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The Hired Girl

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself -- because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream: a woman with a future.

Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz relates Joan's journey from the muck of the chicken coop to the comforts of a society household in Baltimore (Electricity! Carpet sweepers! Sending out the laundry!), taking readers on an exploration of feminism and housework; religion and literature; love and loyalty; cats, hats, and bunions.

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"[Joan] loves to read and longs for more education, but is trapped by her circumstances. Her boorish father pushes Joan too far the day he burns her best friends — her books. Soon afterward, she escapes and makes her way to Baltimore. She is taken in by a wealthy Jewish family as a hired girl. They are like no family she has ever met; their affection, religion, and education bind them into a warm unit totally foreign to Joan....Joan is a well-defined character who makes impetuous, sometimes humorous, mistakes like any teenager. Her diary is written with the emotions and thoughts of a teen, but with the literary structure of one trying to affect an older and more educated sensibility. Readers are treated to a domestic education as Joan describes the incredible amount of work required to keep house in the early 20th century." — Lisa Crandall, School Library Journal

Product Details

Recommended Age 12 and up
Author Laura Amy Schlitz
ISBN 076367818X
Publication Date Sep 8, 2015
Publisher Candlewick
Award Winners Scott O'Dell Award
Language English