The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Candlewick Press, 2015, 387 pages
Reading this book took me back to middle school when I first discovered Jo March from Little Women and Anne of Anne of Green Gables.
In The Hired Girl, fourteen year old Joan Skraggs is an avid reader whose father does not value education or girls that like to read. Instead, Mr. Skraggs pulls Joan out of school to work full time as a housekeeper, maid, cook and chicken coop cleaner on the family farm. As a farewell gift, Joan's teacher Mrs. Chandler gives Joan a diary as a gift and encourages Joan to write. Joan's diary is what we read as we follow Joan's journey from the farm in Pennsylvania to her job earning six dollars a week as the hired girl cooking and cleaning for a family in Baltimore.
Joan is smart, funny, innocent and a total romantic. With each diary entry, I wanted to know what happened next. What mishap, tragedy or comedic event would Joan be involved in that would have me laughing or cringing. Highly recommend this title.