Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What We're Reading Wednesday : A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

We all know what modern kid's books are like. The main character is a 'rebel' who thinks her parents are mean, everything is unfair, and who spends her dinnertime crying in her room, all the while being a jerk herself.

From the very first pages of A Little Princess, you can tell Sara Crewe is of a different breed.

She is only seven at the beginning, but already her father is her best friend, she's very polite, and completely unspoiled by her father's riches. When she has to stay at Miss Minchin's Seminary for Girl's, although she doesn't want to, she stays without complaint.

Sara has an imagination. She is kind to three most shunned beings at the seminary; Lottie the crybaby, Ermengarde the school dunce, and Becky, the slave-like maid. Even when the misfortunes of her father's death and the loss of her fortune strike, turning her into a penniless orphan, she is still polite. Her version of rebelling against Miss Minchin's keeping her like a slave is to not rebel, which infuriates Miss Minchin. She even swallows her pride and and accepts a sixpence from a boy mistaking her for a beggar!

Of course the plot is entertaining, and has a happy ending involving the finding of her father's friend and the return of Sara's riches, but the real jewel behind the story is Sara herself, who is a real role model while still staying on a human scale.

So long, modern books. I'm sticking with Sara.


  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! And the book is a billion trillion times better than the Shirley Temple movie (which I like because I have a soft spot for Shirley). There are lotst of books written recently that are on par with the Great Frances Hodgson Burnett in the princess but not A Princess style. I've also heard good things about The Princess and Curdie, which I haven't read myself, but the author was friends with both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, so awesome it must be.

    1. Oh! George MacDonald! I love his books!

  2. You are spot on! Excellent review!

  3. Wow GREAT review; it sounded like it was written by a seasoned book critic. Without the cynicism. ;) And I couldn't agree more. Awesome job Katy!!