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A Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Sara Crewe Timeline and Summary
Sara travels to England with her father, Ralph Crewe because he is sending her to boarding school. When they arrive, they go to Miss Minchin's Seminary and Sara finds the whole place kind of bleak. She stays with her father in his hotel and he buys her lots of nice things before he leaves. Then she goes to the boarding school and he goes back to India. Sara is very sad, but she goes to school. School isn't too great, but she does befriend a girl named Ermengarde and they decide to be BFFs. She also makes friends with a scullery maid named Becky and a little girl named Lottie. Sara gets very exciting news that her father is investing in diamond mines—diamonds! But on her eleventh birthday, she learns that the mines have failed and her father is dead. She's orphaned and broke. Miss Minchin puts her right to work, and Sara's life goes downhill fast. The one bright spot is her new friend, Melchisedec. Things get worse and worse, even though a Mysterious Stranger with an Indian servant moves in next door. Unbeknownst to Sara, this guy is looking for a little girl who sounds, well, a lot like her. Meanwhile, Sara and Becky are hungry and cold. But Sara still manages to be a class act, even giving away food to a beggar girl when she's nearly starving. One night, Sara gets in Super Big trouble, and she's facing days without food. But when she wakes up, her room has been transformed and filled with nice things, a warm fire, and good food. She invites Becky over to join in on it. The food and nice things keep coming and Sara and Becky become stronger, happier and healthier. Sara even gets a package of nice clothes in the mail. Things are looking up! One night, Sara is in her magical little attic room when she finds the monkey from next door. When she takes him back the next day, the Indian man questions her and realizes that she is the orphaned daughter of his late friend, Ralph Crewe. Surprise, surprise! Now things are really looking up, and she even gets to tell off Miss Minchin. Sara has a new father-figure, a nice house, and, oh yeah, a new maid, Becky. In a final act of royal generosity, Sara tells a baker that she will pay for her to give bread to all the hungry children. But the baker does her one better: she's taken in the beggar girl who Sara gave the buns too.