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The Hired Girl
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The Hired Girl
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Ever since the untimely death of her mother, 14 year-old Joan Skraggs has been desperately unhappy. Under the thumb of her cruel father and three sullen brothers, Joan lives like a servant on their...
Ever since the untimely death of her mother, 14 year-old Joan Skraggs has been desperately unhappy. Under the thumb of her cruel father and three sullen brothers, Joan lives like a servant on their...
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  • Ever since the untimely death of her mother, 14 year-old Joan Skraggs has been desperately unhappy. Under the thumb of her cruel father and three sullen brothers, Joan lives like a servant on their farm just outside of Lancaster, forever cooking, cleaning, and attending to the many demands of the home. But she has little freedom, and less support from her family for her love of reading and blossoming interest in education. But when her father tells Joan she can't go to school anymore, it sets off a journey that will see her become first a runaway, then a hired girl on $6 a week, and finally her very own young woman. Set in America during the optimistic years before the First World War, and told through a series of journal entries, THE HIRED GIRL is the story of a young girl in search of Real Life and True Love. It takes in feminism and housework; money, religion, and social class; literature and education, romanticism and realism, first love and sexual yearnings, cats, hats, and bunions. And it's a comedy.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 13, 2015
    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 naïve 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.

  • AudioFile Magazine Rachel Botchan's unadorned expression aptly represents the youthful journaling of Joan, a 14-year-old girl in 1911 whose life on her family's farm consists of rough, monotonous caring for three unappreciative brothers and a father who has made her leave school. Botchan's expressions of the father's harsh, crass comments contrast with Joan's passion for learning and reading, and her desire to become more "refined." Botchan's guileless tone takes on new meaning when Joan runs away, pretends to be 18, and becomes a hired girl in the Rosenbachs' wealthy, intellectual Jewish home. Her portrayal of Joan's na•veté, artless attempts at cover-up, and desire to please effectively contrasts with her depictions of the cultured Rosenbachs. Joan's romanticism, overactive imagination, and impulsivity are amusing and endearing. S.W. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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    Recorded Books, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Hired Girl
Laura Amy Schlitz
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