A Little Princess

A Little Princess

4.6 281
by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Margery Hill

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"'If I was a princess—a real princess,' she murmured, 'I could scatter largess to the populace. But even if I am only a pretend princess, I can invent little things to do for people.'" —A Little Princess

In Frances hodgson Burnett's classic tale, Sara Crewe learns that deep down, being a

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Tantor Audio&eBooks Include PDF eBooks

"'If I was a princess—a real princess,' she murmured, 'I could scatter largess to the populace. But even if I am only a pretend princess, I can invent little things to do for people.'" —A Little Princess

In Frances hodgson Burnett's classic tale, Sara Crewe learns that deep down, being a real princess is an attitude of the heart. She is a gifted and well-mannered child, and Captain Crewe, her father, is an extraordinary wealthy man. Miss Minchin, headmistress of Sara's new boarding school in London, is please to treat Sara as her star pupil—a pampered little princess. But one day, Sara's father dies, and her world suddenly collapses around her. However, Sara does not break, and with the help of a monkey, an Indian lascar, and the strange, ailing gentleman next door, she not only survives her sufferings but helps those around her.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was born in England but spent most of her life in the United States capitalizing on her British background with highly successful children's books, such as Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden. Her Princess novel began life as Sara Crewe, a story she wrote for serialization in 1888 in the St. Nicholas Magazine. As this reprint of the ensuing 1905 novel proves, her very precious, very Victorian orphan tale still has legs. What child or adult could resist following the rise, fall, and resurrection of young Sara as, fresh from India, she is dumped under the thumb of a villainess worthy of Dickens: the greedy headmistress, Miss Minchin? Sara is, indeed, the perfect child. She befriends the friendless, regardless of social class or species. By using her vivid imagination, she turns garrets into palaces. Fortunately Burnett was skilled enough as a writer to make Sara's perfection believable rather than saccharine. Fresh readers of the book will be in for a great treat. To add to the pleasure, author information and a glossary are appended to the story. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
Children's Literature
In this picture book version of the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett tale set in 19th century London, a little girl goes from riches to rags and back again. Sara Crewe is delivered by her wealthy, doting father to a boarding school for young ladies in London. Raised in tropical India, she finds London a strange place. And Miss Minchin, the owner of the school, is cold and meanspirited. Sara, who is kindhearted and intelligent as well as fabulously wealthy, quickly becomes the reigning "princess" of the school. When her father suddenly dies penniless back in India, Miss Minchin forces her to work as a servant. Despite being treated cruelly, Sara retains her dignity and her kind ways, showing herself to be a true princess. In a heartwarming ending, her father's best friend finds and adopts her, restoring her to a life of comfort. The wonderfully detailed illustrations reflect Ms. McClintock's visit to London to study late 19th century English clothing, houses and furniture. But it is more fun to read Burnett's vivid descriptions and imagine how Sara and the other characters look. The story does suffer from being abridged. The original, much more satisfying version could be read aloud to younger children and would be accessible to readers eight years old and up. 2000, HarperCollins Publishers, $16.95 and $16.89. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Joyce Schwartz <%ISBN%> 0060278919
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This recording of Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic provides an entertaining and atmospheric introduction to the original. The abridgement allows for all the characters and their interactions to develop believably, but on occasion large chunks of time are unaccounted for. Lucy Whybrow narrates this version, and her clear rendition of Sara Crewe is a pleasure to listen to. Classical music adds to the enjoyment. Whybrow portrays the gently determined attitude, the sweet and charming manners, and the intelligent seriousness of this timeless heroine very well. With her father in India, Sara begins her life in England as a very rich boarder at Miss Minchin's school. When her father's business reverses and fatal illness leaves her an orphan and a pauper, Sara is determined to act as a princess in every way no matter how demeaned her situation. Whybrow captures her spirit, making this version a worthwhile addition to a collection that includes abridged versions of classics, perhaps as an inducement to young readers to try the original.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"I'm not sure I could have survived childhood without Frances Hodgson Burnett."  —Meg Rosoff
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
There is a plethora of versions of this perennial favorite available, and the issue becomes which one to choose. This unabridged edition is accompanied by a "Forward" in which Nancy Bond recounts Burnett's early years of poverty in Tennessee. A born storyteller with a rich imagination, Burnett turned to writing at the age of seventeen. Originally published in 1905, her classic work tells the story of Sara Crewe, daughter of a the wealthy Captain Crewe, who is sent to live at Miss Minchin's boarding school in her father's absence. There, the domineering Miss Minchin defers to her wealth while secretly disliking her. When Sara's father dies and his fortune is lost, Miss Minchin reacts by having Sara become a servant and she is treated with scorn and derision by the students and headmistress alike. Then a family moves in across the street, Sara recognizes the furnishings as being from India, and begins to converse with the Indian manservant whose attic room is across from her own. When Sara finds extra food, warm blankets, and books in her room, she begins to fantasize about meeting the "Indian gentleman" she feels is responsible. Sara's reward comes when she crosses the street to return the "Indian gentleman's" escaped monkey and learns his real name is Mr. Carrisford. When he realizes that she is Captain Crewe's daughter, he tells her that her father's fortune has been restored. Happily she shares her wealth with Becky, her one true friend at the school, and goes to live with Carrisford. The cover illustration of this paperback edition is bordered with roses and features a pensive, wide-eyed Sara. Young girls still are drawn to this compelling riches-to-rags-and-back-again story, featuring a perfect heroine and a perfectly nasty villain. The text, though seemingly dense, moves with an engaging prose and Sara's predicament will keep readers hooked until the happy ending. Parents who select this title will discover a great family read-aloud. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Puffin Classics Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.

