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The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Joan is an intelligent, motivated girl, trapped in a life of drudgery and manual labor on her family farm. Oppressed by a domineering father who can’t understand her desire for education, Joan soon flees her home to become a hired girl. Joan’s honest and innocent diary entries paint a detailed picture of life as a serving girl in Baltimore in the early 1900s. Through Joan’s experiences, Laura Schlitz also provides thoughtful commentary about religion, feminism, and growing up.

Joan Skaggs (or Janet Lovelace as she names herself in her new life) is a captivating character with a powerful voice. Her experiences illustrate the time of change and shifting cultural attitudes found in the early 1900s without being dull or preachy. Joan’s story is inspiring and perfect reading material for girls traveling the path toward womanhood.

Recommended ages--11 and up

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