Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: "A Little Princess" Classic a Month #1.2013

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
4 out of 5 stars

This is my first classic for 2013...well, okay not technically. Full disclosure: I picked Wuthering Heights as my first classic and I'm still only halfway thru it. :( It will probably be February's though. (Hopefully!!) So I decided I should start something else midway thru the month, just in case I couldn't finish that. And a good thing too! I've never read this book before (or Secret Garden, I don't think, although I've seen the movie) so I wasn't really sure what to expect. But I really enjoyed it. There are so many different covers for this book, that I decided to show a couple throughout my review. The first is, unfortunately, the cover of my copy. It's so ugly. And um, she has red hair. Whaaa?? I'd like to maybe pick up one of the nicer versions sometime.

Sara Crewe is a young girl (maybe 7 or 8) who has moved from India to England because her father wants her to go to a finishing school. She adores her father, the Captain, and does anything he asks of her, so though she misses him terribly, she agrees to try her best at the school. Sara has an incredibly vivid imagination and this helps her immensely in the years to come. “I pretend I am a princess,so that I can try and behave like one.” I liked her from the beginning, she really is a perfect little child. Almost too perfect. I mean really, who wouldn't go flying off the handle at Miss Minchin after all the horrible things she does to Sara? She reminds me of Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. (Ignore the music in that vid!) And I've now gotten horribly off topic and out of order. Ah well, embrace it! :)

This book was originally published in 1888 but it's funny how much the themes and mood of the story work still today. Staying positive, being humble no matter how rich or poor you are, giving to those less fortunate than you, always believing in yourself,'s really inspiring. Of course, being so old, it has its downsides too. I don't know if kids today would understand the "scullery maid" thing and all her duties, or get the full impact of being that poor. I wonder if I can get my 11 year old sister to read this and tell me what she thinks. Hmm...

When Sara's father dies and leaves her penniless, I felt so bad for her. This poor child has done nothing but love and be loved and now she is left with nothing. Her relationship with Becky, the scullery maid, was honestly a thing of beauty. Starting with one rich girl and one poor girl (and ending the same way), their friendship was still as strong and sincere as any I've ever seen in a book. If anyone were ever to complain about "rich people's attitude" or "snobby little princesses", this is the book I would point them to. Yes, Sara believes herself to be a princess, but as she puts it: “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.” Love it. I want to find a good movie version of this to watch soon. I've seen several people say the Wonderworks version is THE version to watch, but it seems Netflix doesn't have it available right now. 

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