This book was a favorite of mine in my childhood, and, when I returned as an adult to re-read it to my own daughter, I discovered it all over again.
This is a story about a different kind of princess than one might imagine; a princess that is an orphan - lonely, cold, hungry and abused. Sara Crewe begins life as the beloved, pampered daughter of a rich man. When he dies a pauper, she is thrown on the non-existent mercy of her small-minded, mercenary boarding school mistress. Stripped of all her belongings but for one set of clothes and a doll, Sara becomes a servant of the household. Hated by the schoolmistress for her independent spirit, Sara becomes a pariah in the household, with only a few secretly loyal friends. But through her inner integrity and strength of will, Sara Crewe maintains the deportment, inner nobility and generous spirit of a "real" princess.
It is a fabulous story of the triumph of human will, and good over evil.
This story is a real classic, and needs no re-writing to be as enjoyable and readable today as it ever was. Ask my 8-year-old daughter, who has already re-read it twice. Accept no substitutes, re-writes, abridgements or copies! This is a work of art, and should not be tampered with.