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The Hundred Dresses

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  31,234 ratings  ·  2,442 reviews
Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercile ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1944)
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Eileen Rose It should be! Better yet, Great Grandparents should read it to their families and say, "This is what elementary reading books were like when I was…moreIt should be! Better yet, Great Grandparents should read it to their families and say, "This is what elementary reading books were like when I was your age! We had the same problem you face today, bullying. Here's how they handled it."(less)

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4.09  · 
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Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Hundred Dresses is a book about a girl named Wanda Petronski who’s bullied at school because she’s different. Wanda is polish and the other students in class (particularly a girl named Peggy) make fun of her name and harass her outside of school whenever possible.

Dresses seem important to the school girls and it’s always an interest when a girl comes to school wearing a new one. Wanda attempts to fit in (as the girls all admire a student’s new dress) by speaking up and telling the girls she
A moving story with an important message and absolutely beautiful illustrations.

Wanda is looked down upon at school, she only has one dress and her surname is seen as 'funny' by the rest of the children. She lives in a poor part of town with her dad and her brother.

Wanda is bullied and the girls who bully her feel justified in their actions because they believe Wanda is lying and feel that by doing this she is inviting ridicule. The book gives an important message - even though Maddie didn't joi
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, but I somehow lost touch with it over the years. I was delighted to find a copy, in its sixtieth printing, no less, on the shelf at my local library. I was stunned to see the book was originally published in 1944 - I had assumed it was written during the sixties when I first read it. It does have a rather timeless appeal, and with all the furor these last few years about bullying, its theme is as relevant as ever.

In a school full of children wi
Published in 1944 and this book is just as relevant today as it was 72 years ago. The timeless story of young Wanda Petronski, and what it was like at school to be a poor girl with a strange name, with one faded blue dress that she wore everyday. Shaming is just as bad as bullying, maybe worse. This story will make your heart ache, because when we were in school we were "Wanda", or we knew a "Wanda". Yes this book should be required reading and it is in some schools. The National Education Assoc ...more
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all
This book has remained in my memory because it speaks to many of the issues that children deal with today. The main character wears the same outfit everyday, and yet claims to have a hundred. Due to her claim of having a hundred dresses, the students ridcule her. Sadly, the students merely see the physical,where as the main character sees beyond the physical. Though in the physical she was not attired with the hundred dresses,in her imagination and drawings she was and that was sufficient for he ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Hundred Dresses is Eleanor Estes' 1945 Newberry Award Winning classic geared toward middle grade readers. The book is still relevant these 70 years later because it touches on important concepts like bullying, peer pressure, and racial discrimination. In a letter to readers at the beginning of the book, Estes' daughter tells us that the book had been based on events in her mother's own life.
Wanda Petronski is a Polish immigrant who lives in a one room house in the poor section of town with
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
This book is heartbreaking. The Hundred Dresses is a really short, mid-grade book about a girl Wanda who tells some other girls in her class that she has 100 beautiful dresses at home, "all lined up in her closet," even though she wears the same, faded blue dress to school every day. One girl Peggy relentlessly teases her about her 100 dresses, while her best friend Maggie stands by and lets it happen. I cried through the end. Maybe it's because I have a similar story from my childhood that stil ...more
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This short story written in the early 1940's, has a very timeless message. The illustrations added dimension to the written word.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Written in 1944 and winner of the Newbery, this brief, bittersweet tale concerns a poor Polish girl, Wanda, who is made fun of by other children. Already an outcast because of her halting language and unusual name, she wears the same blue dress every day. Protesting to other girls at being mocked for this, she makes the diffident, questionable claim of having "a hundred dresses, all kinds" at home. The other children mock this all the more, but the conscience of at least one girl is pricked when ...more
Clare Cannon
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 08-12yrs, 04-8yrs
A highly recommended story that speaks powerfully to girls about friendship and forgiveness, with simple, child-like drawings that reflect the understated feel of the tale itself. It is a story that truly enlarges the heart and is sure to be passed around among friends.
Lisa Vegan
Great way to introduce children to the concept of empathy, and it’s an interesting story too. I first read it in elementary school and it’s really stuck with me.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Nice short read with an important reminder. Our Relief Society is reading it for an upcoming activity. I have to admit that it left me very depressed. I grew up being teased or neglected a lot by my peers, so reading this made me feel like the heartache was fresh. And my present financial circumstances currently mean I have only one nice shirt I can wear to church, and I know people have noticed that I have to wear it every week (though they thankfully don't tease me about it). I found myself ge ...more
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just love these books that were written years ago and are still wonderful. The story is really about bullying but I don't think that was even a word in 1944. The story carries a strong message and the artwork is so unique and wonderful.
Ewelina Ostrowska
The 100 Dresses is a story about about hope and perseverance even when one's life situation gets difficult. Peggy and Maddie, two girls from the novel are the first to notice Wanda Petronski’s, the main character's absence because she’d made them late for school. They’d been waiting for her on their walk to “have fun with her.” They didn’t realize she’d already been absent for two days.

