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Wish & Wander #2

Rome Reframed

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Lucas Duran has been on the trip of a lifetime—six months traveling through Europe with his parents and two younger brothers. That is, the trip of a lifetime for someone else. Lucas wants nothing more than to be home in Austin, Texas, with his friends, and it shows in his schoolwork that he’s been emailing to his teachers. He can't wait to get out of Rome, the last stop on their trip.

When his teachers give him an ultimatum—either turn in a phenomenal last project or you’ll fail the eighth grade—Lucas is going to have to decide whether to give up or to give in to the mystery of Rome. And after a cryptic palm reader hands him a weird-looking coin to throw in the Trevi Fountain, Lucas finds himself transported to ancient Rome at each new tourist destination. As his hops back through time become more personal, it seems the magic of Rome is determined to help Lucas gain more than an A+ project, too. Can he fix his future before his time in the past is over?

224 pages, Paperback

Published February 2, 2021

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About the author

Amy Bearce

11 books129 followers
Amy writes magical escapes for young readers and the young at heart. She is the author of the World of Aluvia series, The Secret Psychic series, and the Wish & Wander series, for ages 10-14 and up. Her latest book is The Worst Villain Ever, for ages 8-12. She is also a former reading teacher and school librarian.

As a military kid, she moved eight times before she was eighteen, so she feels especially fortunate to be married to her high school sweetheart. Together they’re raising two daughters in San Antonio. You can find her online at amybearce.com.

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Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah.
702 reviews131 followers
February 2, 2021
Rome Reframed is an entertaining and fascinating time-travel romp through one of the world's great cities, seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old kid from Texas.
Can you imagine watching gladiators fight to the death at the Colosseum? Chatting with Michelangelo as he works on the Sistine Chapel ceiling? Celebrating Rome's birthday with the Emperor Hadrian?
While a six-month trip around western Europe might seem like a dream come true for many adults, (and some kids), it's Lucas Duran's worst nightmare. He's missing out on the last months of eighth grade at home, but more so his friends and beloved soccer. His academic parents and younger brothers are having the time of their lives, but Lucas is glum and resentful and can't wait for the trip to be over.
A wake-up call from his teachers in Texas forces Lucas to reconsider his attitude and behaviour - unless he turns in a superlative assignment about this last stop on their journey, he'll fail grade 8 and won't proceed to High School with his friends!
With the assistance of a mysterious fortune teller and a new Italian friend, Vivi, Lucas sets out to learn about Rome, in the process finding new insight into himself and what he can achieve when he puts his mind to it.
While the time-travel segments were great fun, the underlying message of Rome Reframed is finding self-confidence and accountability for one's own attitude and behaviour. Lucas grows up a lot over the course of a few days in Rome, developing a whole new way of looking at the world and understanding his own place in it.
As a longtime lover of the Eternal City, I really enjoyed Amy Bearce's descriptions, including her imaginative depictions of past Rome. She really captures the essence of her setting, not only the major tourist landmarks, but the feel of the streets, piazzas and people of the living city. Her main and supporting characters are well-developed and I enjoyed the very innocent romantic sub-plot as Lucas realises his feelings for Vivi.
I loved time-travel novels as a kid and young adult, and would have devoured this in middle school, despite not having the same sort of outlook as the protagonist - a European soujourn would have been heaven to me from the outset. As an adult reader, I initially found myself sympathising with Lucas's parents' frustration at his disinterestedness. However, Lucas really grew on me over the course of the book, and by the end I was cheering for him.
Highly recommended for middle-grade readers, especially those with an interest in history, travel and self-discovery.
My thanks to the author, Amy Bearce, publisher Jolly Fish Press (an imprint of North Star Editions) and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.
February 3, 2021
This was great! I think I loved this even more than the 1st book! It was awesome to escape to Rome for a little bit. I also learned so many amazing things! The author definitely did her research. Of course there is a lot of fictional parts, but there are so many facts of history, I was blown away. It made me want to head straight to google, to start looking things up(& I did a few things already😆). Lucas is on a 6 month trip, traveling through Europe w/his parents & 2 younger brothers. However, he just wants to go home to Texas, back to his friends & normal life. It’s showing in the poor homework he is sending in to his teachers. Rome is the last stop on the trip. If he doesn’t turn in an amazing last assignment about Rome, he will fail & not go to high school. A strange lady, who is a palm reader, gives him a weird coin to throw into the fountain for a wish. Soon he is finding himself transported to Ancient Rome at each destination. Each stop keeps hitting something new closer to home in his heart/mind. It’s clear Rome wants to help him not only pass his assignment about her, but also help him discover who he is, & to start to believe in himself & those who love him. This was a grand adventure. I loved his family so much even! Vivi(the friend he makes in Rome) was so charming! She was the absolute best! Along w/the palm reader/coin, she had a huge part in helping Lucas. The more the book went on, the more the “heartwarming feeling” grew in me from reading lol plus the smile just stayed on my face. Highly recommend! Hope there will be more to the series! Beautiful cover also of course!💜
Profile Image for Alicia.
556 reviews8 followers
February 1, 2021
Thank you to Jolly Fish Press for sending me an ARC via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

4.5/5 stars.

