Samantha Learns a Lesson
Samantha is once again able to see her friend Nellie who has now enrolled at the same school, but in a lower grade. She's made fun of by the other students and Samantha decides to help her in learning her lessons so she can get up to the next grade quickly.
The school is also going to hold a public speaking contest, the them of which is Progress in America. In the initial round Samantha and Edith win the qualifying round but then have to go on to an inter-school competition.
What complicates matters tremendously for Samantha is that her original speech was in praise of the factories, but then she finds out from Nellie just what working in the factories is really like since Nellie had to work in one. (At the time young children worked in factories, and worked under terrible conditions, but it was all legal.)
The new outlook on things causes Samantha to change her speech dramatically, knowing that it might not go over well and cause her to lose the contest, but she knows she has to say what she knows to be true.
As always, there's a historical section of interest at the end of the book.
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