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Harvey Girl

Overview


During the late 1800s and the first half of the 1900, Harvey Houses were a familiar sight to train travelers in the American West. Harvey Girls served gourmet meals to passengers of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (there were one hundred Harvey Houses and about a hundred thousand Harvey Girls over the years!). In a time when career choices for women were limited, becoming a Harvey Girl off ered rare independence for young ladies.

In 1919 one such aspirant is ...

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Overview


During the late 1800s and the first half of the 1900, Harvey Houses were a familiar sight to train travelers in the American West. Harvey Girls served gourmet meals to passengers of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (there were one hundred Harvey Houses and about a hundred thousand Harvey Girls over the years!). In a time when career choices for women were limited, becoming a Harvey Girl off ered rare independence for young ladies.

In 1919 one such aspirant is fourteen-year-old Clara Fern Massie, who runs away from home in the Ozarks after standing up to her harsh father. Heading west and taking a job as a waitress—a Harvey Girl—the underage Clara struggles to learn the demanding “Harvey Way” and shed her farm-girl image. Readers of all ages will cheer Clara on in her adventures and trials, from Missouri to the Grand Canyon, as she grows to become a confident, independent woman.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Although this fast-paced novel is well suited for its intended age group, adults will enjoy it as well. . . . In Kansas City, a Mrs. Steel hires the protagonist, saying: "I like your spunk, Clara." Readers will agree. —FOREWORD

The 21st century ceases to exist once the reader opens the pages of this young adult novel. The author deftly recreates life on a poor farm, the trepidation of your first interview, and the excitement of starting your first job. Clara matures and grows, although at times her old self intrudes, just as in real life. . . . Seamlessly interweaves history with fiction. —HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780896725706
  • Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Sheila Wood Foard devoted years to researching and writing about the Harvey Girls. As a docent at a Harvey House in New Mexico, she interviewed former Harvey Girls to get their stories firsthand. A former English and journalism teacher, Foard is a writing instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature and the author of the teen biography Diego Rivera. Her stories, articles, and poems have appeared in numerous children’s magazine. She lives in Missouri.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    Excellent Historical Fiction

    'Be a Waitress! See the West!' From the late 1800s into the first half of the 1900s, a hundred thousand young women became Harvey Girls. They served gourmet meals, such as mouthwatering prime rib, thickly sliced ham, and delicate French pastries, to Santa Fe Railroad passengers in Harvey Eating Houses from Kansas to California. Sheila Wood Foard takes readers on a well-researched train ride into the history of 'the women who civilized the West.' Hop aboard with runaway Clara Fern Massie. Clara wants to be a Harvey Girl but she has a secret, one that could get her shipped home. In a story for both kids and adults, Clara struggles to find a balance between her Ozark roots and the independent, young woman she wants to become--the perfect Harvey Girl.

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