I really enjoyed this story! Right from the beginning we got a really good idea of who Lucas was as a character, and I loved seeing his growth throughout the book. Lucas is 14, and he’s spent the last 6 months travelling with his professor parents and his younger brothers. Lucas is sick of Europe and just wants to go home to Texas. He’s spent most of the trip with his phone in his hands, and he hasn’t really tried on his school project. Until his last few days in Rome when he’s suddenly faced with the prospect of possibly failing eighth grade.

Lucas becomes motivated to try harder, and with the help of Vivi, the daughter of the B&B owner, he explores Rome and begins to see it in a new light. In addition to this, he’s been given a coin by an old palm-reader, and the coin is magical! It sends Lucas back for brief glimpses of the past, and helps Lucas learn more about being in the present.

This was a really fun book to read. I loved all the history and the magic, and the pacing was really good. It’s middle-grade, and I think young teenagers around Lucas’s age will resonate with the character (he was pretty funny), and they’ll be able to connect with Lucas through his fears and what he learns. (I’m 21, and I was connecting to Lucas through these things because they were real and relatable.) There was a little bit of romance blossoming, and it was another layer to the characters that was fun to read.

Overall, this is a really fun book. Lucas is easy to connect with, and he remains a likeable character even when he was being a bit annoying at the beginning. The rest of the characters help move the story along, and the magic coin brings that extra something to make the story unique. I’d definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes history, magic, Rome, and books about the bond between families.
Profile Image for Katelyn Spedden.
88 reviews10 followers
September 8, 2020
*I received an ARC of this book from the Author as well as the publisher on both NetGalley and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

I was a huge fan of Paris on Repeat so when I was told there would be a second book I was just as excited. The best part is that the books have a running theme of growth and learning more about yourself, but they don’t fully connect. You don’t have to read Paris on Repeat to appreciate Rome Reframed. The only character that is in both is the palm reader because she seems to be the magical being that helps others see what they need to and I love that. It’s a series that anyone would enjoy and can go through all of them in any order and at any time without feeling like they’ve missed something. Whats better is that this one follows Lucas, an eighth grader that doesn’t want to be open with his passions. Of course he’s open about his love for soccer but he doesn’t see a point in photography or poems which he does enjoy. it takes being told that he’s going to fail eight grade and receiving a magic coin to fully come out of his shell and see the beauty of the world around him.

And while the book is a wonderful Middle Grade book about being true to yourself and appreciating everything around you, it’s also an almost love letter to the beauty of Rome. But not just the cookie cutter Rome. Amy Bearce doesn’t just check off the ‘big’ places in Rome that you’re supposed to visit as a tourist. Every place that Lucas goes connects to each other and the journey he needs to go on to grow. The reader also learns things about these places that they probably didn’t know before. I didn’t know them and I’m someone that’s wanted to visit Rome since I was a kid. Rome Reframed just makes me want to go to every place that Lucas did even though I’m an adult.
Profile Image for Katie.
630 reviews73 followers
February 4, 2021
This was a really cute read! I had read Paris on Repeat and really enjoyed that one, so I loved getting the chance to read this, which I think I enjoyed even more. I love that there was a really strong focus on family and friendship and finding yourself. Lucas had really great growth, over just a few days in the book, and it was really uplifting and hopeful - which is something I think we all need to see more of. I think it's a perfect book for upper middle grade, and I definitely recommend it, even to people who are older than the target age. It was inspiring to see Lucas figure out himself in ways that he never imagined. And it also made me really want to go back to Rome so badly! Hopefully one day.

