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The Crystal Palace: The Diary of Lily Hicks, London, 1850-1851
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The Crystal Palace: The Diary of Lily Hicks, London, 1850-1851 (My Story: Girls)

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Lily Hicks is a housemaid in the London home of Joseph Paxton, designer of The Crystal Palace. Read her diary and find out about life above and below the stairs, and all about the Great Exhibition of 1851
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 20th 2001 by Scholastic
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Community Reviews

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A children's book but fun to read - England in the 1800s from the perspective of a young servant
The Crystal Palace: The Diary of Lily Hicks, London 1850-1851 by Frances Mary Hendry is a kids’ Scholastic book interesting enough for all ages. This book chronicled the construction of The Crystal Palace for The Great Exhibition in 1851 through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old housemaid. I found it charming and revealing. In this novel, Lily becomes a housemaid in the home of Joseph Paxton, the man who designed The Crystal Palace.

Lily learns the great glass structure was fabricated to present t
It's 1850, and fourteen-year-old Lily Hicks is a housemaid for a wealthy family in London. Her family once had a more comfortable life, but her father lost the family's home and money, and now Lily must work to help support her mother and siblings. Her life is not so bad, and later she becomes nanny to the family's new baby, and is befriended by their oldest daughter, who is growing up and becoming aware of the great hardships faced by the poor in Victorian England. In her diary Lily describes b ...more
I sadly didn't enjoy this one very much! I ended up skimming through it rather fast - which then led to a bit of confusion about the whole Jack-watch-thing. I tried to go back and figure it all out but no luck. The setting and story were actually pretty interesting, but the writing really bothered me. Lily's a servant and while she can read and write, she's not amazingly literate. So, this being her diary, there were grammatical errors up the wazoo... and I know it gives her an "authentic" voice ...more
Really absorbing fictional diary of a maid in the household of Joseph Paxton designer of Crystal Palace.
Nov 11, 2012 Molly added it
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.
A little difficult to follow at first for the dialect used. As the character's writing improves, however, this gets better. Quite interesting.
I read this book in P7, and it was the first book I fell in love with. I haven't read it for 4 years though, so I'm not sure what to say...
I have not picked up a bad my storey novel yet, I love this collection.
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