Wishing for Tomorrow: The Sequel to A Little Princess by Hilary McKay
I have been a huge fan of A Little Princess since I was a little girl. It was my favorite book for years and have read it so many times that I can’t count. My favorite version was the one with the illustrations by Tasha Tudor. The pictures matched the ones in my head so beautifully. I am also an enormous fan of Hilary McKay and her Casson family series. So how would one of my favorite authors do with a sequel to one of my favorite books?
Now that Sara has left Miss Minchin’s school, things are very different, especially for Ermengarde who misses Sara very much. One thing though has bothered Ermengarde ever since she got a glimpse of Sara’s attic cell after the magic transformed it. Why did Sara never tell her of how her world had changed? With Sara gone, Lottie returns to her mischief and Lavinia once again is the leader of the girls. A new maid replaces Becky. She brings with her a fresh attitude and a no-nonsense point of view that is soon beloved by the girls. When a boy moves in next door with a wandering cat, everything is poised to change again.
When I first heard of a sequel to A Little Princess, I assumed that it would focus once again on Sara Crewe. Then I was disappointed, now I am delighted. Continuing the story of the girls we met in the first book was a great choice. McKay lets us see into the other girls in the book and each girl is surprising and interesting. McKay’s writing pays homage to the original but has a wry humor that keeps the book from ever becoming sentimental. I would compare this book to your best friend moving away and realizing that other girls that were there all along are also wonderful companions.
Bravo to the very brave McKay for taking on such a challenge and creating a winning story that both honors the past and takes its own direction. Well done! It is a book just like the first that I intend to read again and again. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Reviewed from copy received from publisher.