Book Review: “A Little Princess”

“A Little Princess” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Classic

GoodreadsSource: Gift

Summary from Amazon:

Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to make friends at boarding school and settle in. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father again, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for drudgery and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and generosity are all the riches she truly needs?


Ahhh. Burnett does it again. Here I am again falling in love with a book that’s so not “me”. A Little Princess is so charming and wonderful. I couldn’t help grinning while reading it.

In theory, Sara isn’t the type of character I would normally like. She’s too perfect. She’s incredibly well behaved. Most children would be very upset at moving to a different country and having their father leave them behind. Most children would be devastated and throw a fit when learning of their father’s death and that they have no money. Not Sara. She copes with all the changes very well. She does get upset and sad by everything but she doesn’t show it. She chooses to deal with everything by “supposing”  or pretending different situations. She keeps her cool by supposing she in a princess and behaves like a princess would in the situation.

I liked that the author was indirectly teaching you to be a better person. Okay maybe teaching isn’t the best word but she and Sara make you want to be a better person. If Sara can keep her composure in her horrid circumstances then I can do it as well. She was the same lovely person when she had lots of money and when she had no money. She truly has a caring heart.

The story was interesting enough. I do have a thing for boarding schools so I loved getting to see the school.  Seeing Sara grow through the story was a delight. The only downside to the book is it tends to drag in some areas.

The bottom line? Very charming.


9 thoughts on “Book Review: “A Little Princess”

  1. Oh, Alison, this is one of my most beloved books of all times! Sara Crew acts like a princess when no one is looking – which is the mark of a true “princess,” isn’t it?

  2. Oh, I need to pick this one up. I read The Secret Garden a while back and adored it. I’ve never really thought of her books as “me” either, but I think she’s such a great storyteller. Plus, I had the movie version of this as a child and I watched it all the time. It was one of my favorites.

  3. Awwww, this book. I had the loveliest edition when I was a kid, with the Tasha Tudor illustrations? They still to this day illustrate The Little Princess in my mind.

    I never, ever, ever read or recommend sequels written much later by authors that are not the original author, but I have made an exception in this one single case. Hilary McKay, delightful author of one of the delightfulest children’s book series of all times (the Casson family books), wrote a book called Wishing for Tomorrow about what happens to the girls at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary after Sara leaves. And it’s awfully good. It’s not a hundred percent Little-Princess-y, I guess, but it’s a dear of a book.

    • Oooh, thanks for the recommendation, Jenny! That sounds really cute. I’ll have to read it sometime. I really loved the warm fuzzy feeling I got from the book so I’ll want more books like that in the future.

  4. I definitely need to read A Little Princess. Loved The Secret Garden!

    About Sara being a perfect little girl – that was actually the norm in children’s books for ages. I think it was Harriet the Spy that first featured a kid who wasn’t an angel. Have you read that one?

    • Yes! Grab a copy ASAP.

      Ahh that’s really interesting. I should really read up on the history of children’s lit sometime. Would you believe that’s another one I haven’t read?

  5. Pingback: Book Review: “Little Women” | The Cheap Reader

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