Betty MacDonald’s sweet story about two orphaned sisters should appeal to young girls today. When Nancy and Plum lost their parents, their bachelor uncle sent them to a boarding school where he thought they would be well cared for. Little did he know that the directress of the school, Mrs. Monday, was a greedy and abusive woman who took an immediate dislike to spunky Plum.
Although mild-mannered Nancy does her best to keep her sister out of trouble, Plum’s sense of justice and adventure consistently get them both sent to bed without dinner. Their charm and optimism win them the affection of their peers and teachers, however. When they decide to escape from the school, the sisters receive the help of friends and strangers alike.
In this traditional and heart-warming story, MacDonald develops her plot and characters at an appropriate level for her intended audience. Her lively and detailed descriptions of the scenery and action provide beginner/intermediate readers with a solid introduction to real literature without becoming tedious for the modern young mind.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.