Book Reviews: Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy

Book Reviews: Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy | Newbery and Beyond

These two books, packaged together, are so cute!  Written in the early 1900s, both books have a charm and a life about them.  Both are epistolary novels, seen only through the letters of one person.  Daddy-Long-Legs is composed of letters from an orphan girl named Judy who has been sent to college by a mysterious benefactor, whom she nicknames Daddy-Long-Legs.  Judy learns and experiences new things, both through her classes and through her exposure to new friends, and eventually, through meeting Daddy-Long-Legs.

The second book, Dear Enemy, is made up of letters from Sallie, one of Judy’s college friends.  Judy hired Sallie to be the temporary superintendent of the John Grier Home, the orphanage in which Judy grew up, and the book is filled with the exploits of Sallie, the orphan children, and the other employees and teachers at the JGH.

Both female characters have spunk, and although the books have some turn-of-the-century problems with racism and sexism, for the most part, Judy and Sallie seem like they would be at home in today’s world.  They’re outspoken and cheerful and aren’t afraid to ruffle feathers.  (Plus, there’s a little romance in both books that is not overdone–it never threatens to overtake the plot!)  Both books include adorable stick figure drawings, drawn by the author, Jean Webster, herself.  They’re fun, sweet books with a lot of charm.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

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