She sat with her feet tucked under her, and leaned against her father, who held her in his arm, as she stared out of the window at the passing people with a queer old-fashioned thoughtfulness in her big eyes.

She was such a little girl that one did not expect to see such a look on her small face. It would have been an old look for a child of twelve, and Sara Crewe was only seven. The fact was, however, that she was always dreaming and thinking odd things and could not herself remember any time when she had not been thinking things about grown-up people and the world they belonged to. She felt as if she had lived a long, long time.

At this moment she was remembering the voyage she had just made from Bombay with her father, Captain Crewe. She was thinking of the big ship, of the Lascars passing silently to and fro on it, of the children playing about on the hot deck, and of some young officers' wives who used to try to make her talk to them and laugh at the things she said.

Principally, she was thinking of what a queer thing it was that at one time one was in India in the blazing sun, and then in the middle of the ocean, and then driving in a strange vehicle through strange streets where the day was asdark as the night. She found this so puzzling that she moved closer to her father.

"Papa," she said in a low, mysterious little voice which was almost a whisper, "papa."

"What is it, darling?" Captain Crewe answered, holding her closer and looking down into her face. "What is Sara thinking of?"

"Is this the place?" Sara whispered, cuddling still closer to him. "Is it, papa?"

"Yes, little Sara, it is. We have reached it at last." And though she was only seven years old, she knew that he felt sad when he said it.

It seemed to her many years since he had begun to prepare her mind for "the place," as she always called it. Her mother had died when she was born, so she had never known or missed her. Her young, handsome, rich, petting father seemed to be the only relation she had in the world. They had always played together and been fond of each other. She only knew he was rich because she had heard people say so when they thought she was not listening, and she had also heard them say that when she grew up she would be rich, too. She did not know all that being rich meant. She had always lived in a beautiful bungalow, and had been used to seeing many servants who made salaams to her and called her "Missee Sahib," and gave her her own way in everything. She had had toys and pets and an ayah who worshipped her, and she had gradually learned that people who were rich had these things. That, however, was all she knew about it.

During her short life only one thing had troubled her, and that thing was "the place" she was to be taken to some day. The climate of India was very bad for children, and as soon as possible they were sent away from it -- generally to England and to school. She had seen other children go away, and had heard their fathers and mothers talk about the letters they received from them. She had known that she would be obliged to go also, and though sometimes her father's stories of the voyage and the new country had attracted her, she had been troubled by the thought that he could not stay with her.

"Couldn't you go to that place with me, papa?" she had asked when she was five years old. "Couldn't you go to school, too? I would help you with your lessons."

"But you will not have to stay for a very long time, little Sara " he had always said. "You will go to a nice house where there will be a lot of little girls, and you will play together, and I will send you plenty of books, and you will grow so fast that it will seem scarcely a year before you are big enough and clever enough to come back and take care of papa."

She had liked to think of that. To keep the house for her father; to ride with him, and sit at the head of his table when he had dinner parties; to talk to him and read his books -- that would be what she would like most in the world and if one must go away to "the place" in England to attain it, she must make up her mind to go.

She did not care very much for other little girls, but if she had plenty of books she could console herself. She liked books more than anything else, and was, in fact, always inventing stories of beautiful things and telling them to herself. Sometimes she had told them to her father, and he had liked them as much as she did.

"Well, papa," she said softly, "if we are here I suppose we must be resigned."

He laughed at her old-fashioned speech and kissed her. He was really not at all resigned himself, though he knew he must keep that a secret. His quaint little Sara had been a great companion to him, and he felt he should be a lonely fellow when, on his return to India...

