The Diary of a Mill Girl – the diary of Eliza Helstead, Manchester 1842-1843 by Sue Reid

My Story: Mill Girl  This book slapped emotions in my face immediately, to points when I almost wept with tears and at times, huge waves of relief swept over me. When I finished the book, I wished it was longer.

Eliza Helstead lived in Manchester, a place where thousands of mills stood across the city, where huge numbers of children worked hard, every hour, minute, second of the day. Eliza had a sister, Emmy, her mum and dad. William, her brother, had died.  Eliza’s eyes filled with tears when she thought of William. He had worked in the mill. She prayed every night that she didn’t have to go as well.

Eliza couldn’t go to school because her mum and dad didn’t have enough money. Was it the beginning? Had it started? Had her nightmare come true?

I thought this book was really interesting because it was like a real diary and it was frightening when Eliza had to go and work in the mill. The age range is 9-12 years old.

Published by Ted Smart and more recently by Scholastic Children’s books

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