Thursday, May 14, 2009

"A Drowned Maiden's Hair"

Schlitz, Laura Amy (2006). A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama. Grades 4-6.

Eleven-year-old Maud is known as a trouble maker at the Barbary Asylum for Female Orphans. When we meet her character, she has been locked in an
outhouse (outdoor bathroom) by a teacher as punishment. Several girls are awaiting adoption by three wealthy sisters, but to her teacher's astonishment, Maud is chosen over the others. Maud can not believe her luck! New experiences await her, including a train ride, eating exquisite foods, wearing beautiful clothes, and having her own room. At first she does not question why her room is in the attic or why she can't be seen by the neighbors, but Maude grows curious and eventually the sisters inform her that they are spiritualists who hold seances and that she is needed to act as a spirit. Maud knows that what they are doing is wrong, but she decides to play along with their charade. Only when she is left behind during a house fire does Maud realize that the women do not share her affection and that she is nothing more than their prop.

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