A Little Princess Book and Charm. Copyright © by Frances Burnett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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A Little Princess 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 281 reviews.
CheesyPrincess More than 1 year ago
A Little Princess, originally written by Frances Hodgson Burnett about a century ago is a classic, that girls of all ages will simply adore. A Little Princess tells the story of young, clever Sara Crewe, who arrives in England with her father from India, in order to attend Miss Minchin's School for Girls, which is a boarding school. At the school, Sara is richer than all the other girls and her room is filled with finery the other girls don't have. She even has her own maid, Mariette! She also becomes the smartest girl in school, which causes another girl, Lavinia Herbert, to hate Sara out of jealousy. But instead of being spoiled or bragging about her smarts, Sara compliments others on their own talents and strengths, and is not spoiled at all, but nice, and tries to help others in need. Sara even befriends a poor fourteen-year old scullery maid, Becky, and sara also tels stories to the other girls. She wins many friends, and soon the whole school, including mean, cranky Miss Minchin are calling Sara "princess". Soon, four years pass by at the school, and Sara is now ce;ebrating her eleventh birthday. But before the celebrating can begin, Miss Minchin is called to her office. Miss Minchin learns that Sara's father has died and he hadn't left any money to Sara, because he had lost all his money. Furious on everything she had spent for Sara's sake, Miss Minchin cacels the party and forces Sara to dress in rags and become a scullery maid, like Becky, nad luve in the attic. Sara now has to work very hard, and is very lonely. But when it seemed like Sara had lost everything, an unexpected twist of events come up, and Sara finds true happiness at last. I think this is an educational and entertaining classic for girls, since we can relate to it so well. Any girl out there who is looking for a classic to read, I highly recommend A Little Princess. It certainly deserves five stars! Thank you Frances Hodgson Burnett for such a wonderful and inspiring tale!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt like this book should never end. Im 8 years old and im in 3rd grade. I felt very sad when sara crewe's father died. This book is the best book even though i didnt read it on my nook. Thank you for reading my review.
The_hibernators More than 1 year ago
A Little Princess is a classic story of a rich little girl who is put under the care of a bitter, selfish schoolhouse matron. At first, the girl is treated as a star pupil; but when her father dies a ruined man, she is cruelly forced to become a servant of the schoolhouse&mdash;but her sweet, vibrant nature keeps her alive during these hard times. I have seen quite a few movie adaptations, but the book is much better than the movies. This is a good book for people of all ages to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got the dollar one, and although it had all the content, the formatting was completely screwed up. I'd say that this versions worth the money
j3p More than 1 year ago
As my daughter is getting interested in more challenging literature, I have been looking for nice, long-lasting copies of some of my favorite children's classics. I was thrilled to find the Sandy Creek edition of 'A Little Princess' today at Barnes and Noble. This Edition: The 2009 Sandy Creek edition is hardback with a nice, classic cover with a reproduction of one of the eight full color (and possibly original) prints by Tasha Tudor included in the book. One of my favorite parts about the edition is that the cover art is printed right on the cover and not on a dust jacket. I'm too lazy to cover dust jackets like the library does, so the other books in our current collection have either lost or are on their way to losing their jackets, and the book underneath isn't as appealing. It was a breeze to remove the price tags from this cover, which bodes well for easy future cleaning. The book is just the right size and weight to hold comfortably and still fit into a purse or backpack. The paper inside is of a nice weight, but the edges are "rough cut" which, while more "original," I find annoying. Since I liked everything else about the book, it was easy for me to ignore this. The font is well spaced and easy to read - perhaps a size 12 font. This edition includes a List of Chapters, List of Illustrations, brief bio of the author and on the inner cover, a name plate for the owner. It is well made, ever so slightly old-fashioned, darling and exactly what I was looking for and at an astonishingly affordable price point. The Sandy Creek Collection: Much to my delight, not only did Sandy Creek do a fine job with Anne of Green Gables, but also with a host of other fantastic classic children's books, many of which were on my shopping list! The books are the same size as one another, have similarly colored and designed spines, and only differ by color and cover art. I also bought 'The Wind in the Willows,' 'Anne of Green Gables' and 'The Secret Garden' and hope to add 'Treasure Island,' 'Journey to the Center of the Earth,' and more to my collections soon. It is a fine set at a great price. 