The Hired Girl

Winner of the 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

A 2016 Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award Winner

Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her delicious wit and keen eye to early twentieth-century America in a moving yet comedic tour de force.

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends?

Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself—because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of—a woman with a future.

Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz relates Joan’s journey from the muck of the chicken coop to the comforts of a society household in Baltimore (Electricity! Carpet sweepers! Sending out the laundry!), taking readers on an exploration of feminism and housework; religion and literature; love and loyalty; cats, hats, and bunions.

Learn more about the book here.

About the author

Laura Amy Schlitz is the author of the 2008 Newbery Medal-winning GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES! VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE, illustrated by Robert Byrd, and the 2013 Newbery Honor book SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS.

She is also the author of A DROWNED MAIDEN’S HAIR: A MELODRAMA; THE NIGHT FAIRY; THE HERO SCHLIEMANN: THE DREAMER WHO DUG FOR TROY; and THE BEARSKINNER: A STORY OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM, a retelling illustrated by Max Grafe.

Her newest novel, THE HIRED GIRL, traces the story of a farm girl who escapes her hard scrabble life in 1911 rural Pennsylvania, and journeys from the muck of the chicken coop to the comforts of a society household in Baltimore (Electricity! Carpet sweepers! Sending out the laundry!), taking readers on an exploration of feminism and housework; religion and literature; love and loyalty.

Schlitz lives in Baltimore, where she is a lower school librarian at the Park School.