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The Hundred Dresses (1944)

by Eleanor Estes

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6,0531291,459 (4.02)111
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 (126)  French (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
What a sweet, sad story. I'd like to think it was the kind of story I could give to my kids to read, and that they would absorb a very important lesson. I wish I had read it to them when they were small - maybe first or second grade. By today's standards, it's very sparse and old-fashioned. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
Newbery Award winner!
  vashonpatty | Feb 23, 2023 |
This book had a nice moral story. As I was reading it I noticed it was a bit old fashioned. I'm not sure if kids nowadays would quite understand it the way older folks do. It was very wholesome. ( )
  Jenarbucci | Sep 28, 2022 |
This story tells how children can bully one another without realizing it. Wanda Petronski is a poor girl with a foreign last name who wears the same blue dress to school each day. Maddie notices that Wanda hasn't showed up to school the last few days. She begins to reflect how her best friend, Peggy, has been playing cruel jokes on Wanda by asking her how many dresses she has and Wanda replying "I have a hundred dresses all lined up in my closet." Peggy gets other school children to laugh at these types of questions about shoes, hats, and the like, but always returning to dresses. The school holds an art contest, the winner for girls being Wanda. She has drawn 100 dresses and they are pinned up all over the walls. Maddie, Peggy, and all the school children are amazed. The teacher reads a letter to the class explaining that the Petronski's father has moved them away from the small town because they have been bullied at school. The girls feel horrible, Maddie especially. Peggy keeps justifying her actions. At Christmastime, the teacher reads a new letter from Wanda where she gifts Maddie and Peggy two dress drawings from her collection. At this point, Maddie has vowed to never stand aside if anyone is being bullied even if it means losing her friendship with Peggy. I thought this book was a lovely lesson in friendship. I only wish the illustrator had been someone who drew the dresses as vividly as were described in the book. ( )
  sarahlynnb | Jul 29, 2022 |
Ok, so the story's about kid-bullying and shaming poor children, and about being a kid and becoming aware of this behavior. I'm not sure I liked the message, though, because while Maddie seemed to learn something and grow up a little bit from it, it's not at all clear that Peggy did. And both girls just kind of side stepped ever actually apologizing or even talking about things directly and somehow in the end they just made it all ok in their minds because there was a note and Magda drew their portraits in the dresses -- which feels like the whole thing was about Maddie and Peggy and the important question was whether Magda liked them after all -- and that isn't really the sort of message I'd want to send on to kids. Somehow the peripheral nature of Magda never seems at all resolved to me, and I didn't love that. I like clearer plot lines, clearer messages for resolving damaging behavior or circumstances. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (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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