all, I did make the best pies on Shoalwater Bay. And striding up the beach toward me was a man who appreciated them.  

"Jane!"   He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen, bluer than the water of the bay behind him. A schooner, the Hetty, was anchored not far out, and it was the reason I had packed all my belongings and was standing beside my trunk. The same schooner had brought Jehu Scudder back to the bay after a prolonged absence. Indeed, when Jehu left, I had doubted that I would ever see him again.  

"Jane," Jehu said gruffly, his thick black hair brushing his shoulders, his eyes glowing in his tanned face. I had last seen him nearly two months ago, at which time I had hurt his feelings, and sailor that he was, he had vowed to sail as far away as China to be rid of me.  

"Jehu," I replied, nervously pushing a sticky tangle of red curls off my cheeks.  

He shook his head. "You're looking well, Miss Peck."  

"As are you, Mr. Scudder," I replied, my voice light.  

We stood there for a moment just looking at each other, the soft bay air brushing between us like a ribbon. Without thinking, I took a step forward, toward him, until I was so close that I breathed the scent of the saltwater on his skin. And all at once I remembered that night, those stars, his cheek close to mine.  

"Boston Jane! Boston Jane!" a small voice behind me cried.  

Sootie, a Chinook girl who had become dear to me, came rushing down the beach, little legs pumping, her feet wet from the tide pool in which she had been playing. She was waving a particularly large clamshell at me, of the sort the Chinook children often fashioned into dolls.  

"Look what I found!" she said, eyeing Jehu.  

"Sootie," I said, smoothing back her thick black hair. "You remember Captain Scudder? He was the first mate on the Lady Luck, the ship that brought me here from Philadelphia."  

Sootie clutched the skirts of my blue calico dress and hid behind them shyly, peeking out at Jehu with her bright brown eyes. Her mother, my friend Suis, had died in the summer smallpox outbreak, and since then Sootie had spent a great deal of time inmy company.  

Jehu crouched down next to her, admiring her find. "That's a real nice shell you have there."  

She grinned flirtatiously at him, exposing a gap where one of her new front teeth was coming in.  

Jehu grinned right back and squinted up at me from where he knelt. "I see you took my advice about wearing blue. Although I did like that Chinook skirt of yours," he teased, his Boston accent dry as a burr.  

The cedar bark skirt in question, while very comfortable, had left my legs quite bare. "That skirt was hardly proper, Jehu," I rebuked him gently.  

At this, his lips tightened and a shuttered look came across his face. The thick angry scar on his cheek twitched in a familiar way. He hunched his shoulders forward and stood up, deliberately looking somewhere over my shoulder. "Ah, yes, proper."  

I bit my lip and stepped back. I had little doubt as to what was causing this sudden transformation. I had rejected his affections, as I had been engaged to another man.  

"So tell me, how is your new husband?" he asked in a clipped voice.  

"Jehu," I said quickly.  

He turned from me and stared angrily out at the smooth bay. "If you'll excuse me, I've got supplies to deliver," he said tersely, and then he turned on his booted heel and strode quickly down the beach away from me.  

I took a step forward, Sootie's arms tight around my legs. What was I to do? Miss Hepplewhite, my instructor at the Young Ladies Academy in Philadelphia, had a great number of opinions on the proper behavior of a young lady. I had discovered, however, that many of her careful instructions were sorely lacking when it came to surviving on the frontier. There was not much call for pouring tea or embroidering handkerchiefs in the wilds of Shoalwater Bay. And I certainly didn't recall any helpful hints on howto prevent the only man one had ever kissed from storming away for the second time in one's life. So I did something that I was sure would have shocked my old teacher.  

I shouted.   "I didn't marry him!"  

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First Chapter

Boston Jane: Wilderness Days

Chapter One

or,

The Luckiest Girl

It was a sweet September day on the beach, much like the day I'd first sailed into Shoalwater Bay that April. The sun was skipping across the water, and the sky was a bright arc of blue racing to impossibly tall green trees. And for the first time since arriving on this wild stretch of wilderness, I felt lucky again.

You see, I had survived these many months in the company of rough men and Chinook Indians, not to mention a flea-ridden hound, and while it was true that my wardrobe had suffered greatly, one might say that my person had thrived. I had made friends. I had started an oyster business. I had survived endless calamity: six months of seasickness on the voyage from Philadelphia, a near-drowning, a fall from a cliff, and a smallpox outbreak. What was there to stop me now? Although a life on the rugged frontier of the Washington Territory was not recommended for a proper young lady of sixteen, especially in the absence of a suitable chaperone, I intended to try it.

After all, I did make the best pies on Shoalwater Bay. And striding up the beach toward me was a man who appreciated them.

"Jane!"

He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen, bluer than the water of the bay behind him. A schooner, The Hetty, was anchored not far out, and it was the reason I had packed all my belongings and was standing beside my trunk. The same schooner had brought Jehu Scudder back to the bay after a prolonged absence. Indeed, when Jehu left, I had doubted that I would ever see him again.

"Jane," Jehu said gruffly, his thick black hair brushing his shoulders, his eyes glowing in his tanned face. I had last seen him nearly two months ago, at which time I had hurt his feelings, and sailor that he was, he had vowed to sail as far away as China to be rid of me.

