book reviews, books, classics, favorites, Young Adult

Book Review/ /A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

“I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.”

Summary: Little Sara Crewe gets brought to England to stay in a Select Seminary for Young Ladies, accompanied by her warm, benevolent father, Captain Crewe. Greeted by a seemingly kind-hearted, Miss Minchin, who is in charge of the girls at the boarding school, she makes it feel as if a dream has begun in young Sara’s eyes, who has lived in India for her entire life.
After the Captain goes back home, Miss Muchin and her sister, Miss Amelia, treat Sara as if she were a true princess (mainly because of her heavily income from her wealthy father). She makes several friends and a few enemies, unintentionally, because of her astounding nature. Sara always puts other’s needs before her own. She is by far the cleverest border at the Select Seminary, and already attains more knowledge than the teachers.
When the unexpected news of Captain Crewe’s partnering business transaction about a diamond mine becomes worthless and he loses all his wealth, Sara’s father dies. Left with only a broken heart and a few humble friends, she is required to stop her schooling. At the mercy of Miss Munchin, in order to not be kicked out onto the street, she must work as a slave.
Sara still keeps her affectionate, charitable self in the midst of her grieving. Her last gift from her loving father, Emily, her doll she chose with him before he returned to India and a trunk that was forgotten earlier in the midst of the pompous life, are the only things she has to store on the right side of the attic. On the left side is another slave-girl whose name is Becky. Becky, along with several other younger girls, adopts Sara as a motherly figure.
The boarding school gets flipped into a torturous dormitory by the simple fact of one less compensation, by forcing little, frail, starving girls to do tasks and belittling their freedom in a greedy way. Holding her tongue and using her clever brain to self-govern is one of the major things that made me admire the little Princess. To help with the cruel job she and Becky has, Sara creates stories. Fairytale stories that even make the other school girls amazed and distracted from their typical schooling.
In Sara’s mind, she pretends things and ‘supposes’ ideas that become magical and real.
Until one day they really do.

Thoughts: This story made me smile, laugh out loud, and cry. A young child can read it and understand the premise and morality of the book. Yet it’s something that every grown-up should be able to decipher.

Genre: Classic, Fiction, and Young Adult

Appropriate Ages: All ages

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