A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We finished the first chapter last night; then today after school, and later this evening, we finished the remaining eighteen chapters. About six chapters at a sitting. Madeline adored it, Erik seems to have sort-of followed it (in the background playing with LEGOs), and the line "But the saddest news was that Sara's dear papa was dead," brought both of them up short. The mention of such an unfathomable thing certainly got their attention, but also the fact that we refer to their dad as "Papa," surely made it worse. There were many questions, and many answers, and then the story continued.
We compared Livinia to Nellie Olsen from the Little House series, and we all (often) shook our fists at Miss Minchin's cruelty, and were impressed by Sara's spirit and imagination. Madeline giggled at my exasperation at the missed connections nearing the end of the book, but all along they were quietly impressed by Sara's resolve. I was too. This, I believe, will be a book that we re-visit. There really are so many wonderful lessons in this story, and I'm thankful that the Magic brought it to me by way of my little readers. And, in this case, the "Magic" is my fabulous sister-in-law, Shannon.