This book was a favorite of mine in my childhood, and, when I returned as an adult to re-read it, I found myself mesmerized once more by the story ofThis book was a favorite of mine in my childhood, and, when I returned as an adult to re-read it, I found myself mesmerized once more by the story of Sara Crewe. The charm is still there. "A Little Princess" is one of the most wonderful, most magical books ever to be found in the world of literature--and you don't have to be a little kid to enjoy it.
Sara herself is a lover of books; at one time she found herself fully immersed reading but needed to intervene in the playroom crisis. "People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage."
This is a story about a different kind of princess than one might imagine; a princess that is an orphan--lonely, cold, hungry and abused. Sara Crewe begins life as the beloved, pampered daughter of a rich man. When he dies a pauper, she is thrown on the non-existent mercy of her small-minded, mercenary boarding school mistress. Stripped of all her belongings but for one set of clothes and a doll, Sara becomes a servant of the household. Hated by the schoolmistress for her independent spirit, Sara becomes a pariah in the household, with only a few secretly loyal friends. But through her inner integrity and strength of will, Sara Crewe maintains the deportment, inner nobility and generous spirit of a "real" princess.
"Whatever comes cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it."
Being a princess is not about the fame and fortune, but about how you act in the situation into which you have been placed. You can be kind, or you can be mean; you can be content, or you can be greedy; you can be upset, or you can be optimistic. The book really relates to people who are going through tough times in their lives and need reassurance and confidence.
The magic in this book is unsurpassed in children's literature. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Sara comes home, hungry, wet and cold and neglected, to find that a magician has transformed her world, you can't help but be enchanted. "I don't know who it is, but somebody cares for me a little. I have a friend."
This story is a real classic, and needs no re-writing to be as enjoyable and readable today as it ever was. Be sure to get an unabridged edition: this book is beautifully written and should not be simplified.
Title A Little Princess Author Frances Hodgson Burnett Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
Quite enjoyable in its audio book format wherein Jerusha Abbott has grown up in the John Grier Home for orphans. As the oldest, she is in charge of thQuite enjoyable in its audio book format wherein Jerusha Abbott has grown up in the John Grier Home for orphans. As the oldest, she is in charge of the younger children. An anonymous benefactor on the Board, "Mr. Smith," decides to send her to college, as long as she writes to him faithfully detailing her education. Originally published in 1912, Jean Webster's coming-of-age tale continues to be relevant to young women today. While some experiences and circumstances are dated, the emotions and life situations of Judy are timeless. Judy is an outspoken woman in a time when women didn't even have the right to vote; she is a socialist, a reformer, and an author.
Through a series of letters Jerusha writes to "Daddy-Long-Legs," a relationship filled with affection and respect develops, even though she is the only correspondent throughout the years. She calls him "Daddy-Long-Legs" because she saw his tall shadow as he left the building. The writing is entertaining, intelligent and always realistic. That is exactly how a person in their late teens to early twenties writes and it is so refreshing to read an author who knows what she is talking about on the subject.
Although the narrative unfolds slowly, the language is sophisticated, highly descriptive, and witty. This tale will appeal to listeners who revel in rich, detailed imagery to present a character wholly believable and likable.
Here are a couple of quotes from the book that I loved:
"Half of the time I don't know what they're talking about; their jokes seem to relate to a past that everyone but me has shared. I'm a foreigner in the world and I don't understand the language." This is the realization of Judy upon stumbling into the college world and leaving her orphan home behind.
"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."
"It's different with me than with other girls. They can take things naturally from people. They have fathers and brothers and aunts and uncles; but I can't pretend to be on such relations with anyone. I like to pretend that you belong to me, just to play with the idea, but of course I know you don't. I'm alone, really--with my back to the wall fighting the world--and I get sort of gaspy when I think about it."
"I'm going to enjoy every second, and I'm going to know I'm enjoying it while I'm enjoying it. Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not."
The ending is marvelous with a great little twist. I think this book is great for girls 8-80 years old and am sorry I did not read it sooner.
Title Daddy-Long-Legs Author Jean Webster Reviewed By Purplycookie...more