What's The Name of That Book??? discussion

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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED!: young indentured servant girl (kids' book) [s]

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message 1: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments It was a book that was published by the mid 1960s about a young girl who was an indentured servant or something like that, working to try to earn her freedom. I think it took place in America, maybe in the 1600s-1700s, but I’m not sure about that. I just remember that every time I went to the library, I reread it there or checked it out. Would love the name of this book or any other info about it. Thanks for any help.


message 2: by CLM (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

CLM | 280 comments There are a couple I remember vaguely:

Calico Bush/Rachel Field

Bound Girl of Cobble Hill/Lois Lenski

The Bound Girl/Nan Watson Denker

Stolen Life/Jane Louise Curry (probably published too late for you but a great author)


There are others on the tip of my tongue but I can't quite come up with them.


message 3: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:14PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Hi Constance, I don't think any of these, but there's a slight possibility that it's Denker's or Field's. Will have to check them out at the library and look at them to know for sure. Thanks so much for responding.


message 4: by Recynd (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:19PM) (new)

Recynd | 18 comments "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry"?

I LOVED that book :)


message 5: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:21PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Recynd, No, that's not the one, but thanks for responding. And Constance, don't think it's any of the ones you've suggested either. This one and my bird/dog one are very frustrating.

But thanks Recynd for bumping it up as maybe someone will know.

Anyway, great group: I love it. I have found 2 books here I probably wouldn't have otherwise found. And I enjoy helping the couple of times I've actually known a book someone else was seeking.


message 6: by Chelsea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

Chelsea (ChelseaLane) | 1 comments Constance's suggestion made me think of Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare. It was one of my favorites as a kid, and the main character gets sold into indentured servitude/slavery, depending on how you look at it. It came out in 1957. I would have guessed Calico Bush over this one, though. Do you remember anything else about the book?


message 7: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Chelsea, Constance, and All,

Looked again at all of the suggestions. (Thank you!) And maybe it is Calico Bush. I'll get that one out of the library and I think if I look through it, I'll know right away if that's the book.

I don't remember much about it. I do know I was 11 and 12 and maybe 13 when I kept reading it (even though it was in the children's section and by those ages I was reading adult books as well as kids' books,) and my memory is that the girl was young. 13 max. (as in Calico Bush) but maybe as young as 9 or 10. And I remember her doing all this work for this family and hoping to earn her freedom after a certain number of years, I think. And that she was a bound girl/indentured servant. Sorry. That's about all I can recall. But, at the time, there was something about it that made me want to keep reading it over & over & over again, and that makes me extremely curious to see/read that book again!

Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it. Need to look at a copy of Calico Bush. (If that book or any of these books are it, I will let you know.)


message 8: by rivka (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

rivka | 294 comments Amazon will allow you to look inside the book: http://tinyurl.com/yu7lrj

It sounds familiar to me, but that hardly helps you. ;)


message 9: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Thanks Rivka. Hmm; I still can't tell. Anyway, just clicked from Goodreads and bought it at Amazon, along with 2 other books to get over that $25 & up free shipping mark, because my library won't let me check it out for some reason.

If it is Calico Bush I owe a zillion apologies to Constance and to everybody else also as Constance gave me this title 2 months ago!!!

If it's not the book, it looks worth reading.

Will keep everyone posted. Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it.


message 10: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments one final bump in case the miraculous Krista or someone else can get this

Know this one is hard because there seem to be so many books like this. I appreciate everybody for trying. And introducing me to more books as well. ;-)


message 11: by CLM (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

CLM | 280 comments There is another one I don't think I mentioned - The Taken Girl by Elizabeth Vining (aka Elizabeth Janet Gray). Again, I have not reread it for a long time so am not sure if it could be the right one.

Maybe this topic is a returning trend - the forthcoming Bound by Sally Gunning is on the same topic.


message 12: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Thanks Constance. I'll check out The Taken Girl. I can't find a synopsis of plot yet on the Gunning book, which looks as though it's a novel for adults.

Ah, it's not The Taken Girl as it was published later than my book: 1972. Mine would have been out by '66, maybe '64 or '65 or earlier.

There are many books with this general plot/theme.


message 13: by Krista the Krazy Kataloguer (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:13PM) (new)

Krista the Krazy Kataloguer (KristatheKrazyKataloguer) | 105 comments Lisa, are you sure it's not Calico Bush? Here's the plot summary from Children's Literature Comprehensive Database: "In 1743, thirteen-year-old Marguerite Ledoux travels to Maine as the indentured servant of a family that regards her as little better than the Indians that threaten them, but her strength, quick thinking and courage surprise them all." It was first published in 1932 and is a Newbery honor book.

Are you sure it's not Bound Girl of Cobble Hill by Lois Lenski? Here's the plot summary from NoveList: "Kirkus Reviews /* Starred Review */ A better story than Phebe Fairchild or A-Going to the Westward. A seven-year old girl is "bound out" until she is sixteen to a step-uncle and aunt who run a tavern. The period is post-revolution, but Connecticut is still on edge over questions of loyalty, and the inn-keeper is suspect. A hard task master, he drives the child, almost mistreating her, but it takes a succession of incidents, an experience in running away and a growing sense of being a responsible person to convince the child that perhaps she has a home after all. Good picture of life and activities.
(Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1938)

I have to agree with Constance that it must be one of those two books, but if not, I'll keep looking. :o)


message 14: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:13PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Krista and All,

I know it's not Calico Bush because I have a copy and it's not the book. I will look at a copy of Bound Girl by Lenski to be certain, but the plot summary does not sound right.

