L is for A Little Princess

(For the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge, I will be featuring one book each day, that begins with that day’s letter, that made an impression on me.  This means that for some reason, I didn’t just read that book and forget about it.  No, I still think about it after some period of time has passed.)

Title: A Little Princess
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Original Publication Date: 1905
Date I First Read: 1986
Basic Category: Juvenile Fiction / Classic Fiction
Basic Summary: Sara Crewe’s father takes her to England from India to get an education at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary.  As he is very wealthy, she has her own suite (no roommates for her!) of rooms and a private maid.  Before he leaves to return to India, he buys her the perfect doll to be her friend.  Sara makes human friends as well at the school, and is kind to everyone, even Becky, the young scullery maid.  Miss Minchin doesn’t care for her, in part because Sara already knows French.   When Sara’s father dies, seemingly penniless, big problems lay ahead for Sara.  
What I Remember About the Book: I was in fifth grade when I read this the first time, and sorry that I hadn’t read it sooner.  I re-read it five times at least the following summer (I have memories of reading it on a lawn chair at a campsite, and later in my sleeping bag with a flashlight.)  I had never seen a movie version before, either.   I watched the PBS Wonderworks version later that year when it aired.  I remember most from my first reading of the book was the buying of the doll (named Emily), Lottie’s tantrums, and of course, the night when Sara’s dreams came true.
What I Took Away From the Book: How to be a good friend.  Not to count on money always being there.   Don’t go away to a boarding school for girls.  Sometimes unknown men creeping into a girl’s bedroom doesn’t always mean something bad . . . um, I don’t know if that’s a good lesson.   
There is a sequel, Wishing for Tomorrow, by Hilary McKay that was published in 2010.   I’d always wished that there could be a sequel, but then worried that whoever wrote it would not write it correctly.  I have re-read the sequel twice since the first time I read it.  I love the sequel.  It’s perfect! 
Rating (1-5 stars):  5

My Favorite Reads of 2011

Here you are! The list for 2011! (NOTE: it is still being written! 1/4/12.)

The criteria – that the title was new to me and read by me for the first time during 2011.(I have read only about 75 titles that were new-to-me this year . . . not counting board and picture books.) The books can be in audio format, ebook format, etc. The titles will be listed here in alphabetical order by title and include the year of publication in parentheses.

The List:

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins(2011)
This book is about the “Cafeteria Fringes” and the author’s “Quirk Theory” that those who are kind of on the outside in high school ultimately do better in life than the “populars” who tend to conform and not form their own opinions. (Nonfiction)

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern (YA Fiction)

The Little Women Letters
by Gabrielle Donnelly (Fiction)

Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell
by Crickett Rumley (2011)
(YA Fiction)

Notes From an Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne (2011)

I just read this book. Wow! I stayed up to finish it one night recently. It is about a high school girl who needs to join a school music group in order to strengthen her application to a premier music program – she plays french horn and plans to get into the Boston Symphony Orchestra someday. However, she suddenly finds herself playing mellophone and learning drill for marching band . . . maybe she likes it more than she thinks she would? (YA Fiction)

One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde (2011)
This is the latest installment of the Thursday Next series (which began with The Eyre Affair back in 2002 or so.) This book is actually about the fictional Thursday of book world having to left her book to go find the real Thursday. . . well, if you’ve read the previous books, you’ll get it. This one was highly enjoyable! (Adult Fiction)

Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives by Mina Samuels (2011)

The entire book celebrates how sports and activities can make women very happy. (Nonfiction)

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (2007)
I just read this book – starting late in the year – on December 24, 2011. I “won” this book in a white elephant game. Excellent book! It makes my list this year. In summary, an American journalist in Paris is covering the 60th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv roundup . . . and discovers a personal connection through her husband’s family. It is a very emotional story. (Fiction)

Saving Henry: A Mother’s Journey by Laurie Strongen (2010) (Nonfiction/Memoir)

Unbearble Lightness by Portia de Rossi (Nonfiction/Memoir)

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (2011) (Adult Fiction)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (2011)

This is the sequel to “If I Stay”
(YA fiction)

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure (2011) (Nonfiction and vaguely memoir)