Lydia and her brother Charles were determined to keep their little farm going even after their father left to find work in the west and their mother took their younger sisters to their aunt and uncle’s house.

Then their mother wrote to let them know she had hired them out to different places to pay off their farms debts.

Discouraged, Lyddie and Charlie make arrangements and close up the cabin. They go their separate ways, desperately missing each other.

Over time, they squeeze in visits with each other. Charlie ends up being adopted by the mill owners where he works, and is able to bring their little sister to live with him after their mother and littlest sister die.

Lyddie ends up in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, working hard in the loud, booming factories, hoping to make enough money to pay off her family debts and keep the farm.

Lyddie makes friends, learns to read and saves and saves and saves. Yet all her hopes are dashed when she’s dismissed from the factory. Where will she go now?

Katherine Paterson is an excellent writer, bringing life in the country and in the mills to life through Lyddie’s experience.

Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson – highly recommended for ages 12 and up.

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