I’ve been living for the last two years in Papua New Guinea, working for Wycliffe Bible Translators (if you want more information on that organization, you can click on their link above). In PNG the internet is expensive and sketchy, so this blog has pretty much died. But since I’m about to return to the land of internet, I’m attempting to resurrect it. Hence the book review below.
A Little Princess
By Frances Hodgson Burnett
Genre: YA/Children’s Fiction
“Sarah Crewe seemed to have everything, including a rich father who was willing to spend a lot of money on his little daughter. The story tells how she copes when disaster strikes while she’s living as a ‘little princess’ at a girl’s boarding school in 19th century England.”
I loved this movie as a child: the exotic stories the girl told herself and her companions at her school, the unfair difficulties her life later revolves around, the thought of every girl being a princess, and the magical-like happy ending.
Since I loved the movie, I realized I should probably read the book. I finally did, and it did not disappoint! In fact, I like the book better. It is more realistic, and the relationships are fuller and deeper. I do miss the dramatic, India-based stories in the movie and scenes from that magical land, but the book makes up for it by exploring another family not in the movie and being able to see more of Sarah’s antics.
The ending of the book differs from the movie’s, but it is more believable (especially to an adult), and still ends almost magically for the main character.
Although the theme of being a princess is touched upon in the movie, it is more explored in the book, as Sarah tries to act like a princess even when others treat her horribly. She is a heroine with flaws who knows about them, but tries to shake them off and emulate kindness and goodness even to those who treat her inhumanly. We can all learn something from this ‘little princess’.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 (yes, it was that good!), and recommend it for ten year olds and up.
What I learned: How important and possible it is to act like a princess even when one doesn't feel like it. Also, the importance and magic of imagination.