View Cart

Blog category: Young Adult

Review: "Heidi" by Johanna Spyri


Written in 1880 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri, Heidi focuses on events in the life of a young orphan who is pawned off on her hermit grandfather at a young age. Heidi’s innate goodness and loving attitude has a deep effect on those around her, including grumpy gramps, helping them to realize the error of their ways and changing their lives for the better. Heidi–as all the best literature, young adult or not–has something for readers of all ages and beliefs. Continue reading .

Review: "The Butterfly Dress" by Miranda Koerner


The Butterfly Dress is a Cinderella tale retold in modern times. When not in design class, Flora Oak works as a seamstress for a mother who closely approximates Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Flora works hard, eats large, and is so accustomed to her superiors calling her a failure that she accepts those opinions without question. One day, she is asked to create a gown for Eleanor Nottingham, the duchess of local society. Mrs. Nottingham sends a horse-driven carriage to take her to the Nottingham estate where Flora meets a possible Prince Charming, but complications abound before she can reach her happy ending. The story’s conclusion drifts more toward Fractured Fairy Tales than the Brothers Grimm, and more power to it! Continue reading .

Review: "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett


First published in 1909, The Secret Garden is one of Burnett’s most popular novels and is considered a classic of children’s literature. It tells the story of Mary Lennox, a sickly, orphan girl, who is sent to isolated Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire, England. There she befriends a boy named Dickon with whom she investigates a secret garden on the Manor grounds. Here the garden becomes a metaphor for Mary’s transformative effect upon her cousin and uncle. Continue reading .

Review: "Dear Enemy" by Jean Webster


First published in 1915, Dear Enemy is a sequel to Daddy Long Legs. Judy Abbott, whose letters to her anonymous benefactor made up the first novel, hardly makes an appearance in this one. The main character is Judy’s pal from college, Sallie McBride, who Judy recruits from her frivolous life to run the John Grier orphan asylum. Sallie’s letters are mostly to Judy, but letters to others including to the home’s moody Scottish doctor–her “enemy”–add some variation. Continue reading .

Review: "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott


First published in 1871, Little Men the sequel to Little Women. It continues where Little Women left off set at the school established by Jo and her professor husband, Fritz Bhaer. Jo is the catalyst moving the education process along, the glue holding the school together and the engineer studying and solving the human problems that surface when a multitude of students with widely divergent backgrounds come together. Continue reading .

Review: "The Enchanted Castle" by E. Nesbit


Although I’m not nostalgic and seldom reread children’s books, I had astonishingly good taste as a child: I read Little Women, Linnets and Valerians, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Friday’s Tunnel, An Episode of Sparrows, and E. Nesbit’s The Enchanted Castle. E. Nesbit’s charming fantasy classics were my favorites, and I demanded them for several birthdays and Christmases. I didn’t call these fantasies: I referred to them as “magic adventure books.” The adventure happens to witty, independent, intelligent children against the background of ordinary life at the turn of the twentieth century. Continue reading .

Review: "Daddy Long Legs" by Jean Webster


Comprised mostly of letters from orphan Jerusha “Judy” Abbott to her anonymous benefactor whom she has never met, this novel chronicles Judy’s departure from the orphanage through four years of college. Her high spirits get her through many trials, and by the end she turns out a mature (yet energetic) young woman who gets her happy ending. Continue reading .

"Eight Cousins" by Louisa May Alcott

Eight Cousins is a series of vignettes that illustrate the affection of the cousins and their parents, aunts, and uncles for each other. The tales demonstrate that family members can disagree with, and even disappoint, each other yet still hold each other in the highest regard. Rather than a series of conflicts or problems to solve, the novel tells about the ways in which the family works things out before they become conflicts. In spite of its dearth of conflict or challenge, however, the novel does come through with many amusing and satisfying stories. Continue reading .

"Princess Priscilla's Fortnight" by Elizabeth von Arnim

First published in 1905, Elizabeth von Arnim no doubt wrote Princess Priscilla’s Fortnight as a fairy tale for her children’s amusement. It tells the story of Priscilla, a popular and celebrated German princess, who grows tired of her lavish and pampered life. Through the instruction of her mentor, Herr Fritzing, she learns there is a wide and varied world outside the castle walls, and she yearns to escape. The marriage proposal of an eligible prince makes Priscilla realize that if she wants to escape the life she secretly detests, now is the time. Continue reading .

"What Katy Did" by Susan Coolidge

Published around 1870, What Katy Did tells the story of a rambunctious, headstrong twelve-year old girl who is infinitely likeable in spite of (or perhaps because of) these unfeminine traits. Katy has a zillion plans for the future, and any efforts at gentility go out the window as she rushes headlong into her destiny. Unfortunately, her destiny is not exactly what she had foreseen. Continue reading .

Browse Ebooks by Tag

Support Free Ebooks

If you enjoy our free ebooks, please consider making a donation to offset website costs.
Why donate?

Highest Rated Ebooks