Wanda lived with her father and her brother Jake in Boggins Heights. As poor, Polish immigrants, the family was
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grades 3-5
Recommended to Sarah by: other staff
Soon after starting at a new school, Wanda becomes the focus of a daily taunting by the other girls. Wanda wears the same—albeit clean and pressed—blue dress to school every day and, on top of that, the kids think that she has a strange last name: “Petronski.” On the way to school one day, Wanda feels less shy than normal and whispers to Peggy, the prettiest and most popular girl in class, that she has one hundred dresses at home in her closet. Clearly, she’s not telling the truth, but Peggy doe ...more
Gray Cox
This book still brings tears to my eyes, I don't care how old you are, everyone needs to read this! The message is so important and powerful.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a good book! Well worth the short time it takes to read. It has important life lessons. Everyone should read it.
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me a little emotional about my childhood because it's a book that I loved during childhood. It's both a sad and beautiful book.

The story is about a little girl who doesn't really have any friends and who wears the same blue dress to school every day. One day she boasts that she has 100 dresses at home which turns into something that all the kids josh with her about daily. She ends up leaving school because of being ridiculed. This ends up causing a change of heart in some of her
Dani - Perspective of a Writer
I read this while doing a service project about collecting dresses. It is a fun accompaniment for that purpose because the story dovetails nicely with how we should treat others. The illustrations are incredible with a timeless feel that hearken back to a time where compassion and understanding were more prevalent in our society.

Loved the concept and how refreshing Maddie was, that even after she pondered what she had done and practiced to act differently in the future. So often in modern stori
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, kid-lit
Alice and I read this over a few evenings. I really like the character Maddie and how she explored here feelings in regards to Wanda Petronski getting bullied. I do wish there'd been a little bit more information about Wanda. This was still a good book to read together. A little dated, but the story is still relevant.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I remember being 9 and having a very sad day (most likely feeling mopey for no good reason lol) and I read this book in one sitting and just cried it all out. I think that's why it's stuck in my head for such a long time--it was one of the first purely cathartic reading experiences for me.
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This wonderful book shows that those who stand by while someone is being bullied need to speak up. Maddie learns this lesson in a bittersweet way.
Stefan Hull
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet story, just as relevant now as ever, about kindness toward people who are different than you, and being brave enough to stand up, even to your friends, when a behavior pricks your conscience. This shorter chapter book would be a great read aloud.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great lesson: staying silent as a bystander to bullying is just as harmful as saying the mean words out loud.
This book is very cute. I love the illustrations.
Linda Lipko
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This 1945 Newbery honor publication packs a powerful message in a mere 81 pages. Perfectly written and illustrated, there was no need for the author to continue; she was able to send a clear, strong, effective message without exaggerated hyperbole.

Written in 1944, as Europe was reeling from the awful horror of mans inhumanity to man, Eleanor Estes wrote a heart-wrenching book of the evil pursuit and bullying of a small, poor, Polish American immigrant child.

Motherless, quiet, shy Wanda Petronski
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Summary: This chapter book tells of a fictional story that was based on a real life childhood experience of the author. This story is narrated from a third person limited view point. It tells of how a young Polish girl was taunted by two other girls because she claimed to have 100 dresses even though she wore the exact same shabby blue one every day. When the girl is suddenly gone, the girls become sympathetic and ashamed of their behavior, but there is a stark contrast in how they deal with the ...more
Stephanie Anze
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Wanda is a girl that wears the same faded blue dress everyday to school. When asked, she claims to own one hundred dresses at home and for that she is teased. One morning, Wanda does not show up at school and the reason why will have a significant impact on her class.

I have been looking for a good children's book for a while and my search lead to this title. A truly wonderful choice. Originally published over seventy years ago this book might be aimed at children but its a great read for all. Th
The Library Lady
Wanda Petronski is Polish in a classroom full of "American" girls. They have many pretty dresses, and Wanda wears the same faded dress to school every day. When she tells the girls she has 100 dresses, she is jeered at and mocked. But Wanda DOES have 100 dresses, and when the girls learn the truth behind her story, they get an eye opening lesson on prejudice.
This is a simple story, simply told. It takes place many years ago. But change a few details, and it is a story that is (sadly) as relevant
Amel Armeliana
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story might be short but the message behind it very hit the button. It reminds me maybe there's always a piece of Peggy or Maddie in ourself. No matter how I told myself that I'm a good person but maybe sometimes I still look into someone and I think about her/him just the way the girls looked at Wanda. That's why I'm so glad that I'd decided to read this story and I'll try to be a better person.
Highly recommended.
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Eleanor Ruth Rosenfeld (Estes)was an American children's author. She was born in West Haven, Connecticut as Eleanor Ruth Rosenfield. Originally a librarian, Estes' writing career began following a case of tuberculosis. Bedridden while recovering, Estes began writing down some of her childhood memories, which would later turn into full-length children's books.

Estes's book Ginger Pye (1951) won the
“After a long, long time she reached an important conclusion. She was never going to stand by and say nothing again.” 29 likes
“Bright Blue Day   SOMEHOW Maddie could not buckle down to work. She sharpened her pencil,” 0 likes
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