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A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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May 2014 Guest Editor Daisy Goodwin on A Little Princess...

This book about a little girl ,who after the death of her father is forced to work as a maid in the school where she was once a parlour boarder, had a profound effect on my imagination. I was transfixed by the scene where Sara Crewe wakes up to find that her drafty garret has been transformed into a bedroom fit for a princess. I read those chapters every night for about three years. It was a great training for my career in makeover tv.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Sara Crewe, left a penniless orphan when her father dies out in India, is banished from the schoolroom of Miss Minchin's Select Seminary to the attic. Here she comforts herself by pretending to be a princess (a wonderful piece of play acting) and befriends a beggar girl. Sara's luck changes again. There is money left for her. she is a pauper no longer. Full oi sentiment and pathos, the story of Sara Crewe cannot fail to move its readers.


A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

'I pretend I am a princess, so that I can try and behave like one' Without her beloved father and miles from home, it is very hard for Sara Crewe to like her new life at boarding school. Luckily Sara is always dreaming up wonderful things and her power of telling stories wins her lots of friends. When a letter arrives that brings disastrous news, the wicked headmistress Miss Minchin forces Sara to become a servant. Her lovely clothes and toys are taken away from her. She must work from dawn until midnight. How will Sara cope with her new found poverty? Can her imagination help her overcome this horrible situation?

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I'm not sure I could have survived childhood without Frances Hodgson Burnett. My sister and I would crawl into the attic of our suburban American house and pretend we were looking across London rooftops. We'd lost our parents and our money, but perhaps a mysterious monk would visit our miserable garret. -- Meg Rosoff Sara Crewe is a Cinderella figure... She is intelligent and good humoured with an infectious warmth that embraces the lowliest of her new acquaintances. The sunshine continues when impoverishment and drudgery befall her and she relies on her private fantasies to preserve her natural zest for life. * Guardian * Generations of children have fallen in love with the story of Sara Crewe, the little girl who imagines she's a princess in order to survive the hard times * Daily Mail * I read A Little Princess as a child, and from that there lingers still a whiff of the irretrievable quality of childhood reading. I was mesmerised by the account of Sara Crewe's lavish clothes; silks and satins and velvets -- Penelope Lively * Independent * Instead of a rags to riches story, this is a riches to rags story...a good, girly read -- Jacqueline Wilson * Independent *

About the Author

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in Manchester in 1849. After living in poverty, she emigrated to the US in 1865. She wrote over forty books; the best-known today are The Secret Garden, A Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy. She died in 1924.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th September 2012


Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Vintage Children's Classics an imprint of Vintage


352 pages
Interest Age: From 9 to 11 years


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Classic fiction (Children's / Teenage)



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