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Daddy-Long-Legs & Dear Enemy (Daddy-Long-Legs #1-2)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,710 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
One of the great novels of American girlhood, Jean Webster's Daddy-Long- Legs (1912) follows the adventures of an orphan named Judy Abbott, whose letters to her anonymous male benefactor trace her development as an independent thinker and writer. Its sequel, Dear Enemy (1915), also told in letters, follows the progress of Judy's former orphanage now run by her friend Salli ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published January 1st 1977)
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Aug 14, 2011 Noelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dearest Judy---can I call you Judy?

Forgive me for jumping ahead of myself but in my imagination we are already the best of friends. I've already let Anne, Jo and Sarah know to make room for you at our lunch table. I feel like I know you so well! Reading your letters to Daddy Long Legs (DLL) was like reading your diary and I bet it felt like that to you too, with him stubbornly refusing to reply and all. (I knew he'd cave in eventually. I mean, how could he resist? You are awesome.)

Your letters
Jun 16, 2009 Bee rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Absolutely charming!
Where has Jerusha Abbott been all my life? As a devotee of plucky heroines like Anne Shirley and Jo March, I am so surprised that I never discovered this book when I was younger. I'm happy to run across it as an adult, though. I have the two-book collection and have only read 'Daddy-Long-Legs' so far, but 'Dear Enemy' is waiting on my bedside table, so I may edit this review.

'Daddy-Long-Legs' is in epistolary novel told from the perspective of the letters between a young orph
Jun 17, 2009 Wirepuppy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wirepuppy by: My mom
I just remembered "Daddy Long-Legs", a book that I really loved as a young teen. My mother gave this to me when I was something between 12 and 14 because she had read it when she was younger and she thought I might like it. I read this book quite a few times when I was younger (I read it in German back then and I've never actually read the original). I just really liked the character of Judy Abott and the way she had this whole new world to explore after spending her whole life in an orphanage, ...more
Anne Rioux
Sep 24, 2015 Anne Rioux rated it really liked it
I have had a lot of fun discussing this book with my students in a course on the female Bildungsroman. Two of them read it as children, and although it is known today as a children's novel, it was read by adults as well when it was first published in 1912. My adult graduate students enjoyed reading it and particularly loved the heroine, Judy (Jerusha) Abbott, who is spunky and really comes into her own over the course of the novel. Daddy Long Legs is a novel in letters, all of them written by Ju ...more
Amber Stokes
Sep 20, 2015 Amber Stokes rated it really liked it
Rating is for Dear Enemy (4.5 stars) - read Daddy-Long-Legs previously and separately from this collection. Greatly enjoyed both stories! Although Daddy-Long-Legs is my favorite of the two, currently. :) (It's possible that Dear Enemy will only grow in favor as time goes on, though!) Loved hearing secondhand about Judy's life in Dear Enemy and loved seeing the John Grier Home blossom under Sallie's tenacious and passionate care.

Potential Spoiler:

I found it very interesting to see shades of Chr
Jun 05, 2012 Kivrin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah
How is it that I'm 32 years old and just discovering Daddy-Long-Legs? Such a delicious book: girlish and feminist, secretive and frank, old-fashioned and progressive, all at the same time. How exciting to know that there are still so many wonderful books waiting to be discovered. (And so many of them freely available via Project Gutenberg!)

I feel as happy as the delightful Judy Abbott felt at the end of Daddy-Long-Legs.

ETA: Good heavens, I do believe that I enjoyed the second volume even more th
Mar 24, 2014 Jeslyn rated it really liked it
Even though Daddy-Long-Legs is the superior book of the two, this is the best format to read Webster's two classic tales of Jerusha "Judy" Abbott and her experiences growing up in an orphanage from which she departs for college and the wider world, thanks to the funding of an anonymous Trustee of the John Grier Home - who doesn't like girls. The two conditions of his grant are that his identity remain anonymous, and that Jerusha will write a monthly letter to him with a report of her performance ...more
Francesca Tripiedi
Mar 21, 2016 Francesca Tripiedi rated it it was amazing
Ringrazio Cristina D'Avena per avermi condotto sin qui.
Cristina cara, eri già la fonte primaria della mia ossessione di ventitré anni per Sailor Moon (sebbene, per amor di onestà bisogna ammettere che una parte del merito è da attribuire agli occhi blu di Marzio).
E ora questo.
Mi vergogno un po' ad ammettere di non aver mai letto "Daddy Long Legs" prima di adesso e al momento non riesco a ricordare com'era la mia vita prima di imbattermi in Jerusha "Judy" Abbott. E sì che l'ho conosciuta solta
Jan 25, 2015 Ekaterina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
I was surprised that I loved this book. I knew I was going to like the book, but I was not expecting to love it.
I really loved Judy's character. She she was spunky, sweet, and a girl that would be fun to be friends with. I thought it was interesting how Judy was kind of flighty because she liked to bounce between difference phases. If she were in one phase of being a Socialist, she bounced to writing a love letter.
I don't think I liked Jervis as much as Judy did but from her letters, he sounds
Mar 25, 2011 Qt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a fun book, light and charming--I loved reading the protagonist's letters (they made me want to write better letters!) and her bubbly descriptions of college life were delightful. I had skimmed this book years before, so much of its content wasn't new to me, but I'd forgotten many of the details, and it was fun to revisit.
Oct 21, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone!
At this point, I have only read the "Daddy-Long-Legs" part of the book. It was a quick, really delightfully fun read! I liked the format -- getting to know Judy and follow the story line through Judy's letters to her benefactor. The drawings were also very cute. I felt like I had figured out where the story was going fairly early in the book (and I was correct), but the journey was so enjoyable getting there that I didn't mind the predictability.

