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Review: "Daddy Long Legs" by Jean Webster

Daddy Long Legs may be downloaded for free from our ebook catalog.

First published in 1912, this novel is comprised mostly of letters from orphan Jerusha “Judy” Abbott to her anonymous benefactor whom she has never met. The letters are the only repayment this benefactor requests for paying to send Judy to college. All she has seen of him is his tall shadow against a wall as he leaves the orphanage one night. Because of this, Judy and her lively imagination come up with the nickname “Daddy Long Legs”. Judy's letters to Daddy Long Legs chronicle her departure from the orphanage through four years of college. She makes new friends, slowly gains knowledge and independence, but also struggles with her humble past and unfixed future.

Similar to Anne of Green Gables, Daddy Long Legs is a young adult novel that all ages can enjoy. Like Anne, Judy starts out as a rambunctious orphan. 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. It is a quick, entertaining read with some plot twists that the astute reader will pick up beforehand--but the enjoyment remains the same no matter what one guesses about the ending.

Apparently this novel was made into several films, including a musical staring Fred Astaire. I've also just learned that there is an sequel to Daddy Long Legs called Dear Enemy. We have faithfully reproduced 33 illustrations by the author in this ebook edition.

Cover art by Janice Tarver, for sale at Etsy.


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