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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 November 2002
I read this book many times as a child and loved it every time. This adaptation for audio cassette is excellent. The narrator captures the mood wonderfully. The story concerns a strange, thoughtful, loving little girl whose father sends her to boarding school after she has spent her first few years in India. She remains a "little princess" in spite of extreme hardship and heartache. Even though this is a fairy story in many ways, the characters are superbly drawn. It is very moving but not sentimental. My 7 year old son has very much enjoyed listening to this story.
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on 24 September 2001
"A little Princess" by "Frances Hodgson Burnett" Unusually this book reverses the rags-to-riches theme. Sara Crewe is sent by her father from India to live in England as a Parlour border at Miss Minchin's select Seminary for Young ladies. Sara lives in luxury,even for a parlour border as her rich young father is prepared to spend a great deal of money on her she has a pony and a carriage,and a French maid. She also had a wardrobe far to grand for a child her age. Even though she had a great number of expensive toys
Sara spent most of her time making up stories in her head and then telling them to the other girls. The favourite of the stories made up
in her head was that she was a princess. When asked if she would keep this view even if she didn't have all the luxuries of a princess
and was reduced to poverty. She insists that whatever situation you are in you can still be a princess as long as you belief it inside. Ironically she was forced to put this to the test when on her eleventh birthday her father dies of jungle fever and becomes bankrupt and instead of being the show student at Miss Minchin's school she is forced to work as a servant and live in the attic. But Sara knows that she will always remain a princess inside. When I read this book I was absolutely captivated with the idea that whatever situation you are in you can also be a princess inside. Along with the message that you can always be a princess it also has the strong messages of hope and friendship.
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on 10 June 2009
This has to be my favourite book in the world. I just love it. I've read it at least six times in the past few months, and yet I never grow bored.

It's a lovely story. A young, rich, kind and intelligent girl, called Sara, is sent away to a boarding school. She has a vivid imagination and is always making up stories.
When Sara's father dies, she is left with no relations in the world, and ends up in poverty - she has to work at the school for no pay and little food.
However, she is determinded that no matter how hunger, cold or tired she is, she won't give in.
With the help of her firends and her "pretending" stories, she overcomes the hardships and proves that anyone can be a princess inside.
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on 13 November 2009
It's so wonderful to see a new edition of this timeless book. An avid reader when small, I devoured this book time and time again so my copy definitely needs replacing. I really hope that this new look will mean that millions more little girls will grow up with Sara Crewe like I did!
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on 28 August 2008
This must surely be one of the sweetest, loveliest books a girl could read in childhood. It's been a long time but reading it again all these years down the line (aged 21), it still holds such charm, wonder and profound messages about class, poverty and happiness that I know it'll be returning to my shelf to read again and pass on to my own children.

It tells the story of Sara Crewe, a rich little girl brought up in India by her beloved father, who moves to England to go to boarding school at the gloomy seminary belonging to the formidable Miss Minchin. She is the star pupil, dressed in finery and always happy to share her good fortune and vivid imagination with her classmates. But when a tragic twist of fate strips her of everything, Sara ends up a poor orphan working as a drudge in the seminary where once she was idolised by her fellow pupils. Miss Minchin uses this as a fine opportunity to take a sort of revenge on this strange little girl, who she has never understood but has always indulged thanks to her wealth. But no matter how hard her life becomes, she remains generous and polite to those around her, rich and poor alike, pretending that she is a princess in order to keep her morals and spirits strong. Finally, just as even her fiery spirit is at breaking point, an English gentleman who has been living in India moves into the house next door and magical things start to happen as their interest in each other grows. Of course everything will come right in the end, but I won't give away any more because it deserves to be read and enjoyed...

This is a beautiful, moving, and inspiring novel, whether you're 6 or 60! It is well written, with highly individual and well-rounded characters, and a wealth of description which makes it very atmospheric and allows even a child to see Sara's London in vivid detail. There are images in the book which I could still remember clearly and recognise years after I read it as a little girl, and even now I was holding my breath and waiting for everything to fall into place! In today's selfish modern society it also provides a reminder of how a little generosity and kindness goes a long way, and is a perfect fairy tale for littler princesses too. I'd also recommend 'The Secret Garden' for a slightly less girlie but equally sweet, timeless and beautiful story.
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on 17 January 2006
I first read this book with my mum aged 7 years and I cannot wait for my daughter to be old enough to read it - although she'll have to get her own copy! This is a magical book especially to those of us who live in imagnary worlds. Sara Crewe was my hero when I was a child and I retain fond memories to this day. You cannot buy a better book for a child with a vivid imagination who likes reading. It will stay with them forever. This is my all time favourite book.
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on 15 July 2016
I loved this book as a child and my eight year old niece is now enjoying it. As many reviewers have said, it's a timeless classic. However, my review is for this edition, which isn't very nice, rather than the story which is great. The cover is quite unpleasant and my two nieces have discussed who the picture could be as it doesn't match the description of the heroine! The writing is tiny which is quite off putting and overall the quality is not that great. After only 18 pages the book is already looking quite worn. Somehow I just feel that this story deserves a beautiful edition and I think there are better ones available although a little more expensive.
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on 24 August 2015
Reading this aloud to my ten year old daughter was a real treat. It truly is a timeless classic, perhaps Burnett's finest work. Emotions such as grief are delicately wrought while the horror of being a poverty stricken orphan in the 19th century is well brought out, with this section of the book lasting a lot longer than I expected it would. Despite concerted efforts to humiliate and break the spirit of our heroine, she retains her sense of self worth and so who could resist the ending she undoubtedly deserves. My little girl had no idea about the story and so met each unfolding episode with shock, tears, wonder and delight: finally declaring (and she's a tough one to please!), that it was the best story she'd ever read or heard. I didn't read it myself as a child, but as an adult I was surprised at how well the author controlled the potential for over-sentimentality: Sara remains believable and likeable throughout. As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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on 29 November 2011
I can't believe that there are not more reviews for this terrific book. It's by the same author who wrote the more famous The Secret Garden (Wordsworth's Children's Classics) but this is a much more digestible story, and a little shorter I think. Still, you have to accept some slightly flowery language. I am reading it to my 10-year old, she says she feels like she is inside the story, it feels like it is happening to her. I think that shows what a high quality piece of writing it is. When tragic or emotional moments happen to our heroine, a lump comes to our throats. Very effective. Oh, it's not too awfully sad and there is a happy ending. The character development is top notch, you really get to know everyone swiftly, and in this respect it is certainly better than The Secret Garden. Highly recommended.
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on 7 June 2000
Being a 20 year old student, I technically should have stopped reading children's books a good few years ago... but not this one! It is a well crafted tale of a young girl's life that is thrown into turmoil after her father's death leaves her as a pauper, and she is forced to live the sort of lifestyle that she has never experienced before.
Sara triumphs over the poverty, hardship and hunger that she must endure - her vivid imagination and loyal friends helping her along the way. However, when she meets the mysterious new neighbour who moves into the house next to the boarding school, Sara's life changes for the better as she becomes a little princess.
Definitely a good read if you're a student who is fed up of reading Shakespeare, Austen, or whatever else. This book is classic escapism and a brillioant read - even if you don't want to go back to your childhood
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