Favorite quote: "It isn't the big troubles in lif
Janice (Janicu)
A really charming classic; this is the story of Jerusha who grew up in a charity home and has just been given a scholarship to go to university. Her mysterious benefactor (who wants to be known only as Mr. John Smith) asks only one thing: that Jerusha write him every month with an update on what she is learning, but not to expect any reply. Because Jerusha saw him walking away once in the fading light and had an impression of a tall man with a long shadow like a spider, she nicknames him Daddy L ...more
Najibah Bakar
Have been craving to read this book since watching the cartoon series on TV like 20 years back. Then 2 years ago got the book during weeding and became part of my collection. But only at the end of 2008 managed to read it from cover to cover. So refreshing and bringing me back the childhood memories.
Jan 01, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
Daddy Long Legs was perfectly delicious, and scratched the old-fashioned itch I've had on my brain of late.
May 09, 2017 Grayce rated it liked it
I actually read only book one, but that isn't an option here, so I had to choose this.
Carlyn Brody
Oct 03, 2013 Carlyn Brody rated it really liked it
I love classic school themed books. The books are usually about some kid going to boarding school and how their life is during the school year. What I love about them is the freedom that young people use to have in those days and how they use to entertain themselves.

Doesn’t Daddy Long Legs sound like a book about spiders? The book is about an orphaned girl named Judy Abbott who goes to college. To be honest, I don’t like the title of the book at all. I think it’s too juvenile a title for a girl
Mar 08, 2017 Heidi rated it really liked it
Both were well written; I enjoy the sentiment of reading letters, and it held my attention much more only reading the one sided letters and not the full to and from.

I would not be able to choose a favorite. Daddy Long Legs was significantly shorter; a quick read. Dear Enemy, longer, and took me a few months to finish, sadly. I quite enjoyed each story, similar yet different in plots and content.

Also appropriate that I completed it on International Women's Day.
May 03, 2010 Melody rated it really liked it
When I first heard of Daddy Long Legs it was during my Secondary School days. I hate to admit it, but at that time I was not really interested in reading the book. I read the book title and that was it; I never made it a point of reading the blurb until I read Nymeth's lovely review she posted in January this year. Though I know it is never too late to read it (or any other things for that matter), imagine what I have missed during all these years!

Anyway, Daddy Long Legs centers the life of an o
Oct 29, 2015 Emily rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
This review is confined to Dear Enemy. Discussion of ableism follows.

GOD. This is a book so mired in its time that it's impossible to read it for the joys of the determination of Sallie toward growth as a person through honest hard work, because she sees her work - and the narrative does - as exclusively about helping only white able-bodied attractive children.

In some ways I wish I didn't know this book came after the charming and poignant and big-hearted Daddy-Long-Legs. In some ways I'm glad I
Jan 19, 2010 Veena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading is a pleasure, ain't it! And it is more interesting when you discover a book out of the blue and it turns out to be a masterpiece!

One of the many reasons why I LOVE the blogging world, is because " you find books everyday, out of the blue".

So there I was hopping around my Google Reader from blog to blog, reading what had been going on in each of my friends reading lives, when I chanced upon a review of a book named Daddy-Long-Legs (and Dear Enemy) by Jean Webster on Nymeth's Blog! Now, w
Jun 29, 2008 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alicia by: Lori W.
I just reread this for our book club... very fun, quick read!

