Review: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

by First Mate Keira on June 1, 2014 · 0 comments

in 2.5-3 Treasure Chests, A-C, Book Review, Coming of Age, Historical Fiction, School Situations, Social Issues

by First Mate Keira

Title: A Little Princess
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 266 pages
Grade Reading Level: Grades 4-8

Summary: Sara Crewe, a little girl who grew up in India is taken to London by her father to attend Miss Minchin’s Seminary for Girls. Sara must learn to live on her own and navigate the schoolroom and its students. Good thing she’s good at storytelling, playing pretend and supposing or life would be tough for this odd little heiress.

Why I started this book:

I have loved the 1995 movie for ages and ages. Heard it was a book (how did this escape me?) and decided to pick it up and read it.

Likes:

  • It’s surprisingly easy to read and while there are a few big words here and there that might slip the grasp of a younger child, it is a breeze to get through. A rarity I’ve found in classics.
  • There’s a more believable reason for Sara to become a beggar than in the movies where the government seems to have unfairly seized everything. In the book he loses it on speculation for diamond mines.
  • The sparrows outside her attic window and the rat family inside the walls.
  • Ermengarde as the friend and Lavinia as the enemy.

Toss-Up:

  • Sara is so immensely likeable because of how kind she is and how brave she is and how she handles herself in the face of adversity and tough situations. Sometimes she’s so strong you break for her. The book can be very sad at times. I cried once or twice wile reading her supposing about being a Princess when she was practically a beggar.
  • Sara’s relationship with Lottie as her “mother.” That didn’t gel so well with me.
  • Becky. Surprising.

Dislikes:

  • Miss Amelia is not nearly so likeable a character in the books as she’s in the movie versions of this story. I was sad about that.
  • The father is actually dead as opposed to the movies (Shirley Temple's The Little Princess and A Little Princess 1995) where he suffers amnesia from a war wound.

Last Minute Thoughts: This would be a great story to read at bedtime, a chapter or two at a time.

Buy: A Little Princess

Rating: 3 Treasure Chests (at least compared to the A Little Princess 1995 movie)

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