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The Hundred Dresses (1944)

by Eleanor Estes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,9241201,650 (4.01)110
In winning a medal she is no longer there to receive, a tight-lipped little Polish girl teaches her classmates a lesson.

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English (117)  French (1)  All languages (118)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
The Murray Library summer reading program included the challenge to read a book written over 50 years ago. I couldn't remember the last time I had read this book, although I remembered the message from it. I really liked the simple language and the fact that the main character was not who I thought it would be. ( )
  Emma.June.Lyon | Feb 23, 2021 |
I don't have much to add to the online reviews and blurbs. It was an excellent story about childhood and ethical awakening, without being religous-based or preachy.
The Depression time period of the author's youth (1920s) might make it uninteresting to some young readers, but a lot of them can deasily accept the situation and apply it to their own circumstances.
Most real-life analogues don't have the happy ending of the book, but it is necessary and plausible.

The "mean girls" reminded me of the ones who harassed Laura Ingalls in her "Little House" novels.

Personal note: when I was in elementary school in the 1950s, my best friend -- a farm girl -- often drew fashion dresses, using the ubiquitous sewing pattern books and couture magazines as models. I can easily imagine her tacking these onto her closet walls (rather than keeping them in file folders and notebooks as she did), but she certainly had more than one dress to wear to school, and was always fashionably clothed to the limit of the stores in small-town Texas. ( )
  librisissimo | Feb 6, 2021 |
Very simple book about bullying and the effects on the tormentors. I liked that it was a straightforward way to introduce the concept and how being silent can be just as hurtful. It was also interesting to see the story told by one of the silent witnesses. Her guilt over Wanda's treatment and fear that the mocking would be aimed at her was realistic and effective. Great illustrations that mimicked the chalk dress drawings of the story.

Course evaluation:

Personal Response: This is simple yet effective way to introduce different types of bullying. Even though Maddie never says a word, her silence and inability to stand up for Wanda is just as hurtful. I also appreciated that fact that girls don’t ever truly make amends (apart from their letter to Wanda), but instead must be satisfied with the knowledge that they hurt someone and must strive never repeat their actions; it seemed much more realistic than ending the story with Wanda fitting in or becoming the girls’ best friend.

Evaluation: The short chapters and slightly repetitive text make this book appropriate for younger elementary students. Though the subject is serious, it is handled in an age appropriate way. Setting the story from Maddie’s perspective is quite effective in that readers will identify more with her than Peg, the ringleader of the bullies. Maddie’s silence and avoidance of the bullying, as well as her worry of being a target, is a much more common response; readers will understand her silence and worries of not being able to change what happened. Slobodkin’s illustrations look like chalk drawings and mimic the materials Wanda would have used for her artwork. The colors are the same brilliant, bright hues that Estes describes in her text. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
I came across this book while rummaging up “treasures” for my daughter to read. Although the book is old and a bit musty it brought back so many memories. I remember being so excited when the Scholastic Books flyer was distributed. It was like Christmas was they arrived each month! Some books really survive the passage of time with messages than transcend generations. ( )
  marquis784 | Sep 28, 2020 |
This was a great book to read to my students in order to start a conversation about bullying. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eleanor Estesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alemagna, BeatriceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Estes, HelenaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slobodkin, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Today, Monday, Wanda Petronski was not in her seat.
She stood by silently, and that was just as bad as what Peggy had done.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In winning a medal she is no longer there to receive, a tight-lipped little Polish girl teaches her classmates a lesson.

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