cover image BOSTON JANE


Jennifer L. Holm, , read by Jessalyn Gilsig. . Listening Library, $26 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8072-0465-8

With a bright, effective reading, Gilsig fits neatly into the role of Jane Peck, a young woman in transition in the year 1854. Jane has worked hard to adhere to the rules of The Young Lady's Confidante, her textbook at Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy in Philadelphia. Her accomplishments in embroidery, drawing and coffee pouring have earned Jane her father's dismay and her teacher's respect. But when she follows her heart after a young man who has gone to stake a claim to land in the Oregon frontier, Jane quickly learns that her ladylike skills may not be the most handy. A grueling passage by ship lands Jane in Shoalwater Bay, an area from which her betrothed has temporarily moved on. As she awaits his return, Jane must befriend the rough men who have come to seek their fortunes as well as the "savages" or Chinook Indians who are an invaluable source of help. Survival becomes more important than etiquette and Jane finds herself doing many things not befitting a "proper lady." In her narration, Gilsig adroitly changes tone from tentative to indignant to confident, depicting Jane's transformation from frail and ineffectual to robust and vibrant. Young listeners will find much to like in Gilsig's interpretation of this winning adventure. Ages 9-12. (Nov.)