Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote more than 30 novels, but Little Lord Fontleroy, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, all three written for children, are by far her best known and loved. Although each story is unique, you will see recurring themes — fun for children to figure them out! There are numerous film versions of each, but you’ll enjoy having read the original stories!
Little Lord Fontleroy The Earl of Dorincourt’s only son has foolishly married a common American woman and had a baby boy named Cedric. The Earl could not be more disapproving or angry. But when the son dies, the Earl is forced to claim young Cedric as his heir. Cedric is taken from his mother and brought to live with his angry grandfather in England. Can Cedric heal his divided family? This is a delightful book with an angelic lead character. Middle Grade Reading Level, 256 pages, published in 1886.
A Little Princess Sara Crewe lives a life of complete luxury at an English boarding school, until word comes that her widowed father has died. Suddenly there is no money to keep Sara at all. Overnight she becomes a lowly servant at the posh school. How can Sara possibly survive the humiliation, loneliness and harshness of her new life? Another sweet book with a virtuous hero. Middle Grade Reading Level, 320 pages, published in 1905.
The Secret Garden Mary Lennox has been raised to be selfish and willful. When her parents and servants suddenly die during a cholera epidemic, Mary is sent to live with a reclusive uncle she has never met. Life is suddenly so different. What will become of young Mary in a new country, with new family and new ways of living? Another literary gem by Ms. Burnett! Middle Grade Reading Level, 384 pages, published in 1911.