A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess by Frances Hogdson Burnett

Posted December 20, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

A Little Princess

A Little Princess

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Publisher: Charles Schribner's Sons on January 1, 1905
Genre: Classics
Target Age Group: Childrens, Middle Grade
Representation: BIPOC, Indian
Content Warnings: Child Abuse, Colonization, Death of Parent

Rating: ★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

At Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, young Sara Crewe enjoys the friendship of her classmates and the staff--much to stern Miss Minchin's disdain. When Sara is unexpectedly impoverished, she is forced to become a servant under Miss Minchin's control. To escape her dreary life, Sara imagines herself a princess, and her experiences soon teach her that being a princess on the inside counts more than any outward expression of royalty.

Sometimes, you sit down to read a classic, and it’s immediately so clear why it’s a classic. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s books are like that, but A Little Princess has a special place in my heart. I grew up watching the 1995 film over and over, and even though I didn’t read the book until I was an adult… Sara’s imagination and grace shines so bright.

It’s Sara that draws me to this book – it has always been Sara Crewe. Although she is repeated called out by certain peers and adults as being odd, her hopeful personality is a thing I strive to. It seems a bit silly for an adult to say: “I want to be like this child in this hundred year old book”, but little Sara has a lot to teach us about looking for silver linings, writing a better story, humility, compassion, dignity, inner strength, and friendship. Sara is the reason why A Little Princess is a classic and is still, more or less, relevant today. The lessons she teaches are necessary for anyone in any time period.

A product of its time, there are a few moments in A Little Princess that don’t shine as bright as I wish they would. While there are no outright racial comments, there is language and depictions that didn’t age well of the Indian servant who lives next door. Ram Dass is intelligent, kind, and layered – something that can likely not be said of many other minor characters from books written by white people of the time. But he nonetheless is a bit of a caricature. His way of speak, in particular, doesn’t seem right to me.

It’s difficult for me to be objective of the plot because I have known the story for as long as I can remember. I don’t think it’s cliche because this story came before so many others that at the time of its writing it would have felt more original… but it is a bit too easy. The puzzle pieces for Sara fall perfectly into place, and although she certainly struggles, her struggling does not affect the outcome of the book. It may not be the most satisfying read, for all it is heartwarming.

Sara’s imagination is delightful and there is no scene more memorable in the book than when Sara and Becky wake to a room altered by “magic” one day and it’s all such a lovely thing – the novelty of it and the warmth that there are some people out there good enough to orchestrate such things. If you aren’t interested in the book at all but want a quick read… this scene makes it all worth it. A Little Princess is an all-around darling read, but it’s this moment that makes you feel as though there can always be a little sunshine after the rainfall. I love it.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Personal Enjoyment

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Code Yellow Problematic Authors Books

Frances Hodgson Burnett has Written Books with Problematic Content.

While this author has not actively participated in harming marginalized communities, they do have one or more books that have been popularly called out for problematic content. If you would like to learn more about these incidents and what works has been criticized, please click the poisoned apple.

A Little Princess Stays on the Shelf

This is such a darling little story, and I can see myself diving in for a quick comfort read. Love it.

send me your thoughts

Have you ever used your imagination to pretend you weren’t in a miserable situation?

I know I have – even as an adult! What about you?

Share with me in the comments!

stay magical amber

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Other Books By Frances Hodgson Burnett

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