Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Review: Little Lord Fauntleroy

The children and I finished reading aloud Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett recently. This one I found more enjoyable reading personally than Five Little Peppers -- just more interesting.

(photo taken 2014)

The story is about an English earl and his heir, Little Lord Fauntleroy. Its main message could perhaps be summed up in the idea that people tend to live up to our expectations of them. More specifically, the book presents the powerful influence for good which respect and admiration can have on even the most hard-hearted soul.

Overall, I liked this book for its message above, as well as just the interest of the story. There are at least a couple fairly minor things I didn't like about it. For one, it has what I considered to be a rather excessive emphasis on Little Lord Fauntleroy's physical beauty and its effect on people, which isn't my favorite thing for a book to emphasize. It does also stress that the boy has a remarkable character that is even more captivating, though, which I thought mostly made up for it. Another complaint I have (and I might notice this more because one of my children seems fascinated with the idea of being rich of late) is that the book does glorify riches some. It also emphasizes the idea that money isn't as important as other things -- cannot buy you love or happiness, for instance -- so I didn't feel it was really a problem, but just a caution, and maybe something to discuss. I brought up both the beauty issue and the money issue for discussion with my children while we read it.

I asked the children which book they liked better -- Five Little Peppers or Little Lord Fauntleroy. They all said Five Little Peppers. Bethany (9) and Zion (5) liked it better because they thought it was funnier. Peter (7) said he liked it better because it was more "realistic." Which is kind of funny since I thought it was pretty fakey (not that the character of Little Lord Fauntleroy is very realistic either -- yet somehow it didn't strike me quite so much). I asked him if he meant more like our life, and he said yes. That's also kind of funny because these two books present two extremes -- extreme poverty and extreme riches, and our family has neither. But I think I know what he means, as the setting in England and the situation which Little Lord Fauntleroy is in are pretty different from our situation here in middle-class America.

This post was part of the Carnival of Homeschooling at The Common Room.

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  1. Thank you for submitting this post for the upcoming Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival to be posted January 5th.


  2. Thank you for this review. I haven't read either book yet but look forward to doing so!

  3. Thanks for the review! We will be putting this on our reading list.


  4. Thank you for this review! This is a book I've had on my list for a while, but haven't gotten around to previewing.