'A Little Princess:' I loved Frances Burnett books as a child and was recently reminded of them by an article about Katherine Paterson (Newbery Medal and National Book Award for Children's Literature winner and 2010 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature) in the NY Times where she lists Burnett as one of her great childhood literary influences. I've read 'Princess' and 'A Secret Garden' countless times as I've grown and am always as engrossed in their Victorian worlds as I was the first reading. Her heroines are imperfect; starting out spoiled, entitled and generally bratty but learning from harsh, honest, sugar-coating-free worlds how to make a way for themselves and grow into lovely, kind and self-sufficient ladies. I would recommend this story and edition to anyone building a library for their children or themselves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a very good book for small children. I read the book to my daughter almost every night and she loves it.This book help brings on the imagination of little children around the globe.If you dont want to read it, consider watching the movie,its pretty good too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good made me cry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have seen many movie verisios of this book and retold stories of this book but i like all of them not like but love all of them i recomend this book to any young girls out there who like to read books with adventures and some twists in the middle if you are that girl then this is the book for you and for me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It made me cry a lot! A classic, and my favorite book!!!!
Janice McKay More than 1 year ago
The book was touching
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnet was a fantastic fiction book. I loved it because it really made me stop and think about everything I was reading. The characters were all very well developed and it was written so well that I was able to understand everything that was going on. New drama was starting after every chapter.
A Little Princess is set in London, England during the early 1900s. The protagonist, Sara Crewe, lost her father when she was in a boarding school and was forced to live in an attic. She could not decide what to do with herself or if she could run away. At the beginning of the story, Sara¿s father dropped her at a boarding school in England. She was treated like a princess because she came from a wealthy family. On her eleventh birthday, she receives the news of her father¿s death and loses everything. The headmistress of the school forces her to live in the attic and become a servant. While she is a servant, she has to make do with what she has. Frances Hodgson Burnet used extremely descriptive and sophisticated language in this book. She described her characters very well.
I would recommend this book to any girl who lost a parent or someone very important to them. They might benefit from reading this because they might be able to learn how to handle their situation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a great book. I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book and I am so excited it is on Nook. I think it is a great story for everyone. It is a true riches-to-rags, rags-to-riches tale of the quaint little Sara Crewe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little Princess is my favorite book read it in fifth grade, but still read it to this day.
MMPRlover More than 1 year ago
It was a sweet book. It made me cry. It was much better then the movie. But books are always better then the movies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it! Its not about a bratty little girl who is spoiled. :)
CarolineCarnivorous More than 1 year ago
My review of this got lost somehow, so I'll just write a new one! I waited for this book to come back in stock, and my, it was worth the wait! Just the beautiful interior of the book made me fall in love with it at once - It even has a little ''This book belongs to''! I hope I one day can pass this on to future generations of little princesses. Already from page two, I loved the book, and considered it one of my favorites ever. I felt such a strong connection to seven year old Sara Crewe, the intelligent little spoiled girl with black hair and strange thoughts too old for her young age. My heart totally broke when her father dies on her 11th birthday, and the headmistress at her boarding school forces her to be a maid, dressed in rags, working super hard and starving all the time. But even then, she keeps her cool and still acts and thinks she's a princess - And survives! And I felt so happy when I knew she was going to live happily again, she really deserved it! I guess we all have something to learn from little Sara Crewe. There's a princess in all of us - Whether dressed in rags or expensive gowns. This is a great story both for children (though maybe not the youngest ones) and adults alike! This a story that will touch your hearts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! But it does get sad during chapter 4. Just keep reading and it will get better. Sara Crewe had a wonderful life up to the age of 11. She went to a boarding school at 7. On Sara's 11th birthday, she learns her father is dead and left no money for her. Sara is forced to work like her friend, Becky. But then the story gets happier.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever get it
Christopher Morgan More than 1 year ago
I read this book young and I loved it. A Little Princess brought tears to my eyes at times, and sometimes shriek of laughter. Since this book is a known classic and highly enjoyable, as well as buying it as an ebook I would also buy it to put it own your shelf. I would recommend this book to anybody, because I believe it would provide anybody's intrest. Dive into this book.
Chocolate-Hamsters More than 1 year ago
THSI BOOOK IS so great it had me crying from start to finish. Sara Crewe is a strong heart-filled girl who finds that riches aren't only found in money! WAY better than the movie!! .... well, all books are better than movies! :P &lt;3 Reccommend it for everyone young and old!
Anonymous 9 days ago
Im orangestar and ever since i dissapeared my clan is dying. T~T. I saw your add with my clan in it and i want to thank you.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Thanks for coming to the preservation project lets get busy and start saving clans
Anonymous 26 days ago
I could read this book over and over again and not get tired of reading it love how Sara deals with every situation that she is in even when it is hard!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Pads in.