The Hundred Dressesby Elenor Estes (Author), Christina Moore (Narrator)
A story about Bullying!
There is so much going on in this book. Friendship and bullying, courage and regret, peer pressure and forgiveness. It is no wonder that the book is a Newbery Honor Book.
This is a story of 3 girls. Peggy and Maddie are best friends. They are classmates and are inseparable. Wanda Petronski, however, is a loner. She has no friends. She comes from a shabby part of town and wears the same shabby blue dress every day to school. One day in an effort to “blend in”, Wanda mentions that she actually has One Hundred Dresses of all kinds all lined up in her closet. This little lie sends her classmates into peals of laughter. From then on at every recess, Wanda Petronski is asked over and over again about her infamous one hundred dresses.
While Peggy and Maddie are part of the “daily routine”, Maddie really wishes it would stop. She understands why Wanda said what she said and wishes Wanda would just stop talking about her dresses. But at the same time she does not have the courage to say something about it. She also does not want to be singled out by the others.
One day Wanda stops coming to school. A note from her dad explains that they are moving to a big city where people with names like “Petronski” are not “funny”. Maddie lives the next few days with a heavy guilty conscious. She hopes that she gets a chance to make amends with Wanda.
Elenor Estes does a brilliant job in capturing different view points on the single topic of bullying. She captures beautifully the situation as well as the nuances of emotions. On one hand Elenor highlights the intense guilty conscious of the character of Maddie and on the other hand she brings out the desperation of a singled out lonely girl Wanda and her need to “fit in”.
This is a book for every girl and boy. The language used in this book is meant for 3rd graders. But one can easily listen to the audio book and follow along. Christina Moore’s narration is superb to say the least. A gem of a story, so true to real life situations and so thought provoking, that you the reader will stop and think how you can make the most of this learning experience for your child!
A must read !