Daily Archives for: August 22nd, 2021

Orphans and Boarding Schools: On rereading Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

The summer I was twelve, I pulled a well-read and worn book from the shelves of the public library and discovered a story that seemed to be told directly to me. Behind the deceptively dull cover of Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (1912) were letters and drawings that pulled me hard and fast into Judy Abbott’s life—an orphan at boarding school.

So many of my favorite things were combined in this book: orphans and lonely childhoods, girls succeeding against the odds with their studious natures, boarding school and class events, and perhaps most of all, the burgeoning writer’s sensibility that I also enjoyed in Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy (1964).

I borrowed and devoured Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs  that very afternoon; I’ve revisited it many times. Read More→


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