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Lyddie

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  3,919 ratings  ·  303 reviews
When ten-year-old Lyddie and her younger brother are hired out as servants to help pay off their family farm's debts, Lyddie is determined to find a way to reunite her family. Hearing about all the money a girl can make working in the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, she makes her way there, only to find that her dreams of returning home may never come true.
Paperback, 182 pages
Published by Trumpet Club (first published 1991)
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Teen Historical Fiction
72nd out of 873 books — 2,253 voters
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Teen Historical Novels
77th out of 505 books — 876 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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rivka
This is the best kind of historical novel: One which paints such a clear picture of a time and place that you can almost imagine being there, yet which also makes you want to learn more about it.

The Triangle Factory I know a fair bit about, because my great-grandmother worked there. But these cloth mills in Lowell, Massachusetts I didn't know much about before reading Lyddie. The women of both places worked -- and often died -- under conditions no American of the current century would tolerate.
Man Man (superhero)
May 28, 2008 Man Man (superhero) rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Man Man by: no one
lyddie sucked, dont bother readin it. so gay.its about working on a loom.
jienna
Summary: Impoverished Vermont, farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s.

Oh, my heart ached for Lyddie and the circumstances that made her life. But I know, Lyddie will achieve all that she had planned/intend to do in the last part of the book. :-;

The story gripped me from the start. Despite the obvious physical tension (i.e. bear), the author managed to incorporate humour in this, and at the same time re
...more
Leeanna
Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson

"Lyddie" is a book from my childhood, one that I read so many times the binding was falling apart. I still like to reread it from time to time, simply because I enjoy the story of a girl's fight to become independent. "Lyddie" also introduced me to the Lowell mills, a period of history I'd known nothing about before and has since become a subject I wish to learn more about.

Lyddie is an inspiring character; in spite of overwhelming odds, she manages to find a measure
...more
Kathy Roderer
Katherine Paterson is masterful in creating vividly real characterization in this book. It seems that the reader knows Lyddie personally. Far from being perfect, Lyddie is tough, ambitious, independent and knows how to work. After fighting off a bear, Lyddie is orphaned and then separated from her siblings. The time and place are Lowell textile factories in Massachusetts. In desperation, Lyddie becomes one of the factory girls. Some background education about the textile mills would be helpful i ...more
Kendall M
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen
This was really a 3 1/2 star book for me.

Pros: This book was refreshingly gritty for a young adult book, especially in terms of Lyddie's own shortcomings. I really enjoyed the how Lyddie was reading "Oliver Twist" in the book and elements of her own life were mirrored there.

Cons: The end was unrealistic and disappointing for me and the whole book felt a little too much like Paterson set out to describe life in 19th century New England rather than being truly story driven. For example, the descr
...more
Tammy
At thirteen, Lyddie's life changes when her unstable mother divides the family, leaving with her youngest two children to live with her sister. Lyddie and brother Charlie are left on their own to work and pay off unspecified debts incurred by the family. Lyddie is determined to earn enough money to reunite her family.

I really enjoyed this book, and in particular, Patterson's portrayal of Lyddie's personality/voice/narration made the book engrossing. It's a coming of age story that tracks her pat
...more
Virginia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tex
this book is worse than my truck tires(they are totally dry rotted)
Quinn Rollins
The factories of Lowell were a great economic and social experiment of sorts in the mid-1800s. Some of the first factories in the U.S. to use the real factory system, the textile mills used single girls and women as workers. This meant the factories could pay them less than they would men, but it also provided an unusual opportunity for these girls--they could earn money honorably, and use it for themselves or their families, and gain some measure of economic independence. It was a fascinating e ...more
Ian
SCHOOL BOOKS FTW.

Read it in 6th grade, and our teacher was convinced that everybody would like it because the main character was from Vermont. :\

So anyway, it's about this chick whose father dies and her family falls to pieces. Her mother's gone crazy, and they're all poor. She gets a low-paying job at a tavern, but quickly learns that that will not suffice. So, she runs off to Massachusetts (spelling?) and gets a job behind a loom. That goes better, and she makes some friends.
The rest of this r
...more
Landon Lundquist
This book is not for me or my liking. i kinda knew that this was not the kind of book for me. But i read it anyway. This is a historical fiction book. i don't like historical fiction. Lyddie is a little girl whose parents and her brothers left her, she was all alone. she worked all day long by herself. I am probably not going read any more historical fiction books like this one any more. Lyddie's dad left her and her mother for the gold rush she or her mom do not know when he will return.
one day
...more
Laura Verret
An interesting story about a plucky young girl, Lyddie Worthen. In her father's physical absence, and her mother's mental absence, Lyddie and her younger brother Charles do all the work of parenting and providing for their two younger sisters. When a bear raids their farm, Lyddie's mother decides to go live at her sister's house with the two girls, leaving Lyddie and Charles to fight the winter alone. Lyddie and Charles work hard all the long winter and finally have the farm in a productive stat ...more
Melody Savage
Paterson's honest yet tasteful approach to difficult realities such as poverty, death, and licentious behavior are to be admired. She gives the ugly outlines of the problems with just enough details help us understand, yet not so much filth as to remove the focus from Lyddie's courage: "He was bringing his strange little mouth closer and closer to her fiery face....she raised her booted foot and stomped her heel down with all her might." We understand the problem, but are spared the full exposur ...more
Blessing
Highly recommend to anyone interested in the lives of women and girls in the mid 1800's. Specifically, the Factory Girls in Lowell, Massachusetts. I saw the challenge these girls (truly girls) of having to choose among equally and vital things for survival, how one survived and the cost of that survival may take on a girl during this time. This book explores the grave disparity a female was up against the moment she was born in America. Also the power of corporations or individuals, the painfull ...more
Jennifer
I absolutely loved this book. It showed how tough a girl could be. I liked how it showed her transforming as she worked to take care of her family. I am working to pay off a lot of college debt and I could relate to her when it came to saving her money. I like how she learned to read and used a similar approach to help another girl later in the book. I would suggest that my students read this while we study the industrial revolution.

