Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Book Summary

As the book begins, Sara Crewe prepares to attend a private school for girls while her wealthy father attends to business in India. She is quietly confident, and the other girls envy her intellect and her fine wardrobe until an unexpected event turns her situation upside down. Sara must rely on her imagination, friendships, and inner strength to create a happy life in the midst of an unhappy circumstance.

A Little Princess book cover
A Little Princess

Book Review

This story sends the protagonist from riches to rags, and Sara's persistence through her struggle appeals to readers more than 100 years after it was originally written.  On the other hand, some characters have a lack of opportunities that Sara never questions.
Sara demonstrates charity and kindness, even when her circumstances are dire, but the injustice of her treatment after her wealth is gone is the focus of the book, rather than the many other people who never had access to such wealth in the first place. The book makes a good fairy tale, and it offers an opportunity to discuss class disparities and compare them to modern contexts.

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • England in the late 1800s
  • Riches to Rags; Wealth vs. Poverty
  • The Power of Stories; Imagination
  • Fairy Tales
  • Self-Worth; Self-Confidence

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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