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Lyddie (Puffin Modern Classics) Paperback – September 23, 2004

110 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1843, three years after her father abandons his failing Vermont farm, 10-year-old Lyddie and her younger brother Charles are hired out as servants, while Mama and the two youngest children go off to live with relatives. After spending a grueling year working in a tavern, Lyddie flees to Lowell, Mass., in hopes of finding a better job that will provide enough income to pay off farm debts and allow the family to be reunited. Life continues to be a struggle after she is employed in a cloth factory, but Lyddie finds refuge from wretched working conditions by burying herself in books. Learning that she cannot return home--the family farm has been sold to Quaker neighbors--the girl is seized by a burning desire to gain independence by attending college. Readers will sympathize with Lyddie's hardships and admire her determination to create a better life for herself. Paterson ( The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks ) clearly depicts the effects of poverty during the 19th century, focusing on the plight of factory workers enslaved by their dismal jobs. Impeccably researched and expertly crafted, this book is sure to satisfy those interested in America's industrialization period. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Rich in historical detail . . . a superb story of grit, determination, and personal growth. (The Horn Book, starred review)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0860 (What's this?)
  • Series: Puffin Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (September 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142402540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142402542
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Katherine Paterson has twice won both the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award. She received the 1998 Hans Christian Andersen Medal as well as the 2006 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for the body of her work. An active promoter of reading and literacy, she lives with her husband, John, in Barre, Vermont. They have four children and seven grandchildren. Visit Katherine Paterson on her web site at www.terabithia.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Renee McWilliams on June 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first read Lyddie, I just thought it was a good story about a teenaged girl who was determined to have money to own the family farm and reunite her family. However, after some reflection, I realize that this book was more than that. It focuses upon working conditions, women's rights, sexual harrassment, illiteracy...important issues for today as well as the 1840 world of Lyddie. Lyddie is a young girl who is forced to grow up in order to support herself and one day have enough money for her family. She must go to the mill jobs in Lowell, Massachusetts to make the money. The working conditions are horrible, but Lyddie becomes the most productive worker there because she is driven to make money. She is, in today's terms, sexually harrassed by the overseer, but she still presses on. At one point, her need for money and security is so great that she won't even sign a petition for better working conditions, even though some of her friends are getting sick. Also, an issue in this book is an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, which caused a lot of humiliation for women in the world of 1840. One of Lyddie's acquaintances is pregnant, but luckily finds someone to take her in as a servant.
Another important issue in this book is the need to be able to read. When Lyddie first arrives in Lowell, she can't read. But she listens to her roommates read Oliver Twist, and she is fascinated by the story and wants to learn how to read. It is "strategy" on the part of Patterson that they are reading this particular novel. Oliver Twist is about an orphan who must work, which is similar to Lyddie's predicament. In fact, I have heard Lyddie been called an "Oliver Twist for girls."
I highly recommend this book for young adults.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a fifth grader in Massachusets and I read the book Lyddieby Katherine Paterson. I thought that it was a good book. This bookis about a girl naned Lyddie whose dad goes West to look for wealth. Her mom sends her and her brother off to be indentured. A little while later, Lyddie is dismissed because she went on a vacation. Then, she goes off to work at a mill in Lowell. Lyddie tries to make enough money to bring family back together but while she works at the mill a series of events change her life forever. I would recommend this book for anyone ten or older who is studing the Industrial Revloution.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Lyddie was one of the best books I have read in a long time! Katherine Patterson really did a great job writting it. She made the book come alive. The way she wrote and explaned everything made it easy to understand. Also, you felt like you could have been Lyddie and experienced the same kind of stuff she did.
I think the best part of the book was while Lyddie worked in the factory. It ws almost as if you were a factory girl yourself. The factory is where Lyddie basically grew up. You find out alot about her and her life.
One of the most vivid elements was the setting. Even though there were alot of settings, I can see each one so well. One of the best things she does is to compare things to real life, like "The machines were like big monsters!" Another thing Katherine Paterson does well is describing her characters. I can see a picture of each one in my head so clearly. If I had to pick them out of a line up, I could. I will definatley read more books by Katherine Patterson!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hi. I'm in the sixth grade. Our teacher gave us a list of books we could use for our book reports, and I chose Lyddie because it looked good. I was not mistaken even though I judged just from the cover. It was a terrific book. It takes place in the Industrail Revolution. It's about a bright, hardworking farm girl who is forced to leave her farm because her mother made it so she had to work. But she is fired from her job, because she went to see her farm. She heard that they get high pay in factories, so she goes south to one and is hired. She becomes the best worker there, working hard with dreams to get her family back together with the money she earns. Eventually she learns to read, annd books become very special to her. She copies Oliver Twist out page by page and pastes it on her work area and reads little snatches of it in her little spare time untile she practically knows it by heart. In this way she learns how to read well. But then her mother dies and her father gives permission to sell their farm. Lyddie can no longer hope to rebuy the farm. The man who tells her that brings her little sister Rachel. Rachel isn't allowed on the premises, but a kind lady makes an exception and Lyddie takes care of Rachel until her brother can take her back. When a neighbor of hers, Mr. Luke STevens, asks to marry her so she'll have someone to get support from, she refuses. Then mr. Marson, the dirty overseer there, tries to rape a girl and she puts a pan over his head. He finds an excuse to fire her, saying she's influencing the other girls in a bad way. She leaves and decides to go to college. While I skipped a lot of important stuff in this review, I hope it makes you want to read the book for yourself. It's great.
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