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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  4,956 Ratings  ·  383 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, 192 pages
Published September 23rd 2004 by Puffin Books (first published 1991)
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Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Man Man (superhero)
May 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
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
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.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This is a powerful, remarkable, historically accurate and incredibly inspiring story. I wish that more young women read it in this day and age. Lyddie is a character whom you will not soon forget.
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
lyn  ✘
note: the long read date is due to the fact that this book was read for school purposes only

Other than that, I wouldn't have picked up this book. It was horrible, or disgusting. It was just that I really wasn't interested into it, given that I had to write an essay for it.

mutual feeling!
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this might not be a very great review because I am not very good at comprehending what I am read when I read historical fiction. I will still try to share my honest opinion though! :)

For starters, I really liked reading about the main character. She stood up for women's rights, she stood up to a man who would assault women, and overall she was a character who would be a great influence for girls of any age.

I thought that it was really cool to read about factory life in this book. I thought
Nov 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this book is worse than my truck tires(they are totally dry rotted)
Kathleen Ernst
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
A wonderful read about a girl who fights her way through tough times. No easy answers or pat endings here. Lovely.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. It was so boring. There was no plot. She went to work, went home, went to work...this is the entire plot. There were a few other events, but they were so random that they were obviously thrown in to prevent boredom, which did not work. We had to read it for school and the entire class hated it. Definitely never reading it again. I hardly ever say this, but I really hated this book.
Interesting, but a bit bare as far as relationships go. She lives very much in her own head, fiercely holding onto her priorities without realizing when she needs to change. Glad I bought it, though.
Quinn Rollins
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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
Oct 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
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
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
Jan 21, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school
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.
Shirley Zavala
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book shows how a young teenage girl had to learn to become a strong independent women. She was forced to work to provide her family with food and at the same time take care of her siblings. Lyddie is just a marvelous character.
Love Katherine Paterson, but this wasn't my favorite.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent historical fiction! A great look at the Industrial Revolution, and one of the few schoolbooks I didn't mind reading.
Apr 12, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Historically interesting, but rather prurient book about nasty mill owners groping pubescent female mill workers.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
shhhh I'm reading!!!lol
Apr 12, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-lives
Spivak may i ask where the romance in this is?
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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 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.” 24 likes
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