The Lighthouse Back Home

Children - Grade 4th-6th
312 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2023
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Jodi Auborn became interested in lighthouses and the ocean when she was fifteen years old and went on her first vacation
to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Since then, she has taken several
trips to Monhegan Island and other small towns in coastal
Maine, all of which inspired the setting for the fictional town
of Salvation Point.

In 2014, Jodi released her novel "Matthias: The Ghost of
Salvation Point," in which ten-year-old Dylan and his family spend the summer at a mysterious lighthouse his father had inherited from his eccentric uncle. But Dylan soon learns it's not just any lighthouse: it's haunted by Matthias MacMurray, the ghost of the last lighthouse keeper who had died in a storm many years before. “Matthias” was meant to remain a stand-alone book, but after numerous requests for more stories featuring him and Dylan, the concept of a time-travel novel was developed, and "The Lighthouse Back Home" was released in 2023.

Jodi has also written "Stormwind of the North Country" and
"Secrets in the North Country," adventure novels set in New
York State’s Adirondack Mountains, and a memoir titled "My
Ten-Acre Wilderness."

The author lives in Ticonderoga, NY. She is single, with a yellow cat named Tom, and a white Appaloosa horse, Timmy. Besides writing, her hobbies are reading, drawing, designing houses, gardening, and photography. During the summer she enjoys canoeing, sailing her Snark sailboat, and camping and hiking in a nearby wilderness area. She enjoys most types of music and plays the guitar and ukulele.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Lighthouse Back Home is a time-travel adventure mystery novel by Jodi L. Auborn. Eleven-year-old Dylan Flint loves nothing more than sailing on his boat, Thunder, with his best friend, Alex. But after the two youngsters stumble across a mysterious bell, they suddenly find themselves in 1893, where they meet Dylan's old ghost friend and Salvation Point Lighthouse keeper, Matthias MacMurray, in the flesh. Oblivious of his future self as a ghost, Matthias reluctantly agrees to his mother's wishes and shelters the kids. However, the MacMurray family soon learns about their extraordinary travels. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones who know Dylan and Alex's secret. Meanwhile, they befriend the cabin boy of a sailing ship whose nemesis will soon cross their path. Will Dylan and Alex be able to return home?

Jodi L. Auborn cooks up a delicious mystery with just a touch of the fantastical that is bound to entertain kids and young adults alike. The Lighthouse Back Home continues the tales of Dylan and Matthias as these adventurous characters face new challenges and dangers. Although a sequel, the book also functions seamlessly as a standalone. Keeping a brisk pace, Auborn weaves a captivating yarn of mystery, adventure, and action that keeps pulling you into the story the further you read. It's the characters who make the narrative so engrossing. Dylan, Alex, Matthias, Isaac, and even Mama are some delightfully wholesome personalities you actually want to spend time with. I especially enjoyed the friendship between Dylan and Alex and their commitment to helping Isaac. Overall, this is a fantastic book for adventure mystery fans and readers who enjoy stories featuring time travel.

Nino Lobiladze

Eleven-year-old best friends Dylan and Alexandria, or Alex, went to explore Rat Island on Dylan's sailboat, Thunder, after hearing news about a lost pirate treasure. There, they found a skeleton with a small hole in the head and an old ship's bell. On their way back home to the town of Salvation Point, something went wrong. The children heard an unusual sound and noticed that the familiar dock was gone. Also, sailboats of all types came into view instead of modern ones. People were wearing old-fashioned clothes, horse-drawn carriages were everywhere, and the kids couldn't buy anything with the money they had. Somehow, Dylan and Alex found themselves in 1893 and could only hope for Dylan's old friend, Matthias, to arrive. But will Matthias, a down-to-earth lighthouse keeper, believe their fantastic story about time travel? The Lighthouse Back Home by Jodi L. Auborn, the second book in a series, is a captivating read for children from 9 years of age and all those who enjoy a good adventure.

In The Lighthouse Back Home, Jodi L. Auborn provides us with a well-researched historical background. The author describes the views and customs of the end of the nineteenth century in a confident and humorous manner. It is impossible not to smile while reading about Matilda MacMurray's attempts to instill good manners in rude sailors or to find a suitable match for her grumpy son, Matthias. Overall, Matilda, or Mama, is a character to remember. Her tender, loving nature doesn't prevent her from defending herself with a gun if necessary. Dylan and Alex are wonderful characters, too. Both are brave and quick-witted in the face of danger. They do not hesitate to risk their lives for each other or their friends. The Lighthouse Back Home is a coming-of-age story with believable development of the main characters. I liked the adventurous aspect of the book and its dynamic narrative. The eventful final chapters are very engaging, and the outcome of the main storyline offers us many surprises. Readers who love the adventures of the great Mark Twain will enjoy The Lighthouse Back Home as well.

Afifa Raisa

The Lighthouse Back Home by Jodi L. Auborn is narrated by Dylan, an eleven-year-old boy living with his family in a lighthouse in Maine. While exploring a nearby island with his friend Alex, he makes a couple of exciting discoveries - a ship’s bell from 1869 and a human skeleton. The mysterious bell transports the two children back in time, where they meet Mathias, the lighthouse keeper whose ghost had been friends with Dylan the previous year. Mathias and his mother, Mama, continue caring for them while the two friends try to figure out a way to get back home. With challenges heading their way one after another, they must be brave, smart, and determined to reach their goal.

Jodi L. Auborn’s The Lighthouse Back Home grabbed my attention immediately with its interesting start. Jodi took time to build the setting and the characters, and thus let the story settle deeper into my mind. While reading the last few pages, I could, in fact, feel a strange sense of sadness envelop me. I loved the main characters, especially Mama. While she is strict when it comes to religion and what she believes is the right way to behave, she has a tender and nurturing nature that makes her truly admirable. I feel that Jodi did a good job in portraying Alex and Dylan as kids who are in a stage between childhood and puberty; they appear natural and believable throughout the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates a slow-paced adventurous story.