The Hundred Dresses

July 9, 2008

No story more perfectly illustrates the hurt and confusion young girls experience as they begin to develop a sense of self and belonging than The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. It is a tale of a little girl, named Wanda, who wears the same faded blue dress to school everyday and is teased relentlessly by her peers. It doesn't help that Wanda insists on telling the other girls at school that she actually owns one hundred dresses, in every possible shade and fabric . One day, Wanda stops coming to school and the other girls (one with unbearable guilt) visit her at home to find out how much of her story is true...

Tonight I was thinking about my third grade students from many years ago and how raptly they would listen to this story of friendship and forgiveness and found myself hoping so desperately to be able to shield my own daughter from such heartache. Most importantly though, my wish for her is that (as painful and uncomfortable as it may be) she has the courage to do what is right.

Here's to you, Wanda...

PS. you definitely want to know how the story turns out.

PSS. the card is not in the shop yet (sorry!)

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