Thank you so much to netgalley and Jolly Fish Press for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
63 reviews
May 1, 2023
I loved this book! It has a really awsome storyline, but I also REALLY love that it is set in Rome. I thought that that was really interesting to read a fictional book set in Italy and learn even more about it. I want to read more books like that.
Profile Image for Libriamo3116.
466 reviews
February 3, 2021
Thank you Jolly Fish Press for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Lucas, his parents, and his brothers have been traveling across Europe for six months. A dream for most people, yet Lucas just wants to be home with his friends. Lucas has been missing school back in Austin, Texas, and his grades have been terrible. So terrible, that his teachers threaten to hold him back to redo eighth grade again unless he completes an amazing project on his family's last leg of the trip. As his family arrives in Rome, Lucas has to make a choice about his future, and he soon meets a palm reader who offers him a mysterious coin. After tossing the coin into a nearby fountain, Lucas's reality changes, and he is transported back in time as he travels around Rome. Lucas is getting more than he bargained for at the last part of a trip he never wanted to take in the first place, but will it be enough to capture his attention and interest before it's too late to succeed?

I have to say that fictional characters don't get to me like this very often, but I am very envious of Lucas for being taken on an all-expenses paid tour of Europe for six months! Talk about a dream! Regardless of this dear child's insistence on going back home to roast in Texas, I understand that it is difficult to be away from friends and the fun we're accustomed to. Rome Reframed is a companion standalone novel to Paris on Repeat, another fun middle grade book I enjoyed. Rome Reframed doesn't disappoint, allowing Lucas to step into an incredibly interesting part of history in a place steeped in so much of it. What I really appreciated is that even though many common destinations are featured, there are also a number that many readers won't be familiar with. Lucas's time travels allow him to see incredible sights, and meet some awesome historical figures. The descriptions and clear research effort are transporting, and I was caught up in the magic of it in much the same way Lucas was. If you're looking for a book for yourself or a young reader that can enchant, educate, and inspire, join Lucas as his eyes are opened and the ruins of an old empire are reframed in a new light.
Profile Image for Jackie.
4,096 reviews46 followers
May 13, 2021
Lucan Duran is on an extraordinary trip with his parents and two little brothers, Robby and Trevor. His parents are professors and are writing a book about European history. The sights, the architecture, and the knowledge they gain is truly awesome...awesome for someone else besides Lucas, that is. All he wants is to be home in Austin, Texas with his friends playing soccer.

The problem, for Lucas, though is that he must turn in reports, poems, photographs, and journal entries to pass 8th grade. So far, his teachers have not been pleased with his work. They've told him that he has to up his game (homework, that is) or else he will fail and not move onto high school (and the soccer team) with his friends!

During the last week of their stay, Lucas is standing near the Trevi Fountain (bored as usual) when a old palm reader approaches him and gives him an odd coin. Implying that the coin will grant his wish (yeah, right), Lucas has no clue what is really in store for him. In the days to come, he will tour and sightsee with his new friend (and crush), Vivi to magical (no pun intended) places in Rome. Yet, he is in for an even a bigger surprise when Rome's magic comes to life with the help of a special golden coin.

Rome Reframed is a delightful story with historical facts, places, and lore thrown in, that will surely appeal to kids. There's also quite a bit of nudging young people to follow their dreams even when that dream isn't appealing to peers. A budding romance is 'just right' for those tweens looking for 'romance' books. More to come in this Wish and Wander series.

Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers, Jolly Fish Press, and Amy Bearce for this ARC.
Profile Image for Heather.
275 reviews8 followers
September 11, 2020
Lucas and his family have been traveling across Europe for 6 months and he is ready to go home, which shows through his schoolwork. As the trip progressed, his schoolwork started getting worse and worse. His teachers tell him that if he wants to pass the eighth grade and move on to high school, he needs to ace his project on Rome. Lucas has to decide whether he is going to give up and be left behind the year, or step up and really explore Rome and learn everything he can.

While at the Trevi Fountain, a mysterious old woman appears and gives Lucas this strange looking coin to throw into the fountain. Instead, he finds himself being thrown back in time to ancient Rome at each new spot he visits.

This book was really enjoyable. I loved getting to know Lucas and learn about his insecurities. He grows a lot throughout this book, and the person he was at the beginning of the book is not the person he is at the end of their last three days in Rome. With the help of his friend Vivi, he learns to believe in himself and to trust in his family for their help and support.

I personally enjoyed this book more than Paris on Repeat, which honestly I didn't think was possible. Amy Bearce is a fantastic author, and I highly recommend this series, especially for younger readers.

Thank you NetGalley and Jolly Fish Press for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ann Miller.
Author 3 books279 followers
January 27, 2021
Thanks to Jolly Fish Press for providing me with an ARC of Rome Reframed.

Rome Reframed is the second book in Amy Bearce’s Wish & Wander series. There’s a different main character and a different setting, but it has all the charm and magic of Paris on Repeat. The author once again makes the setting come alive with vivid details and rich history.

