The Hired Girl


Amongst Joan’s most precious possessions are three books given to her by her beloved teacher Miss Chandler. She aspires to be like ‘Jane Eyre’, her favourite character. Through the drudgery of life on Steeple Farm and a denial to her further education, she holds onto stolen reading hours and recollections of her late mother.

When things become too hard to bear, Joan runs to Baltimore. Through chance she becomes ‘The Hired Girl’, Janet Lovelace, to the Rosenbach family. Each night she details her discoveries of Judaism, early 20th century city life, academia, infatuation, class and ritual in her diary.

Joan is impetuous, melodramatic, romantic and fanciful. However her yearning to improve herself, her initiative and lack of opportunity, endear her to us and to the Rosenbach family who see her more than a ‘hired’ hand.

Laura Amy Schlitz has created a captivating tale of life in early 20th century urban America. It considers and compares class, setting, religions, gender and profession through Joan’s experience. Bookwagon recommends ‘The Hired Girl‘ highly.

Laura Amy Schlitz introduces readers to ‘The Hired Girl’


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The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

(Walker Books)

‘The Hired Girl‘ is the book for the reader who loves titles such as ‘Anne of Green Gables’ or ‘Little Women’. Joan Skraggs, aka Janet Lovelace, becomes ‘The Hired Girl’ to the Rosenbach family of Baltimore when forced to run away from her father. What happens next, as shared through her diary pages, grips and captivates….


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

Winner of the Jewish Libraries’ Sydney Taylor Award and the 2016 national Jewish Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature


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