This girl was bound out not to relatives, but to strangers, was English speaking not French. I can't remember the end, although I suspect she did get her freedom. It is a kids' book.

Thanks for all the help! I'll get a copy of the Lenski book and check it out.


P.S. Maybe it is Bound Girl of Cobble Hill as everything seems right except the uncle part. None of my libraries have it. Will do some more research and see if I can figure this out.

Thank you so much everybody in this thread for all the help!


Edit: None of the above. Still looking. Thanks for any help.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments bump - none of the above

This was published no later than 1964-1966. It was in the children's section; there was no ya section at the time but I think it would probably be more for 8-2 year olds than 12 & up.

I want to say the girl was 9 or 10 but she could have been as old as 13 or 14.

I have a feeling this was never a popular book because every time I went to this library it was on the shelves for me to either read there or borrow.

Thanks again if you can help.


message 16: by mdt (new)

mdt (mdt13) | 101 comments The Iron Peacock by Mary Stetson Clarke - Published in 1966, set in 1650. The girl is 16 though...




message 17: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments mdt, I don't think so but I do have it on my to-read list. ;-) AND, it may be it. I haven't checked it out yet as I have the others, and obviously I remember only an outline of it. I reread that book so many times but I was 11, 12, 13; it's been a long time. I think it was probably published before 1966; I think I might have been reading it in '64-'66 but I don't remember that.

I finally found one book here that took forever to find because I'd incorrectly remembered some details. Of course, that book was from when I was 2-3 years old: Fire Dog

This group is amazing even if we don't find them all.


message 18: by mdt (last edited Jun 03, 2009 02:15PM) (new)

mdt (mdt13) | 101 comments I'll throw in a wild guess then: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Published 1958, set in 1687. The girl is 16 and not actually an indentured servant, but I figured I'd throw it out there.


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Thanks mdt, but no, it's definitely not The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

This girl was in service to a family, and was working to try to eventually gain her freedom, which I assume she did, given that it's a children's book. Maybe she was a bit older by the end because I want to say one of the sons was a (very chaste) love interest, but it's also possible I'm starting to make up stuff. ;-)


message 20: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments I also want to say during Colonial times but once again I am not certain. This has been driving me crazy for decades. I assume I'll find it eventually, even if it means having to get my hands on lots of potential books to look through them.

Thanks for all the help. If anyone thinks of other books, please share. Thank you.


message 21: by Erica (new)

Erica | 47 comments My step-father illustrated the iron peacock! The chaste love interest is an iron worker and he makes a heat shield/reflector for the back of the fireplace, as a gift for our heroine. It is in the shape of a peacock.



message 22: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Erica, How cool. Well, I moved it up to the top of my list, not that it will stay at the top, but it's less likely to get lost. I don't think it's the book but I'm not 100% positive.


message 23: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 67 comments Calico Bush was reprinted in 1966.


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Nancy, Thanks. I know it's not Calico Bush. I did buy a copy when it was suggested before and it's not the book. There seem to be a lot of books with indentured servant girls or similar.


message 25: by April Ann (last edited Jun 06, 2009 07:30AM) (new)

April Ann (Bloomer) | 518 comments Incredible Deborah: a story based on the life of Deborah Sampson, by Cora Cheney, 1967.

Kirkus Reviews /* Starred Review */ Spunk again, the only possible word for Deborah Sampson: born into poverty, raised on charity, risen above the restrictions of her sex by her own wits and courage. No portion of Deborah's early life lacks detail, from the first few years at home and at a cousin's, through her years of indenture first to a senile old lady and a mean servant, then to a kind and rapidly expanding family, through her life as a boy (bosom bound in linen) and a soldier in the Revolutionary War. While chapter headings keep the text in historical perspective, Miss Cheney develops an intensely alive, determined young character. A stodgy contemporary wrote her story with many fabrications as The Female Review--here with a battery of primary and secondary sources and an arsenal of good dialogue, good action, is a contemporary version for contemporary readers (and fictionalized biography at its respectable best).
(Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1967)


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments April Ann, Thanks, but definitely published too late. Also, I can't be sure but I'm nearly certain this book was complete fiction. Most of my book is when this girl is an indentured servant. She is toward the very beginning and almost until the very end.


message 27: by Janna (new)

Janna (fortunateizzi) | 46 comments Long shot, but... A Little Puritan Bound Girl? More info here.


message 28: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Thanks, Janna, and Everyone. I don't think so but I'm not 100% certain. I added it to my to-read shelf but can't find an available copy to borrow and I'll have to think hard about whether or not to buy a copy. (I've bought a couple of books already looking for this one. Thank you for bringing this book (and the others) to my attention.

