Lyddie Questions and Answers
by Katherine Paterson

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In chapter 11 of the book Lyddie, why is it different for her in the summer?  

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During the summer, most of the girls at the factory go home. But Lyddie is required to stay and work under the relevant provisions of her contract. Nevertheless, she makes the most of a bad situation. Betsy has been reading to her from Oliver Twist, and this has kindled Lyddie's interest in reading and learning. Lyddie checks the book out of the lending library. At first, she struggles to read it, but gradually and with much hard work and application, she begins to improve both her reading and spelling skills. Lyddie's experience of reading encourages her to dream of attending Oberlin College in Ohio, an institution of higher education for women. That summer proves to be a significant turning point in Lyddie's life, one which leads directly to her finally achieving her dreams.

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Summer is different in two ways for Lyddie.  First, there are fewer people around her.  Many of the the girls that work with Lyddie in the factory use the summer time to take time off and visit their families.  Lyddie has two feelings about this.  One, Lyddie is saddened by the fact that she cannot do the same thing.   I'm sure it had to be a bit lonely for her too.  I went to college a long way from home, and the dorm would clear out for certain holidays.  I didn't have family that lived close, so sometimes I would spend that holiday in the dorms.  There were always a few other people around, but the place felt lonely nonetheless.  Lyddie feels the same way.  The second feeling that Lyddie has about the lack of people around is determination.  With fewer girls working in the mills, Lyddie has the potential to earn extra money.  

The second main summer difference for Lyddie is an emotional/mental difference.  Lyddie is discovering that she has a hunger for reading and learning.  She spends much of the summer improving her literary skills so that she can buy and read her own copy of Oliver Twist.  

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