Lyddie Worthen is only 13 when her family is split up and she is forced to hire herself out at Cutler's tavern. Far from home, she despairs of ever seeing her loved ones again. Desperate, Lyddie makes her way to Concord, Massachusetts where she becomes a factory girl, working as a weaver in a textile mill. Six days a week Lyddie struggles at the back-breaking looms. In spite of the deafening noise of the machines, the sweltering heat, and the choking air thick with lint and dust, Lyddie holds onto her dream: to save enough money to pay off the family debts and bring everyONE back home-together. But as Lyddie earns a reputation for being a hard and thrifty worker, she watches the grinding work at the factory sap the vitality of young girls-some no more than eight or nine-who were once healthy and strong. When a friend is threatened by one of the factory managers, Lyddie knows it is time to speak up. But if she does, she could lose her dream and everything she has worked for. Newbery winner Katherine Paterson has rendered with intriguing historical accuracy life in industrial New England during the mid-19th century.
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by Katherine Paterson
"Alyssa Bresnahan's "no-frills" delivery would have suited young Lyddie Worthen, the memorable title character in Paterson's novel of nineteenth-century New England factory life. The narration is plainspoken and unadorned like Lyddie herself. Without music, special effects or vocal characterizations, Bresnahan effectively evokes scenes of grim working conditions and the distinctive personalities of the working girls. Her sensitive reading dignifies Lyddie's struggles to earn some measure of financial security, to pull together the remnants of her family and to find her own place in the world. D.M.L. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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