What evidence shows that Lyddie is a leader?

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Lyddie takes charge with the bear, the coach, and the Irish factory girls.

Lyddie is a loner, to a certain extent.  This is not by choice though.   When Lyddie gets separated from her family, her sole focus becomes on getting them back.  This makes her a hard worker, but it also makes her fixated on money.

Lyddie demonstrates leadership early in the story when her family is visited by a bear.  Her mother is next to useless, because she is in a state of delusional depression.  That leaves Lyddie in charge of the family, which consists of her younger brother and two younger sisters.  When the bear enters their cabin, Lyddie thinks quickly and takes charge.

"Don't nobody yell," she said softly. "Just back up slow and quiet to the ladder and climb up to the loft. Charlie, you get Agnes, and Mama, you take Rachel." She heard her mother whimper. "Shhh," she continued, her voice absolutely even. (Ch. 1)

Lyddie’s mother doesn’t know what to do, so Lyddie does what she has to in order to protect her family.  She gets them all into the loft and then follows them.  Lyddie shows leadership because she tells everyone, including her mother, what to do.  They all survive.

Lyddie demonstrates this same quick thinking and problem solving ability in the coach.  No one seems to know how to get the coach moving when it gets stuck, and the coachman just laughs.  Lyddie takes care of it!

She found a flat stone and put it under the mired wheel. Then she waded in, her narrow shoulders shoving two of the gaping men aside as she set her own strong right shoulder against the rear wheel, ordered the men to the rear boot, and called out; "One, two, three, heave!" (Ch. 7)

Lyddie also demonstrates leadership at the factory.  Lyddie does not like having trainees, because she is not very patient.  However, she is a role model.  She becomes a leader to Brigid and the others, even though she once resisted her.  Lyddie follows in Diana’s footsteps to help the new Irish girls that flood the factory.

No matter what challenge Lyddie faces, she takes it head-on.  She is determined, resourceful and a hard worker.  This is why she is so successful at the factory.  When she sees that something needs to be done, she does it.  Lyddie lets nothing stand in her way.  Everything Lyddie does, she does for her family.  Her dream is for them to be again again, and she will do anything to make that happen.

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