Check out a Q&A with the author of this new reimagining of a classic... Adventures of Mary Jane by Hope Jahren (Interview) #AdventuresOfMaryJane #TBRBeyondTours #HopeJahren #newbooks #bookx #yalit #yabooks #histfic @delacortepress @tbrbeyondtours

Welcome! I'm excited to share an exclusive
interview with the author today! Read on below...

Adventures of Mary Jane
By Hope Jahren
Young Adult Historical Fiction
Hardcover, eBook & Audiobook, 464 Pages
June 25, 2024 by Delacorte Press


In this brand new reimagining, Mary Jane—the red-headed spark from Mark Twain's, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, who stole Huck’s heart in just 30 pages—comes to life with her own story of adventuring down the Mississippi River in the 1840’s.

Meet Mary Jane Guild — she’s on a dangerous and unpredictable adventure down the Mississippi River — and she’ll steal Huck Finn’s heart along the way.

In these chapters you’ll come to know the real Mary a girl on her own dangerous and unpredictable journey down the Mississippi River in pre–Civil War America. Equipped with an uncanny ability for mathematics, a talent for sewing, and a bale of beaver skins, Mary Jane navigates deadly illnesses, angry mobs, treacherous landowners, outright thieves and swindlers, and more than a thousand miles of muddy water. What’s more, she thrives in the face of these challenges, thanks to support from a caring boat captain, generous neighbors, a cheery peddler, a chosen family, a loyal and loving dog, and two hardworking horses. Traveling solo requires Mary Jane to grow up fast, but it ultimately leads her to a new resilience, a love of adventure, deep and enduring sisterhood, and a blue-eyed, pony-tailed boy she can’t stop thinking about.

Jahren offers a wealth of layered characters and deeply researched, authentic details of changing times in the North and South. Using the language and style of Twain and shifting the point of view to a smart and determined young woman, she explores timeless themes of duty, family, romance, and betrayal, with grit and courage at the core.

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Author Interview

Welcome to my blog today to tell us more about the ADVENTURES OF MARY JANE!

Thank you for inviting me to be here!

How would you describe the main character(s) of your story?

Mary Jane is, above all, looking for friends. She’s all alone, out on her own, at age 14, trying to travel across the country and get to a safe place where she can just be herself. Did I mention the year is 1846?

What inspired the idea of writing about Mary Jane from Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

Like a lot of GenXers, I read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in highscool, then again in college, then to my own kiddo, and then for myself. I love the book, but there was one character – she only appeared in 20 or so pages – that never made sense to me. She was just too sweet and compliant to be real … and there was this dead body laying around … it just didn’t add up. After 10 year of puzzling over it, I set out to uncover who she really was and what she was up to during those days when she met Huck.

Did you find any interesting facts as you did research for this story?

So many! Did you know that in the 1800s on the American Frontier most people didn’t have “Right” and “Left” shoes? They just had two shoes that they could wear back and forth and swap out and repair as needed. It’s kind of smart, really.

What is your favorite part of the book?

When they harvest the honey. Can you imagine sitting out in a field on a sunny day with your best friends eating honey right off the comb you just pulled out of a tree – biting into the wax until the sweetness gushes out? What a great afternoon that would be!

What are you hoping readers will get out of the ADVENTURES OF MARY JANE?

I am hoping that they’ll feel like the got a new friend. Mary Jane is in a tough spot, and she needs friends. She’s willing to tell you all her secrets in the hopes that you’ll like her. For her sake, I really hope the reader does.

What are you working on next?

Mary Jane’s cousins, Susan and Joanna, have very different personalities, but they both go on to have different and exciting adventures of their own. I hope I get to tell their stories too!

About the Author

HOPE JAHREN is a teacher, scientist, and book lover living in Oslo, Norway. Recognized as one Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Jahren is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and was named one of the Brilliant 10 by Popular Science magazine in 2005. She is the author of two works of nonfiction: The Story of More and Lab Girl, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Adventures of Mary Jane is her first work of fiction.

Did you read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? If you did, did you ever wonder about Mary Jane? What connected with you in the interview?

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