"Jehu," I replied, nervously pushing a sticky tangle of red curls off my cheeks.

He shook his head. "You're looking well, Miss Peck."

"As are you, Mr. Scudder," I replied, my voice light.

We stood there for a moment just looking at each other, the soft bay air brushing between us like a ribbon. Without thinking, I took a step forward, toward him, until I was so close that I breathed the scent of the saltwater on his skin. And all at once I remembered that night, those stars, his cheek close to mine.

"Boston Jane! Boston Jane!" a small voice behind me cried.

Sootie, a Chinook girl who had become dear to me, came rushing down the beach, little legs pumping, her feet wet from the tide pool in which she had been playing. She was waving a particularly large clamshell at me, of the sort the Chinook children often fashioned into dolls.

"Look what I found!" she said, eyeing Jehu.

"Sootie," I said, smoothing back her thick black hair. "You remember Captain Scudder? He was the first mate on the Lady Luck, the ship that brought me here from Philadelphia."

Sootie clutched the skirts of my blue calico dress and hid behind them shyly, peeking out at Jehu with her bright brown eyes. Her mother, my friend Suis, had died in the summer smallpox outbreak, and since then Sootie had spent a great deal of time in my company.

Jehu crouched down next to her, admiring her find. "That's a real nice shell you have there."

She grinned flirtatiously at him, exposing a gap where one of her new front teeth was coming in.

Jehu grinned right back and squinted up at me from where he knelt. "I see you took my advice about wearing blue. Although I did like that Chinook skirt of yours," he teased, his Boston accent dry as a burr.

The cedar bark skirt in question, while very comfortable, had left my legs quite bare. "That skirt was hardly proper, Jehu," I rebuked him gently.

At this, his lips tightened and a shuttered look came across his face. The thick angry scar on his cheek twitched in a familiar way. He hunched his shoulders forward and stood up, deliberately looking somewhere over my shoulder. "Ah, yes, proper."

I bit my lip and stepped back. I had little doubt as to what was causing this sudden transformation. I had rejected his affections, as I had been engaged to another man.

"So tell me, how is your new husband?" he asked in a clipped voice.

"Jehu," I said quickly.

He turned from me and stared angrily out at the smooth bay. "If you'll excuse me, I've got supplies to deliver," he said tersely, and then he turned on his booted heel and strode quickly down the beach away from me.

I took a step forward, Sootie's arms tight around my legs. What was I to do? Miss Hepplewhite, my instructor at the Young Ladies Academy in Philadelphia, had a great number of opinions on the proper behavior of a young lady. I had discovered, however, that many of her careful instructions were sorely lacking when it came to surviving on the frontier. There was not much call for pouring tea or embroidering handkerchiefs in the wilds of Shoalwater Bay. And I certainly didn't recall any helpful hints on how to prevent the only man one had ever kissed from storming away for the second time in one's life. So I did something that I was sure would have shocked my old teacher.

I shouted.

"I didn't marry him!"

He froze and then turned back toward me, walking fast. He grabbed my shoulders and looked down into my eyes.

"You didn't?" Something indefinable flickered across his face.

"It seems that Mr. Baldt already had a wife."

Jehu slapped his thigh triumphantly. "I knew he was no good!"

Boston Jane: Wilderness Days. Copyright © by Jennifer Holm. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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(13)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    H

    I liked the first book when i read it a while ago but its kinda boring nothing happens. It a good book if your 10 or younger but im in seventh grade and find it a little lame.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2014

    Awesome

    Great read, the whole trilogy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    I loved this second book as much as the first, if not more. Roma

    I loved this second book as much as the first, if not more. Romantic, humorous, and adventurous! Read the whole trilogy!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Anonomus

    Greatest book EVER!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Fanf Fantastic!!!

    I love this series so incredibly much! A perfect mix of adventure,humor, and romance!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Perf

    This book is amaze. Jen has some real talent

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    One of my Favs!

    I read this when I was in 4th or 5th grade and I read it now and I still love it! Its a book for all ages

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    awsome

    great book!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Boston Jane Fights Again

    In this historical fiction novel Boston Jane has rejected William's proposal because of his failure to show her his true love for her. Now jane is stuck in the Wilderness. With help from her two friends Jehu and Keer-usko Jane will stop at nothing. This bold Jane peck has you into the book and you won't stop until you finished it! Take my advice and read the whole series it will have you craving for more, Enjoy them!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    WOW

    this is one of those books that i read when i was like in 5th grade. & i forgot the name. well i was thinking about it the other day, and when i came across it in the library i sat down and started to read it. it is every bit as good as i rememembered. def. a great read!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Awesome!!!!!!!

    I read this book during reading class I thought it was really great.It funny romantic and what teens face every day.I was really upset when we finished reading.I said she need to make another one. Then she did and not just one two I was so happy.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    Awesome

    This was really really really good!! A wicked good summer read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2004

    I love Boston Jane!!!

    These books are wonderful!!! This book is about a girl named Jane who is spunky and has thrilling adventures. She was brought up to be a Lady but knowing how to pour tea dosn't help any in the fronter.It has plenty of adventure and some romance too.I have all three books and have read them over and over. I think Jennifer Holm needs to write more books like these!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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