Elizabeth O'Hara The Hiring Fair

ISBN 13: 9781853712753

The Hiring Fair

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In 1890 Ireland, thirteen-year-old Sally and her younger sister, Katie, are forced to be hired girls and work for two different families when their father is killed in a fishing accident

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From School Library Journal:

Gr 5-8-A story set in Ireland in 1890. When 13-year-old Sally's father dies in a fishing accident, she and her younger sister, Katie, who are used to a more privileged life, are forced to become hired girls. Sally is employed by William Stewart, his pregnant wife, and their three children, while Katie goes to work for Stewart's neighbor, Robert Campbell, and his mother. When Mrs. Stewart must have a kidney operation in a town some way off from the farm, Sally, left in charge of the house, farm, and children, develops from being a ``scatterbrain'' to becoming a sensible and dependable young woman. The mood of hopeful anticipation is maintained throughout the narrative. However, the plot, while intriguing, attempts too much. It includes an unsatisfactory mystery that is never fully explained. Robert Campbell's mother is suspected of being a witch, but once she has been cleared of suspicion of stealing from the Stewarts, that aspect of the story is dropped. The major plot does not begin until chapter six, before which a love interest is introduced and subsequently forgotten. Background information about Parnall and Home Rule is not worked into the fabric of the story; rather, it is given in doses and explanatory paragraphs. The characterization of Sally is excellent, but the surrounding characters are a disappointment. The book may be enjoyed by students as an addition to a school unit on social studies, forms of government (especially one explaining ``self-government''), or the history of Ireland, but other readers will have a difficult time wading through it.-Sandra J. Langlais, Newport Public Library,

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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O'Hara, Elizabeth
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