“Left just one for herself,” she said in a low voice. “And she could have eaten the whole six–I saw it in her eyes.”
Little Sara Crewe lives a charmed life (figuratively, not literally ;)). Though she is devastated by the separation from her beloved father, there is little else she could want as she begins life in Miss Minchin’s boarding school. A few students, and even Miss Minchin herself, develop a distaste for Sara’s quaint ways and ridiculous wealth, but Sara makes friends of most. She captivates the school with her imaginative stories and consistent politeness. As she says when one of her most treasured games is revealed, ” I pretend I am a princess, so that I can try and behave like one.” Her courage is put to the test when she receives word that her father is dead and his fortune gone, wasted on an investment in diamond mines. Sara is turned into a maid and ill treated. Can she behave like a princess even when she is hungry and in rags?
I can’t remember when this story first captured my heart. In fact, I can’t remember a time I didn’t love A Little Princess. After countless readings over the year, I still haven’t tired of it. The luxurious extravagance lavished on Sara by her father during the first part of the book always fascinated me and engaged my imagination, while Sara’s humility and friendliness make her a lovable person to read about. When she loses is everything, her determined courage strengthens the desire to see her happy once again. And who doesn’t like a rags to riches story, especially one enacted in such a unique way?
While I love A Little Princess, I’ve never been able to get through reading The Secret Garden. Which story do you prefer?