The Resource The hired girl, Laura Amy Schlitz

The hired girl, Laura Amy Schlitz

Label
The hired girl
Title
The hired girl
Statement of responsibility
Laura Amy Schlitz
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
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. (Inspired by the author's own grandmother's journal.)
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2016
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2015
  • Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award, 2016.
  • Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers, 2016.
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2016.
  • National Jewish Book Award, 2015.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Grades 7-10 Growing up on a hardscrabble farm, Joan learned to avoid her cruel father, but she adored her mother, who encouraged her to work hard, study her lessons, and earn her own way in the world. In 1911, after Ma’s death, 14-year-old Joan clashes with her father and flees to Baltimore. Representing herself as 18, she is taken into the household of a wealthy Jewish family as a hired girl. Joan works hard to please the Rosenbachs and their beloved, aging housekeeper, the testy Malka. Over the next few months, the girl makes her share of mistakes: eavesdropping, meddling, developing crushes on her employers’ sons, and even setting her hair on fire (while reading by candlelight). True to her age, she becomes infatuated with two young men and also struggles with religion. Skipping forward a year, the last chapter offers a hopeful ending. Written as a diary, the first-person narrative brings immediacy to Joan’s story and intimacy to her confessions and revelations. The distinctive household setting and the many secondary characters are well developed, while Joan comes alive on the page as a vulnerable, good-hearted, and sometimes painfully self-aware character struggling to find her place in the world. A memorable novel from a captivating storyteller. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The award-winning, best-selling Schlitz seems to have the Midas touch. Expect her latest to have a golden shine as well. -- Phelan, Carolyn (Reviewed 07-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 21, p55)
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 6 – 9 — Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs is a reluctant drudge on her family's farm, and no one appreciates her. She pours her thoughts and emotions into her diary, which is the lens through which readers experience her life. And life on her family's 1911 hardscrabble Pennsylvania farm grinds on endlessly. She 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. She grows to love the family and is surprised and hurt to learn of anti-Semitism. She learns—sometimes through near disaster—about keeping kosher, navigating social classes, and first love. Her world expands as she encounters art, music, and literature. 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. Coming-of-age drama and deeper questions of faith, belonging, and womanhood are balanced with just the right blend of humor. VERDICT A wonderful look into the life of strong girl who learns that she needs the love of others to truly grow up.—Lisa Crandall, formerly at the Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI --Lisa Crandall (Reviewed August 1, 2015) (School Library Journal, vol 61, issue 8, p98)
  • /* Starred Review */ Desperate for the education her father denies her on their Pennsylvania farm, 14-year-old Joan runs away to Baltimore in 1911, where a well-to-do Jewish family hires her to help their obstinate, aging housekeeper. Schlitz (Splendors & Glooms ) has crafted another exquisite literary gem, one told entirely via Joan’s vivid, humorous, and emotionally resonant diary entries over a year and a half. Through Joan’s naÃóve perspective, Schlitz frankly discusses class, religion, women’s education, art, literature, and romance. Joan has trouble reconciling her devout Catholic faith with Judaism, mixing up kashrut and even attempting to convert her employers. Yet because Joan is a hard worker, the Rosenbachs are forgiving and good to her, even encouraging her to read from their library. Joan is reminiscent of heroines like Anne Shirley, Jo March, Cassandra Mortmain, and her own favorite character, Jane Eyre (Joan even gives herself a fittingly literary alias, Janet Lovelace). Her overactive imagination, passions, and impulsive disregard for propriety often get Joan into trouble, but these same qualities will endear her to readers everywhere. Ages 12–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 13, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 28, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Joan runs away from home at age 14 to become a hired girl in 1911. Life with her unpleasant father and brothers on their farm in Pennsylvania is rough. Knowing she is not loved, she sees escape when she learns that the going rate for a hired girl in the city is $6 a week. She lands in Baltimore over her head and is rescued by the Rosenbachs. A large young woman, Joan presents herself as Janet, 18, impressing Mrs. Rosenbach with her love of reading, quickly making herself indispensable to the aging housekeeper, and landing a job as a hired girl and "Shabbos goy." Joan is smart, hardworking, and naà ̄ve, but most of all, she's romantic, thanks in large part to all those novels. The Rosenbachs' flirty son David seems to love her both for her mind and—as an aspiring artist—her looks. "Tall and robust and wholesome looking. You're like one of Michelangelo's Sibyls—a grand, bareheaded creature." Trouble ensues, but a happy ending awaits, with friendship and the awesome glint of an independent life. The diary format allows Joan's romantic tendencies full rein, as well as narrative latitude for a few highly improbable scenarios and wildly silly passion. Tons of period details, especially about clothing, round out a highly satisfying and smart breast-clutcher from this Newbery-winning author. (Historical fiction. 10-14)(Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10448932
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Schlitz, Laura Amy
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • Young Adult
  • 810L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG+
LC call number
PZ7.S347145
LC item number
Hi 2015
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 6
  • 9
Reading level
5.7
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Teenage girls
  • Women household employees
  • Diaries
  • Farm life
  • Historical fiction
  • Teenage girls
  • Pennsylvania
  • Baltimore (Md.)
Target audience
adolescent
Label
The hired girl, Laura Amy Schlitz
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1415237
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
387 pages
Isbn
9780763678180
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014955411
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780763678180
  • (OCoLC)904967992
Label
The hired girl, Laura Amy Schlitz
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1415237
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
387 pages
Isbn
9780763678180
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014955411
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780763678180
  • (OCoLC)904967992

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