109 pages 3 hours read

Katherine Paterson


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1991

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  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade historical
  • Originally Published: 1991
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 860L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: 23 chapters; approx. 182 pages; approx. 6 hours, 44 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: In 1843, 13-year-old Lyddie faces abandonment and indentured servitude; she yearns for the freedom and self-reliance that might come with a textile factory job. Once in the role of a loom worker, however, Lyddie must work long hours in dangerous conditions; furthermore, her initiative to make enough in wages to regain the family farm threatens her moral and spiritual growth.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Child abandonment; mental health; attempted sexual assault; deaths of family members

Katherine Paterson, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1932 to missionary parents in Huai’an, China; moved frequently as a child upon return to US; studied literature and Christian education in college and graduate school; worked as a missionary in Japan; after returning to the US, turned to writing as a young wife and mother in the 1960s; writer of over 40 works; winner of the Newbery Medal for Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved; honorary lifetime member of the International Board of Books for Young People; received the Hans Christian Andersen Award (1998) and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2006) for body of work; named a Library of Congress Living Legend (2000)
  • Other Works: Bridge to Terabithia (1977); The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978); Jacob Have I Loved (1980); The Day of the Pelican (2009); My Brigadista Year (2017)
  • Awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults; ALA Notable Children’s Book; Honor Book of the International Board of Books for Young People (1994)