Lucas wants nothing more than to return home after six long months in Europe, visiting old museums and boring landmarks. Rome is just another stop on the tour with his family, and it doesn’t exactly inspire the schoolwork he’s sending back home. It’s only when a magical coin transports him back in time to various locations in Rome that he begins to appreciate the history and beauty of the ancient city. But he receives more than just a history lesson on his journeys- he learns the importance of family and being brave enough to follow your dreams.

I loved the middle grade voice - spot on - and how part of the storyline focused on Lucas encouraging his friend Vivi to follow her own dreams. It showed real selflessness and strength of character on his part, and I believe Lucas’ character arc as a whole will inspire young readers.

The personal growth, coupled with the adventure and magic, make this a wonderful, compelling read. I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in this series!
Profile Image for Cassandra.
339 reviews23 followers
August 26, 2020
This is a middle grade book about Lucas, his 2 younger brothers, and their parents on a 6 month trip around Europe. They are doing it with their parents who are professors and want to write a book. Lucas is missing school so he needs to submit work in place of the typical academics he would get if he was in his school in Austin TX. However for the past 6 months all he was really been thinking about is being home with friends and playing soccer. He learns he is about to fail his this school year and have to redo 8th grade if his last bit of work, 3 days worth, is not pretty much amazing. When he meets a lady (fortune teller of sorts) his views on Italy and life change substantially. If you are taking a middle grader on a trip and they are not sure they are excited about that trip or maybe they do not seem to understand how awesomely cool a trip can really be, this book might help them have a different perspective. Additionally, if you are going to Rome, this book will give them insight into the sites they will be seeing. This is the second book in a series, but I have not read the first and from what I gather, they are not really related. I am giving this a 4 star review. It is a fun book!
Profile Image for Jaymie.
2,008 reviews15 followers
February 1, 2021
[I received a free electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

5 stars = Outstanding!

I loved this! The writing and the voice caught my attention right from the start. Then I fell in love with Lucas and his family and Vivi. The time travel pieces were short - a means to an end (Lucas's growth) rather than a major portion of the story like you might find in a Magic Tree House or Ranger in Time story for younger readers.

My heart broke for Lucas in that he believed all of the negative things he had heard from outsiders as well as the negative things he believed about himself as he didn't think he fit in his family of academically gifted people. I loved watching his thinking shift and change over the course of the book. I zoomed through this in one sitting, and it was delightful! I love that it is targetted to readers 10-14, a group I think needs more attention in publishing. Highly recommend.

Apparently there is an earlier book in the series, which I was unaware of. There is also a teaser at the end of this for a third book which is definitely on my wish list.
Profile Image for Lara.
4,144 reviews340 followers
April 7, 2021
I didn't think I could love this one as much as I do Paris on Repeat, but I certainly do! I really enjoyed Lucas and Vivi, and the lessons Lucas learns during this magical time in Rome come so naturally and feel so satisfying! I ended up staying up late last night to finish it, and miiiight have had a tear or two in my eyes by the final page.

Okay, so, it's time for the usual disclaimer. Amy is my friend, and I read this book 3 or 4 times in its early stages. I liked it a lot then, but this final version? Wow, it's so good! I'm blown away every time I get to see her books evolve into their final, published forms.

Anyway, if you're looking for a middle grade book that contains struggles with school, loneliness, friendship, family, history, art, poetry, time travel and the power of Rome, this one's for you!

P.S. Suuuper excited for the next book in the series!
Profile Image for R. Fulleman.
Author 8 books5 followers
April 10, 2022
I found Amy Bearse’s “Rome Reframed” to be an interesting read, taking me back through time, similar to the main character, Lucas, and his travels to ancient Rome. Lucas’ parents took him and his two brothers from their hometown of Austin, Texas, to spend six months in Europe, writing their book. His parents didn’t see that Lucas wasn’t the academic that the rest of the family was.

Near the end of the trip, Lucas is given a coin by a gypsy palm reader and discovers his life being turned around when he travels through time, thanks to the coin.

Lucas is joined on his journey by a pretty Italian girl who ‘re-shows’ him her beloved city of Rome. Along with learning local history, first hand, Lucas learns about life and himself.

