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Om forfatteren

Laura Amy Schlitz is the writer of the 2008 Newbery Medal-winning Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from the Medieval Village and the 2013 Newbery Medal-winning Spendors and Glooms. (Bowker Author Biography)
Image credit: Laura Amy Schlitz holding her latest books, A Drowned Maiden's Hair and A Night Fairy. At the 2010 Baltimore Book Festival. ©2010

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Told through diary entries, Laura Amy Schlitz provides young readers with an engaging, historically accurate view of the life of a young girl in her newest book, “The Hired Girl”.

When 14 year-old Joan’s mother dies, her stark life on a meager Pennsylvania farm becomes even more inhospitable. Although she’s a promising student, her father insists she quit school and work on the farm. While her brothers earn a small amount of money for their contributions to the farm operations, Joan’s father denies her any income. When Joan’s former teacher visits and brings books for her to borrow, Joan’s father orders the teacher off the property and forbids her from visiting again. When he burns the three books Joan owns (including her favorite, Jane Eyre) Joan decides to leave home and look for work as a hired girl in a city far from the family farm.

Joan pretends she is 18 and is immediately hired by a well-to-do Jewish family in Baltimore. Here her naivete is on display in full force. While she’s no stranger to hard work, she has many lessons to learn about religion, tolerance, love, the servant/employer relationship and more.

I enjoyed “The Hired Girl”. Joan is an utterly believable 14 year old (whether it’s 1911 or 2015 somethings are constant – one day is “the best day ever”, the next day “the worst”, and the following day “so good, I wish it would never end”). The text incorporates fantastic vocabulary words – I was happy to be reading on my e-reader so that I could easily look them up! This is partially due to the era and partially due to Joan’s character, who loved classic literature and tried to incorporate the words she read into her diary entries.

There’s much for today’s tweens/early teens to learn from reading “The Hired Girl”. The historical setting is interesting, while the messages about tolerance, education, equal opportunities, and “puppy love” are timeless. I do wonder though whether the length and pacing of this book would hold the attention of this age group (which I believe is the intended audience). Sadly, I sense they might think it too boring.

3.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
… (mere)
jj24 | 43 andre anmeldelser | May 27, 2024 |
This book would probably be good for younger teens - of course, I am nowhere near being a younger teen (or even an older teen) and I enjoyed it, so...

The story is set in the early 1900s. We are introduced to Maud, who is an orphan, as she is singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic while locked in the outhouse for misbehaving. Poor Maud has been neglected for so long that she would do almost anything to get someone to notice her and care about her. This part of her character makes what happens to her when the Hawthorne sisters take her from the orphanage and into their home believable. She wants to please them, no matter what they ask - even if what they ask her to do is dishonest. She generally does what the sisters want her to do without too much hesitation. That is, until she meets Mrs. Lambert, who has tragically lost her only daughter - a victim of drowning - about a year before. Also, she starts to realize that the Hawthorne's deaf maid may actually be concerned about her. Maud then begins to really struggle with what she is being asked to do. She is faced with some tough choices for such a young girl. What will she do? I'm not telling! It's worth the read to find out!… (mere)
clamagna | 51 andre anmeldelser | Apr 4, 2024 |
Short but sweet. Learned a couple of things about the crusades and medieval culture that I did not know. Pieces fit together to form more of a story than just individual monologues
cspiwak | 87 andre anmeldelser | Mar 6, 2024 |
Puppets come to life and kidnapping were not appealing to me and I did not get into the book quick enough to hold my attention.
Kaeli_Cook | 55 andre anmeldelser | Feb 29, 2024 |



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