If I ever find this/if this is the book, I'll certainly return and let everyone know.


message 29: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments If anybody can find a synopsis of A Little Puritan Bound Girl I'd really appreciate it. I can't find one. Thanks.


message 30: by rivka (last edited Aug 20, 2009 09:28PM) (new)

rivka | 294 comments B&N has it as a free ebook.

(You will need a credit card, which they charge-and-then-credit a penny. I guess to verify that you're a real person.)


message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Oh, Thank you Rivka. And I just got an iPhone recently so I'll be able to do this. I'll check it out, probably this weekend. I'll let you all know if it's the book.


message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Janna and Rivka, and Everyone, Thanks!

I have a feeling I might be mixing up 2 or more books. I'm leaving this in unsolved in case someone can find another book similar to A Little Puritan Bound Girl .

Thanks Janna, for suggesting this title! Thanks Rivka for finding the ebook book at Google Books for me to read. It might be A Little Puritan Bound Girl but there was one scene toward the end of the book that I thought was there, that wasn't in this book. Otherwise this book seems as though it might be the book; I definitely read it around that time '64-'66.

The scene that I thought was there near the end of the book was the girl was tending a fireplace and/or polishing a young man's boots. Anyway, it/they were pivotal scenes as in that part of the book, it's when she got her freedom but stayed with the family. It's possible I skimmed too fast and missed it, and more likely that I'm mixing up this book and another second book.

Thanks everybody for your help. I really appreciate it.


message 33: by Janna (new)

Janna (fortunateizzi) | 46 comments I'm glad I might have found something even if it's not quite what you were looking for. :)


message 34: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Janna, But I got to reread it and put it on my read shelf! So, you did (along with Rivka) find something important to me. Also, it very well may be the book and the "missing" scenes I'm remembering might be from another, similar book. So, thank you!


message 35: by Janna (new)

Janna (fortunateizzi) | 46 comments Oh, I know! Sorry if that read as sarcastic or something. I really am happy I was of help! haha.


message 36: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Janna, No, not at all. You sounded very sincere. (Gosh, emoting on the internet is sometimes hard to decipher.)


message 37: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 71 comments Could it be Jonica's Island by Gladys Malvern?


message 38: by Lisa (last edited Mar 06, 2010 10:14PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Rebecca wrote: "Could it be Jonica's Island by Gladys Malvern?"

Rebecca, The title didn't ring a bell at all but I just read the sole Goodreads review and it sounds as though it may be the book! I'll have to find a copy to be sure, but this is the most promising lead I've had (in decades, in 1 1/2 years on Goodreads! - see members, never give up on finding a book!)

I'll post back here when I know for sure.

Thank you, Rebecca!

ETA: AND, I was just able to reserve a copy through inter-library loan!


message 39: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 71 comments I hope it's the one!


message 40: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Rebecca wrote: "I hope it's the one!"

Me too. It's been driving me crazy.


message 41: by CLM (new)

CLM | 280 comments I am a huge Malvern fan but don't remember that one at all. I see the Boston Library has a copy in storage that doesn't circulate. Hmmm....


message 42: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Yes, I'm hoping it's not one of those inter-library loan reserves that get cancelled. There's only one copy in the entire system. There's a 1965 edition, probably the edition I read if this is the book, that's going for over $350 at Amazon's marketplace. *gulp*


message 43: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 71 comments I think I have a copy I got fairly cheap (not sure since my books are all over the place) so I'm shocked to see how expensive it is!


message 44: by CLM (new)

CLM | 280 comments The only cheap Malvern is Dancing Star, a story about Anna Pavlova, which I remember enjoying but not loving the way I did Behold Your Queen (my very favorite), many of her other young adult historicals, and Gloria Ballet Dancer, a book about an aspiring dancer and her very down to earth New York family (I need a copy if anyone comes across it!).


message 45: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments CLM wrote: "Gloria Ballet Dancer, a book about an aspiring dancer and her very down to earth New York family (I need a copy if anyone comes across it!)"

I'll keep that in mind. It's so much fun to find an inexpensive copy of a book when all the other copies for sale are exorbitantly priced.


message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Rebecca,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Yes, it is Jonica's Island.

Thanks everybody else too.

When this group found Fire Dog for me after waiting six months, I thought that was terrific. Also taking about 6 months was The Traveling Bird. Also very happy! This group also found Almost Too Late (also published as Four Against the Wilderness: The True Story of a Father & His Three Teenage Children Shipwrecked Off the Coast of Alaska in Winter) for me too. And probably a couple of others. (And I've been able to help several people find their books also, which is so much fun.)

However, I wonder if this is a record. It's been 2 1/2 years since I first posted about this book.

So, all members, never give up. Eventually, it's likely other members here will be able to help you out.


message 47: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 71 comments So glad to have finally helped! :-D


message 48: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Rebecca wrote: "So glad to have finally helped! :-D"

Yes, it is fun to help as well as be helped. Your help is very much appreciated!


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Iron Peacock (other topics)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond (other topics)
The Incredible Deborah: a Story Based on the Life of Deborah Sampson (other topics)
A Little Puritan Bound Girl (other topics)
Almost Too Late (other topics)
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