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Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite
Lost in Boston by Jane R. Wood was an enjoyable read, deftly disguising educational facts in a fictional format to interest young readers. Book 5 of the Johnson family series, it takes the likable brothers Joey and Bobby and their little sister on a tour of Boston. Their enthusiastic mother Jennifer guides them through numerous important landmarks of Boston, blending in a light romantic subplot involving Joey and a Boston girl, as well as a brief crime episode to keep the history from taking over. A visit to relatives in Boston, culminating in a wedding, grounded the trip realistically in the daily lives of children. Jane Wood's writing showed comfort both with children and with the topics the book covered. Joey, Bobby, and Katy had cute little personalities and were respectful of and attentive to their mother.
Jane R. Wood has an approachable style that keeps the history light enough for the audience while retaining solid details. I personally have never been to Boston and learned a lot about the city from this book. For instance, I had not been aware before that there was a free African-American community in Boston beginning as early as the 1600s. It shows freedom in this city has a long history. The numerous references to foreign immigrants and Italian food gave a good insight into Boston's immense diversity. I want to try cannoli after reading this! Sites visited included the USS Constitution, Paul Revere's home, the Old North Church, a historic graveyard, and of course wonderful Fenway Park. Lost in Boston really did get me lost in the past of this city.