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/bo...
Interest Level
Grades 6
...more
Caranna
At thirteen, Lyddie's life changes when her mentally unstable mother divides the family, leaving with her youngest two children to live with her sister. Lyddie and brother Charlie are left on their own to work and pay off debts incurred against the family's farm. Lyddie is determined to earn enough money to reunite her family.

Hearing about all the money a girl can make working in the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, she makes her way there, only to find that her dreams of returning home m
...more
Emily
Great!!
Moe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Georgia Herod
Paterson has created a strong female character in Lyddie, who must care for her younger siblings when her mother leaves because she can’t handle emotionally the responsibility without her husband who had already left seeking work in the Midwest. Lyddie goes to the textile mills of Massachusetts after getting her brother and sister settled in other homes. Paterson captures the hard life of the “mill girls”—long days, low pay, increased production demands, unclean air filled with lint, which led t ...more
Caroline
I really enjoyed this book the second time around, although I can see how kids might be really bored with this. It's about a young girl from Vermont whose family farm must be leased out in order to pay off a family debt. To get the farm back quickly, Lyddie decides to go work in the Lowell textile mills of the 1840's. Life there is terrible, but she earns lots of money. Problems ensue.

What attracted me to it was using the book to teach my students about the struggles people have gone through thr
...more
Shinynickel
Jan 21, 2010 Shinynickel marked it as to-read
Off Wealhtheow:

Seeking a way out of the desperate poverty her family lives in, young Lyddie gets a job at one of the newly opened mills. A really fantastic way to get children to understand labor laws, unions, and the industrial revolution.
Julia Kuntz
It started out a little boring but as I kept reading, it got better and better. This is not just a story about working on a loom. It is a story about a young woman growing up and trying to find her way in the world.
Tiffiny
When I was in college, I took a children's literature course. We had to read 30 books that semester... 15 chapter books and 15 picture books, as well as a selection of poems. We could choose whatever books we wanted. Somehow, I found Lyddie and I loved it!

Here is what I wrote, my sophomore year of college (10 years ago! Ahh!), about Lyddie: Lyddie was a wonderful book about a girl that was determined like no other person I have ever heard of. Lyddie knew what she wanted and never stopped working
...more
Rina
Historically interesting, but rather prurient book about nasty mill owners groping pubescent female mill workers.
Amber
I didn't think I would ever get into this story, but once I did, I couldn't put it down either. I liked that it showed how tough a girl had to be back in those days to leave her family and her home to go earn a living, though Lyddie didn't really have a choice. She was doing all of it to get her family back together and back into their home. There are many unanswered questions that I have with this book though, such as what happened to her father, what happened to make her mother go crazy, and d ...more
Lydia Rose
I liked it. Lyddie was a good, hard worker, and she tried hard to please people. She kind of reminds me of me!

I wasn't fond of her mother, who sent both of her oldest children to work, and left their house. I also didn't like it that Lyddie didn't accept Luke's proposal. He was nice, and she would've had a good life there. Going to school is fine, but I think she should've stayed with Luke and kept an eye on her brother and took care of her little sister.

I really liked it how she copied down t
...more
Tiffany
Love Katherine Paterson, but this wasn't my favorite.
Gracie Suarez
This story, Lyddie, took place in Lowell, Massachusetts in the early 1800's. The main character in the story is Lyddie Worthen. Lyddie was a child laborer during the Industrial Revolution. She was forced to work in factories because she had to pay off her family's debt.
Throughout the story Lyddie is very determined to pay off her family's debt. The theme of the book is about being determined and believing in yourself no matter how hard the situation gets.
After I read this book it made me realiz
...more
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1949
From author's website:

People are always asking me questions I don't have answers for. One is, "When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?" The fact is that I never wanted to be a writer, at least not when I was a child, or even a young woman. Today I want very much to be a writer. But when I was ten, I wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary. When I was twenty, I wanted t
...more
More about Katherine Paterson...
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“My heart is heavy, she thought. It’s not just a saying. It is what is—heavy, a great stone lodged in my breast, pressing down my whole being. How can I even stand straight and look out upon the world? I am doubled over into myself and, for all the weight, find only emptiness.” 23 likes
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