I love this book. It is one of my favorites. It is about an orphan girl who gets a once in a life time chance to go to college due to the kindness of an orphanage trustee. I have no problem with the fact that the main character of this book is an orphan. But, one of my messages in Claire’s Education is that a good book about a young girl can be written without the character’s parents dying! Though her parents are uninvolved so far, the fact that they are living is a step forward. I have been trying to find a book to read to my five youngest siblings and I thought, let’s not do an orphan book this time. I feel like we can overdose on orphan stories, especially since four of these five siblings are adopted and there are surely other great stories out there. This is what I discovered as a browsed my bookshelf:
Anne of Green Gables
The Secret Garden
A Little Princess
The Quiet Little Woman
Bed knob and broom stick
The Series of Unfortunate Events
Fly By Night
The mysterious Benedict society
The thief lord
Notice any pattern?!?!
Though these books are on my bookshelf because I like them (all except a couple which I have yet to read), I find it a tad silly that such a large percentage of children’s books are about orphans. I, as an authoress, understand this because I have had writing experiences when parents get in the way. The story is more interesting when the children make their own decisions and do things their own way and make it in the end with little to no guidance. But, I did find and choose a book which includes parents (The coat hanger Christmas tree by Eleanor Estes) and chose to write Claire’s Education about a girl who has parents. I still love those orphan books and will end up reading more orphan books to the kids in the future I am sure, but I thought it was worth noting. Also, I have lived at an orphanage and I would like to end this post by saying: Don’t believe that everything about orphanages are romantic and story bookish. Somethings are like the books…other things are not.