THE HIRED GIRL by Laura Amy Schlitz
Kirkus Star

THE HIRED GIRL

Age Range: 10 - 14
Email this review

KIRKUS 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 naïve, 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)

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-7636-7818-0
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2015




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for THE SLEEPING BEAUTY KILLER
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for <i>THE DAILY SHOW</i> (THE BOOK)
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for SWING TIME
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for TAKE HEART, MY CHILD
VERDICT:
SKIP IT

MORE BY LAURA AMY SCHLITZ

ChildrenSPLENDORS AND GLOOMS by Laura Amy Schlitz
by Laura Amy Schlitz
ChildrenTHE NIGHT FAIRY by Laura Amy Schlitz
by Laura Amy Schlitz
ChildrenTHE BEARSKINNER by The Brothers Grimm
by The Brothers Grimm
ChildrenA DROWNED MAIDEN’S HAIR by Laura Amy Schlitz
by Laura Amy Schlitz

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE TROUBLE WITH MAY AMELIA by Jennifer L. Holm
by Jennifer L. Holm
ChildrenCARAVAGGIO by Mark David Smith
by Mark David Smith
ChildrenTHE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley