Melki's Reviews > The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read January 20, 2017.

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 with last names like Allen, Thomas, or Smith, Wanda Petronski stood out. She sat in the back row of the classroom, with the rough boys who did not make good marks on their report cards. She didn't sit there because she was rough and noisy, but because she lived in Boggins Heights, and her feet were usually caked with dry mud that she picked up coming down the country roads. Poor friendless Wanda came to school alone and went home alone. She always wore a faded blue dress that didn't hang right. It was clean, but it looked as though it had never been ironed properly. This fact may or may not have been enough to get her picked on, but Wanda didn't help matters when she opened her mouth and told the other girls that she had "A hundred dresses. All lined up in my closet."

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It turns out, she really did have a hundred dresses, but by the time that fact was discovered, Wanda was gone, off to live in the big city where others had names like hers. "No more hollar Polack. No more ask why funny name." her father explained in a note to the teacher, a sentiment that leads the reader to wonder if perhaps Wanda was not the only Petronski family member to be bullied.

Although I didn't enjoy this quite as much as I did when I was younger, it's still a fine read that I hope will always stay in print for young girls to adore, and maybe even benefit from reading.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading (Paperback Edition)
August 1, 1969 – Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)
February 2, 2012 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
February 2, 2012 – Shelved as: kidstuff (Paperback Edition)
February 2, 2012 – Shelved as: childhood-favorites (Paperback Edition)
Started Reading
January 20, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 23, 2017 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Roya (new)

Roya My mom read this to my brother and I when we were younger. I barely remember it sadly.


Lisa Vegan I've always loved this book. It made such an impact on me when I was young. As well it should!!


message 3: by Deanna (new)

Deanna aww I love finding the books I read when I was young too! Very nice review :)


Melki Thanks, Deanna.


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin What a sweet review ❤. I'm so glad you found it :-)


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