Fun quotes from an orphan girl writing letters from college:
"Did you ever hear of such a discouraging series of events? It isn't
the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a
crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty
hazards of the day with a laugh--I really think that requires SPIRIT." (p. 51)

"I don't agree with the theory that adversity and sorrow and disappointment develop moral str
Mar 21, 2014 Andrada rated it it was amazing
I felt like something a bit lighter hearted after a rather bleak excursion through one of Dostoievski’s less hopeful works and decided upon Daddy Long Legs as a suitable candidate for a few smiles. Like several reviewers here, I came in contact with Judy Abbott and her story through the 90s Japanese animated version My Daddy Long Legs which was part of the World Masterpiece Theatre container that presented several Western classical young adult/children’s books in series format. And while there w ...more
Jul 17, 2011 Hilary rated it it was amazing
The classic story of orphaned Jerusha Abbot, rescued from a bleak future by one of the trustees of the orphanage which she's now outgrown. Convinced by the Home's Superintendant that Jerusha is a worthy cause, the trustee agrees to put her through college, on two conditions: one, that he remain anonymous and two, that Jerusha who very quickly rechristens herself Judy write him a letter every month. Judy, with nobody else with whom to share her wonder as she gradually discovers the world outside ...more
Mayday Maddie
Apr 26, 2011 Mayday Maddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended to me by a fellow teen center advisor -- an avid bookreader -- as her favorite book...

And I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! It don't know if it is my "favorite" book, but it certainly ranks up there. The novel is completely epistolary (written in letters) making it double the awesome.

It follows the correspondance of a grateful orphan to the anonymous benefactor who paid in full for her to attend Princeton University and become a professional writer. The requirement for her allowance wa
Monica Fastenau
These two books, packaged together, are so cute! Written in the early 1900s, both books have a charm and a life about them. Both are epistolary novels, seen only through the letters of one person. Daddy-Long-Legs is composed of letters from an orphan girl named Judy who has been sent to college by a mysterious benefactor, whom she nicknames Daddy-Long-Legs. Judy learns and experiences new things, both through her classes and through her exposure to new friends, and eventually, through meeting Da ...more
Apr 22, 2008 Lesa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me want to live in the early 1900 and be packing my bags for college. I enjoyed watching Jerusha grow from a naive girl into a confident and independent young woman. It was very interesting how the author showed her grow intellectually throughout her four years of college.

The one thing that this book really made me think about is am I grateful for my blessings. I kept asking myself: Do people need to have such great hardships to be truly grateful for all God has given us? Jerusha
Jul 08, 2008 Nielson rated it it was amazing
What a FABULOUS book! I loved every page! I thought that Judy was so clever. I loved her dear letters to daddy-long-legs and was very inspired by some of the things she said (see below). What a pleasant surprise the ending was! Delightful book written in letter form with pictures too!


"It isn't the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh-- I reall
Suzanne Stephens
Mar 10, 2008 Suzanne Stephens rated it it was amazing
Somehow I completely missed this book when growing up. Just read about it recently on the yarnstorm blog. The blog's author--("blogress"?)is working on a book about the foods from famous children's literature. What a fun project and how jealous am I that I didn't think of that!! Anyway--if you missed Daddy-Long-Legs and the sequel, Dear Enemy, when growing up, it's not too late! What delightful books! Improbable? Yes--but suspend that disbelief and just enjoy!

(If you get the Penguin Edition--whi
Jun 20, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very sweet story, told in the form of letters. Jerusha Abbott, the oldest orphan at the John Grier Home, is sponsored by an anonymous trustee to receive a college education. In payment she has to write to him about her time at college. Her nickname for her benefactor is Daddy-long-legs, as she has only seen him in silhouette and he seemed very tall and long-legged.

Jerusha's - who soon renames herself as Judy - letters are rarely confined to educational matters, as "Daddy-long-legs" is the closes
Michelle Kim
Jul 08, 2016 Michelle Kim rated it really liked it
The story begins when an anonymous man starts to invest Judy, an orphan, to college and makes her write a letter every month about her campus life. Through this background the story flows in a format of letter in Judy's voice. This format came very friendly and interesting to me since I never had seen this kind of format and this came like a friend sending me letters telling about her life. Judy is a positive girl who feel timid with the fact that she is an orphan. Judy also tries to live indepe ...more
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Jean Webster (pseudonym for Alice Jane Chandler Webster) was an American writer and author of many books including Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy. Her most well-known books feature lively and likeable young female protagonists who come of age intellectually, morally, and socially, but with enough humor, snappy dialogue, and gently biting social commentary to make her books palatable and enjoyable ...more
More about Jean Webster...

Other Books in the Series

Daddy-Long-Legs (2 books)
  • Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1)
  • Dear Enemy (Daddy-Long-Legs, #2)

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“It makes me almost hope I'm not a genius; they must be very wearying to have about - and awfully destructive to the furniture.” 3 likes
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