A Little Princess

Yes, she’s a little princess, alright. Sara Crewe is the most princess-like girl you could be, without actually being royal. She’s kind, pretty, polite, and just…princessy! Frances Hodgson Burnett, noted author of The Secret Garden, is the creator of A Little Princess, and I must say, she knows her fantasy. Sara is the pampered daughter of Captain Crewe, and she is left at a boarding school in England while he returns to India. There, she is just as spoiled by Miss Minchin as she was by her father. But, on her eleventh birthday, news arrives: Terrible misfortune befell Captain Crewe,and he is unable to provide for Sara any longer. Enraged, Miss Minchin immediately sets Sara to work as a poor servant, in the very household where she had been treated like royalty. Somehow, Sara manages to keep a hold on herself and the rules she lives by. And maybe is rewarded by a miracle or two along the way. I very much liked the fantastic plot and lovable characters of this story, which was written in good language. I especially suggest people purchase this book for little girls who are big fans of fairy tales, because this is just such a book.

Nutcracker

Nutcracker, Illustrated by Maurice SendakWho hasn’t heard of the Nutcracker, and in this festive season, it’s even harder to miss. I discovered the book on my shelf last year, and decided I’d give it a try. I knew a bit of the story, like how a little girl called Marie Stahlbaum gets a nutcracker for Christmas, but that is only a fragment of the tale. In reality, the book is much more. True, Marie does receive a nutcracker for Christmas, but did you know that he came to life that night as she played in the glass cabinet, just in time to do battle with the evil seven-headed mouse king and his army? I didn’t think so. Gradually, the little girl is drawn into a fantastical world, filled with interesting characters like Princess Pirlipat, Madam Mouserinks, and Godfather Drosselmeir, of course. And the valiant and loyal Nutcracker is at the center of it all. I quite enjoyed this book because of the out-of-this-world plot and the pleasing characters. I strongly advise you end the holiday season in a good way, by reading this book.

The Three Musketeers

First things first: this is most definitely a summer or vacation read. You do not want to carry a full-length copy of The Three Musketeers (by Alexandre Dumas) in your backpack to school or work. Sooner or later, you’ll break your back. This book is about a young Gascon youth named d’Artagnan, intent on finding a place with the noble and courageous King’s Musketeers. But after an incident along the way, he loses the letter to M. de Treville, but still finds himself being admitted…into the guards of M. de Essarts. But even without being a Musketeer, d’Artagnan manages to make friends with a few. So, it is along with Athos, Aramis, and Porthos that our hero is swept up into a world of conspiracies and danger, up against the villainous Cardinal Richelieu and Countess de Winter. This book was a little too long for me; you could say that Alexandre Dumas was rather too fond of writing. Nevertheless, this book has all the elements it needs to be considered an okay read. If you ever have a lot of time on your hands and find yourself without something to read, you might consider this.