The Hired Girl

The Hired Girl

Book - 2015
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Random House, Inc.
Winner of the 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction
A 2016 Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award Winner
Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her delicious wit and keen eye to early twentieth-century America in a moving yet comedic tour de force.

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 of—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.

Publisher: Somerville, MA :, Candlewick Press,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780763678180
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 23 cm


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Jul 03, 2018

This was a lovely book to read, and I found it very interesting. I think that Laura Amy Schlitz did a great job on writing this book, because the detail was very good, and I could imagine the story so clearly in my head as if I was also there. I really hope that there would be a series.

May 30, 2018

The storytelling reminded me of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, but with far more humor. A delightful read with deft detail on a Jewish household. I hope the author makes this a series, since the heroine is endearing.

SnoIsleLib_LisaA May 19, 2018

The Hired Girl explores cultural and religious differences in a historical context. It has wonderful character development by following a teen girl in crisis who works to understand the world around her and people who are very different from herself.

pswright Feb 20, 2018

Great historical fiction from Newbery Medal Winner, Laura Amy Schlitz. Joan flees a cruel family situation and runs away to Baltimore. She is hired by a wealthy Jewish family and falls in love with one of the sons. The historical aspect (pre-WW I) is interesting and the cultural and religious challenges are explored by in a positive light.

Oct 24, 2017

A great children’s book about a 14-year-old Catholic girl who runs away from her dictatorial father and brothers and becomes a servant in the home of a Jewish family. Joan has a mind of her own and speaking her mind often gets her into trouble. She’s in love with one of the Jewish sons and friends with her master’s daughter. But most often her problem is her religion and how she wants to convert the Jewish family. Luckily, the father is quite wise and articulate, helping Joan to understand that there are different belief systems and they all have value.

Aug 08, 2017

I liked this book. I felt like the story was interesting and I liked getting another view of the time period. However, it maybe viewed as kind of boring and definitely wasn't a page turner.

Jun 03, 2016

I love this book! It took me 6 weeks to read, its long but It is a charming, sweet but heart wrenching book about a young, free spirited 14 year old girl, Joan Skraggs growing up in 1911 who is on the run from her sadistic father who works her and she finally has enough and escapes to start her new life where she works as a hired girl in a Jewish family’s estate. The book is narrated by Joan which is written in the form a diary and it tells a day by day account of her life and her thoughts and feelings of the people around her. (And Mimi is the most annoying little spoiled girl ever)

May 19, 2016

It is an amazing book! The writing is so descriptive and very nice. The story is heartwarming and will bring tears to your eyes! I suggest reading it. Even younger people can read it depending on their reading level; it's highly recommended.

multcolib_susannel Apr 16, 2016

1911. Alone in the big city of Baltimore. Fourteen-year old Joan is approached by a tall handsome man who offers help.
Can she trust him?

JCLJaneM Feb 26, 2016

The quality of writing is well above what I usually see in young adult novels. It has a well-researched historical upstairs/downstairs story. I loved that the protagonist is a book lover and one of her favorite books is Jane Eyre. I felt a bond right from the start. Some sticky wickets develop having a Catholic girl working/living in a Jewish household.

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Oct 25, 2018

maplesyrupp thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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May 16, 2016

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"Mr Rosenbach has 10 000 dollars" i think those quakers have a lot of gall asking for that. imagine having 10 000 dollars to give away he dint have to give it to the quakers!"

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"And becasue that was the cheapest thing on the menu and hen i thought id ordered buttered toast only 15 cents....but then i threw caution to the wind and ordered everything i wanted."


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