A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

“Somehow, something always happens just before things get to the very worst.” If for nothing else, read this book to lift your spirits! Sara Crewe, the heroine of the story, is a real heroine! The motherless rich girl loses her doting father and all her wealth at the tender age of eleven. Born and brought up in the lap of luxury she suddenly finds herself nothing more than a servant in Miss Minchin’s Boarding School, the school where she was treated like a princess since the past four years earning her the nickname Princess Sara. Sara has lost everything but not quite. She still has her imagination and her indomitable spirit. She is still a princess at heart and acts like one. “Whatever comes cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in clothes of gold but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” How’s that for sheer courage and optimism! She uses her imagination to transform her dingy little attic into a palatial chamber. Becky, the scullery maid and her friend, imagine themselves as prisoners. Her imagination magics a dry piece of bread into the most scrumptious of meals. Read the part where she gives most of the buns given to her by a kindly lady to a girl who is even hungrier than her because she is a princess and the poor girl her subject. Burnett wields a mighty pen! Sara imagines and imagines and suddenly she imagines the magic into truth. Its magic which actually transforms her attic into a lovely little bedroom, just as she had always imagined. Its magic which fills her table with hot, rich food when she comes tired and hungry to her room at night. Life is like that, you know? Read it if any day you find yourself bitter, cynical and an unbeliever in magic.

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