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Schlitz, Laura Amy.
THE HIRED GIRL
Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2015
Fourteen year old Joan Scraggs sees a horrible future ahead of her. Her father has forced her to drop out of school to work around the farm. She loved school and her teacher who had encouraged her to read and learn. But since Joan's mother passed away, Joan is forced to do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry as well as looking after the chickens and the vegetable garden. He father shows her no affection and her brothers are slobs. Joan just can't imagine that she will be cooking and cleaning for these men for the rest of her life. So she does what she sees as her only hope. She runs away and heads to the city of Baltimore. Hired girls can cook and clean and get paid $6 a week. After a long train ride, Joan finds herself alone in the dark and not sure where to go after the train is delayed. What was she thinking? How did she think a dirty girl from a hardscrabble farm in Pennyslvania could ever hope to become a respectable educated girl in the city?