Friday, October 9, 2015

"A Little Princess" RAL - Discussing Chapters 1-6

Welcome to the first discussion for Little Princess! I don't know if the format will change between me and Jamie, or even amongst ourselves from week to week, but I'm starting us off, so let's get to London, shall we!(Jamie's thoughts are in blue!)

Quick Summary:
A little girl names Sara lives in India with her dad. Her mother died when she was little (so pretty little, considering she's 7) and her dad wants her to grow up to be a good English lady so he brings her to London to a boarding school for education. The two of them are incredibly close so this is a hearbreaking thing for both of them, but Sara is a brave girl and does the best she can. She is much beloved by many of the students at Miss Minchin's for her kindness and willingness to share the very nice things that she has. She especially bonds with a girl named Ermengarde who struggles with her studies and well, a lot of things. Miss Minchin has a deep seated dislike for Sara, through no fault of Sara's. Miss Minchin is naturally unpleasant.

Vocabulary Lesson!:

Missie Sahib -  Sahib is “a polite title or form of address for a man”. So Missie Sahib is like “little lady?”

Ayah- a nanny employed by Europeans in India or another former British territory


I feel like a lot of these quotes could be on walls of libraries. Luckily Jamie and I had similar favorites!

“My mamma!” said Sara, looking odd. “I don’t believe she would mind in the least. She knows that stories belong to everybody.”

This was one of my favorite quotes too and I think I would have been friends with her mother!

Agreed! She sounds like good people!

“If nature has made you a giver your hands are born open;  and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty but your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that—warm things, kind things, sweet things,—help and comfort and laughter,—and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.”

So there's some solid advice!

"She did not much care for other little girls, but if she had plenty of books she could console herself". 

Someone’s an introvert bookworm! Woot wooooot!

Favorite quote from this chapter group for me comes from Lavinia (in re: to Sarah): “My Mom says she will grow up to be eccentric!” It was great! They say that like it’s a bad thing :). Eccentric is better than being a brat like Lavinia!

“Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage.” This is another shout out to all the book nerds out there!

Other thoughts:

They used the word supple to describe her and I thought that was weird because she is 7. Also, 7 is mighty young to be at a)boarding school b) boarding school thousands of miles away from her family
This made me sad too, especially when they said the youngest one was four years old.

Why is Miss Minchin in the education business? People who have no tolerance for children (even well behaved, polite rich, children!) should probably not be in that line of work.I kept thinking about this too - I think she was “forced” into it. Like she never married or it was a family business. What happened to her that turned her into a bitter and angry woman? Ok, back story for Miss Minchin. Happy, carefree young woman who was engaged and then her fiancee dies at sea? in a foreign war? and then she never recovers. How's that? 

I also add, that I love little Sara’s heart from the beginning. Such a sweet girl and example of loving other people. 

Also whenever I see Ermengarde I think of this. That’s how I say it in my head. I thought the exact same thing!! haha! Glad I wasn’t the only one. :)


Discussion Questions:

Who here is re-reading this book or reading for the first time?

Do you often re-read books? Sometimes I don't re-read favorite books from childhood because I'm scared that now I'm a cynical adult I might feel differently about the story.

Sara is a pretty mature 7 year old. I'm sure I wasn't like that when I was 7! Do you think that makes her special or maybe a little unrealistic? (Well, hello cynical adult!)

Did you have any favorite quotes from this section? Jamie and I obviously did!

If you're reading for the first time, any predictions so far?

Next week all the action is over at Jamie's blog!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so looking forward to the movie! I haven't seen the recent one, so I'm interested to see how the characters are cast. Random question, did my memory blank and they mention Minchin's age? I can't remember!


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