Eleanor Hill

Winner of the 2000 North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award

Publisher: Cricket Books

This novel, winner of the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award, tells the story of twelve-year-old Eleanor Hill, who longs for adventures outside Atlantic Grove, her isolated North Carolina fishing village. She knows that women in other places must do more than hang laundry, tend gardens, and fry fish for dinner. In Atlantic Grove, most girls see nothing more in their futures than marriage to a fisherman and the meager existence that goes with it. Eleanor longs to experience the fast-changing world beyond Atlantic Grove -- she'd like to drive an automobile, see a picture show, and most of all, attend high school. At last she has her chance. Without her papa's permission, Eleanor leaves home to live with her aunt and uncle in nearby New Bern. As she discovers the satisfactions of higher education, Eleanor also attracts the attentions of a handsome Italian immigrant boy and a prominent doctor's son. While spending her teenage years in New Bern, Eleanor begins to realize how valuable love and family are in her struggle for self-reliance. Set against the exhilarating backdrop of 1910's America, this engaging novel vividly portrays one girl's search for identity and independence.



Praise for Eleanor Hill

“This engaging novel, set in the early 1900's is both an homage to Kline's grandmother and a timeless story of a young woman trying to balance tradition and family loyalty with her wishes for happiness and fulfillment. Clear, descriptive prose, realistic dialogue, and well-researched historical details immerse readers in the times. Appealing, dimensional characters represent diverse beliefs and conflicts without stereotyping… Young readers, especially young girls, will delight in Lisa Williams Kline's first novel. Set on the coast of North Carolina in the midst of women's suffrage and World War I, Eleanor Hill is a book about life, love, and overcoming obstacles… I definitely recommend this book to those who are interested in women's rights, particularly in the women's suffrage movement. The story provides a new twist to using your life, making your own decisions, and living the life you make. Kline has a very strong narrative voice, and her character Eleanor Hill is a memorable one."

— Our State Magazine

Notably unsentimental and more mature in its treatment of adolescent physical and emotional changes than many novels for this age group, this satisfying, engrossing read will appeal to fans of historical fiction.


Eleanor Hill is refreshing in its candor, emotion, and truly adventurous spirit. Themes of family loyalty, friendship, and self-sufficiency are artfully woven through this delightful coming of age tale, with appropriate sentiment and historical detail for the middle school and junior high audience. Fans of Ann Rinaldi, Carol Matas, Isabelle Holland, and Katheryn Lasky will approve of Eleanor.

—Voice of Youth Advocates