It's also a great historical-fiction account of ancient Rome.
Profile Image for Akemi.
10 reviews3 followers
January 27, 2021
My 11 year-old daughter and I enjoyed reading the eARC of Rome Reframed by Amy Bearce. My daughter got all excited about this book because she is a fan of the author. It was a perfect read for her. She loved how the main character, Lucas, traveled through ancient Rome. As Lucas traveled through time, the book made my daughter want to travel to Rome. She got interested in the history of the places mentioned. She loved everything about this book. My daughter loved the fact that the book featured importance of family and friendships. She thought that the eARC of Rome Reframed overall is a great book to read. It was beautifully written. She would like to pickup the final copy when it gets published in February 2021. Thanks jolly fish press for the opportunity to review this book!
Profile Image for Kim.
687 reviews18 followers
January 27, 2021
What a fun book for kids. Imagine a magical coin that can transport you through time to witness history? Lucas has been travelling with his family for the past six months, and their travels are nearly at an end when Lucas meets a mysterious stranger who gifts him an unwanted surprise - a chance to visit history and to learn about himself along the way. Lucas has considered this trip around the world drudgery; he has been separated from his friend and his soccer dreams. He just wants to get home and back to his life - and he did not take his home school situation seriously, until it is nearly too-late, as he discovers on his last weekend in Europe in the Eternal City of Rome. Middle grade readers will love the adventure of it. What a fun adventure story!
January 17, 2021
Another delightful read from Amy Bearce! The author does an amazing job creating a charming middle grade read. This time we follow along with Lucas, a not so perfect middle schooler on a trip of a lifetime. The only problem, it's not the trip he asked for or wanted. I enjoyed the ride as Lucas learns a bit more about himself. The book hits on some harder topics that most middle schoolers find themselves in. I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Laura.
337 reviews14 followers
May 30, 2023
I won this book on Library Thing and I loved it. It’s a very quick read and the main character is Lucas who is in Rome on vacation with his family for six months. Along the way, he meets a mysterious woman who gives him a rare coin that will help him in more ways than one. I love characters who grow and learn how to be better versions of themselves. I adore the blooming relationship with Vivi and it leaves you totally rooting for them.
Profile Image for Aniqa Khokhar.
19 reviews2 followers
August 17, 2020
It’s a good travel book for teenagers. It reminded me of my trip to Rome. If you are going to Rome with your kids then do ask them to read this book and if you are a teenager then definitely read this book.
Profile Image for Shannon Jade.
Author 7 books3 followers
March 9, 2021
Rome Reframed is the second book in author Amy Bearce’s Wish and Wander series, and it’s a picture of Italian magic. Another story of time travel and self-discovery, Rome Reframed is full of history, detail, and wonder, building a Rome of beauty, friendship, and unexpected adventure.

Set in the heart of Italy’s capital city, Rome Reframed includes all the best tourist spots, cultural icons, and historical gems of Rome. From the famous Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more, there are always new Italian gems to discover, including some lesser-known local spots. Much like the Paris she built in Paris on Repeat, Amy Bearce’s Rome is richly detailed and inviting. Magic and opportunity seem to glitter on every page, and just as the story’s characters are captivated Rome, so too are its readers.

Rome Reframed’s main character, Lucas, begins his story feeling quite unsure of Rome and what it has to offer. Instead of enjoying his Euro trip, he spends his days missing his home in Austin, Texas. As the story moves on, Lucas’s understanding of Rome changes drastically, and with this comes a new appreciation for travel, family, friends, art, and even his own talents. By Lucas’s side is his new Italian friend, Vivi, who helps him navigate magic, adventure, and the assignment that will decide whether or not he passes the eighth grade back at home. Rome Reframed is an excellent character-driven story, and yes, I am counting Rome itself as a character!

Rome Reframed is a story about friendship, family, adventure, art, tenacity, and self-confidence. I’d recommend it to fans of Snow by Ondine Sherman and Julia and the Art of Practical Travel by Lesly M. M. Blume.

Want to talk about the book? Find me on Instagram!
Profile Image for Cori // ghostlightbooks.
151 reviews11 followers
January 4, 2021
This was a wonderful follow up to Paris on Repeat for Amy Bearce! I really enjoyed reading the first in this series (?) she's writing, so when I saw that the next one was up on NetGalley I jumped to review it.
The descriptions of Rome made me want to hop on a plane asap, and I loved following along with Lucas and Vivi on their trip around the city. I thought the magical part of this was unique and created exciting possibilities for the characters to stumble into. Lucas' parents and sister were a realistic family on a vacation to me, and their reaction to Lucas struggling in school was probably exactly what my parents would have done. I think Bearce also touched on some topics that middle grade readers will identify with on a few levels. I recommend this and Paris on Repeat, and I can't wait to see what's in store for Amy Bearce's next story!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!*
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