A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
|A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic tale of Sara Crewe's riches to rags adventure (and back again) gets a welcome re-release to coincide with the sequel: Wishing For Tomorrow by Hilary McKay. Hilary McKay was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 208||Date: August 2009|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
Sara Crewe has started at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary For Young Ladies. She's so rich and well-behaved that she soon becomes known as the little princess. However, when her father dies shortly after going bankrupt, Sara's life is turned on its head.
A Little Princess is a classic tale, and rightly so. It's either a down-to-earth fairytale or a fantastical story of childhood, depending on how you choose to look at it. Sara delves deep into fantasy in order to survive the hardships she's put through, forming friendships with rats, whilst hoping desperately that things will be very different. Hopefully the readers won't have to go through the same hardships as Sara, but she's a very identifiable character, even inspirational. Children (particularly young girls) will wish that she was their friend and that they could be like her.
It's very much of its time, with plenty of just post-Victorian attitudes about children, and (despite a kind heart) implications abotu class that wouldn't be made nowadays. It doesn't feel outdated though; that's just the period in which it's set. Once you get used to it, there's plenty for any modern audience to enjoy. There are friendships, rivalries, hardships, successes, and wishes by the bucketload.
A Little Princess has been reissued to coincide with the impressive sequel Wishing For Tomorrow by Hilary McKay. I'll go into more detail in that review, but its raison d'etre bears comment here. Things wrap up neatly for Sara in A Little Princess, but there are some loose threads concerning her school friends. I don't think it spoils the story at all - we have imaginations after all - and this can happily be read as a standalone book if you do desire. However, if you love the cast of characters (and who wouldn't?) then the sequel is worth checking out.
Do yourself a favour and discover what made A Little Princess such a favourite with generation after generation of girls. Recommended.
Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder is another classic that all young girls (and boys) should read, and if that's not enough, take a look at our Top Ten Classics of Children's Literature. For more school-based adventures, but in a very different setting to A Little Princess, Clementine by Sara Pennypacker is an excellent read. Slightly older readers wanting to see how a modern family handles bankruptcy will find plenty to enjoy in Never Ever by Helena Pielichaty.
Hilary McKay was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett at Amazon.com.
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