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Mill Girl: The Diary of Eliza Helsted, Manchester, 1842-1843
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Mill Girl: The Diary of Eliza Helsted, Manchester, 1842-1843 (My Story: Girls)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  243 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
In spring 1842, Eliza is shocked when she is sent to work in the Manchester cotton mills - the noisy, suffocating mills. The work is backbreaking and dangerous - and when she sees her friends' lives wrecked by poverty, sickness and unrest, Eliza realizes she must fight to escape the fate of a mill girl.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 21st 2002 by Scholastic
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 578)
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Laura
I've never been a huge history buff and I somehow find it a little tedious to read as factual books even if it's pretty interesting stuff...As it happens working in education always opens my eyes to new books coming out or series that children love,etc. I'd been told about 'My Story' series before and how they make a retelling fun for primary aged children while still keeping things factorial and historically accurate.

With the 'My Story' series you don't have to read anything in order because a
...more
Suad Shamma
Jan 19, 2016 Suad Shamma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2016
Thirteen year old Eliza has to leave school because her family cannot afford it anymore, her younger sister is thrilled, but Eliza is crushed. This is pretty much how the book starts, and what a depressing way to start. It brings forward all the things that we take for granted, when back in 1842, Manchester, they couldn't afford a sixpence for classes and education.

Eliza's father works in the mill, and her brother used to work there as well before suffering a fatal accident which broke her moth
...more
Megan Chard
Feb 02, 2012 Megan Chard rated it really liked it
Mill Girl by Sue Reid is the diary of thirteen year old Eliza, from the My Story range for Key Stage Two. Eliza lives in Manchester during Victorian times. She enjoys school and is described by her teacher as the 'best scholar', giving Eliza the ambition to one day become a teacher. Eliza's father works in the Cotton Mill, something she hopes she will never have to do. When her parents can no longer afford the school tuition fee, she has to leave school and complete house hold chores instead. On ...more
Ruth
Nice to learn a little history of Manchester's cotton mills, even if it is through a fictional diary of a young girl. In fact, this is how I usually prefer to learn history. I'm more likely to remember it now that I can associate it with a short story in my head.
Fiah
I really enjoyed reading this and liked how Eliza's expressed and told her feelings and days were. My most favourite characters in this book are Eliza's family, Jack's family and Mrs Legg.

And I've found the relationship/friendships between Eliza and Jack, also, Jack and William were really cute. It is sad, though, that William wasn't there and Jack is too far away.
Rachel Brand
Oct 25, 2007 Rachel Brand rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, historical, 2003, children
When I was 12, I adored books written in diary format and anything to do with history. Thus, "Mill Girl" was one of my favourite books and I reread it dozens of times. Strangely, I never read any of the other books in the "My Story" series but this book is in my Keepers box under my bed.
Ape
I rescued this book as I felt sorry for it, languishing in the bottom of the last chance bin. As I understand things, it's part of a series aimed at girls in their early teens (yeah, not me!). However, it's not that bad, and for light and easy historically themed reading, it hit the spot. Quick and not too heavy on the head, whilst at the same time not being trash was what I was looking for. Yes, ok, everything's a bit nicer than it might have been, and yes, I'm sure all the girls in these books ...more
Simone
Feb 04, 2015 Simone rated it liked it
I thought this book was very well-written and thought-provoking as it really brings to life the suffering that many Victorian children endured in the mills during the Industrial Revolution. As well as being a useful learning tool for people like myself with a casual interest in history, the character of Eliza is well-developed and her relationships with family, friends and colleagues are relatable. A brilliant way to learn about the past, like all books in the My Story series.
Naomi
Aug 29, 2015 Naomi added it
I enjoyed this book it had big writing. Short chunks and was easy to read. It was also interesting.
Jacinta Crealy
Jul 03, 2013 Jacinta Crealy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written for upper primary, possibly lower secondary. Read it in a day. Chose it because it spoke of life in England during the time of the Chartists and the industrial revolution riots, an experience that sent one of my ancestors on a ship to Australia to avoid possible arrest. I really liked this book, so accessible for a younger generation, told through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl. I loved the historical accuracy and fine detail of how people dealt with poverty, poor working conditions and ...more
Josie
Re-read in February 2012: I'm trying to work out why I didn't really like this story, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I think it's a combination of things: Eliza is a bit bratty, there aren't enough little details to make the story come alive, and the happy ending feels unrealistic. Also, I wanted to find out how William died! I thought it might have been in an accident at the mill, but then surely Eliza would have had a stronger reason for hating the place? She never mentions it, anyway, ...more
Alisha
Nov 19, 2014 Alisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
Molly
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
Beatrice Townsend-medlock
May 19, 2011 Beatrice Townsend-medlock rated it it was amazing
this story is really sad because its about a 10 yr old ogril who works in a mill and she has to work their all her life to eurn money for her family and also she gets really sick quickly because it is very dirty in the mill and even somtimes she can go to hosptal and that is why she is keeping a diary
Emmeline
I didn't mind this book. There were some bit when it would get really exciting and I couldn't stop reading it but some bits when I just thought it was quite boring and couldn't be bothered to read it anymore. That's why my rating's in the middle. I enjoyed it but in some places it could've been better :)
Charlotte
I thought that this book was ok but not the best. I found it quite boring at parts and think that it could have been better. I am not sure if I would read this book again or recommend it.
Joanne
Jul 01, 2013 Joanne rated it liked it
A really easy read, looks into the history of Manchester in the 1840's. Very informative but there are parts that which aren't gone into enough like how did her brother die?
Sarah Louise Leach
Nov 12, 2013 Sarah Louise Leach rated it liked it
I read this for research for a workshop I am doing on Victorian mill children. It is a fair stab at social history for older children and was useful in places.
Eleanor
This book was really sad but interesting because my own ancestors worked in the Manchester Cotton Mills.
Fiona
Jul 01, 2013 Fiona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mmm not bad and then I realised it was a children's book - read it in a day so it must have been good.
Sally
Terrifying to know that this was the reality for so many!
Niamh
Jun 24, 2011 Niamh rated it it was amazing
It was an awesome book
Ariadne
Oct 12, 2012 Ariadne rated it really liked it
I actually really liked it
Charlotte
Apr 05, 2011 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
an awesome book
skye
Apr 10, 2011 skye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book.
Sn Chamroeun
good morning
Nicole
Nicole added it
Sep 27, 2016
Rosie
Rosie rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2016
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