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Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (final thoughts)

April 15, 2010

Jerusha Abbott has lived her seventeen years as a faceless orphan with a limited future, and has seemed to have accepted that. That is until an anonymous benefactor provides the means for her to attend college to become a writer. The only repayment he asks for is that she write him monthly letters, addressed to Mr. John Smith, detailing what she has been learning. But she is not to expect any kind of response from him, the letters are only meant to be a way for her to hone her writing skills. And so she sets off for school, changing her name to Judy, and relishing the college experience.

After the opening chapter explaining Judy’s predicament, the rest of the story is told through her letters to Mr. Smith. However, she decides that ‘Mr. Smith’ is a very unoriginal name, and since all she knows about him is that he’s very tall, decides to call him Daddy-Long-Legs. From the very first letter, Judy’s quirky and wonderful personality comes across clearly. She isn’t he dutiful, faceless orphan she’s presented as at the beginning of the book. She is one of the wittiest narrators I’ve come across in a long time.

I first heard of Daddy-Long-Legs over at things mean a lot and thought it would work well for the Spring 2010 Read-a-thon. I’m so glad I picked it up, I enjoyed every single moment of it. What I loved most, though, was watching Judy mature. She starts off quite childish and becomes a sophisticated woman, but never loses that spunk that made her so special to begin with.

If you haven’t yet read this delightful class, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

My rating: 8/10

Soundtrack Saturday

YA Reading Challenge 6/12
Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge 8/25

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2010 7:46 am

    Your copy is adorable! And I love this book so, so much. The sequel, Dear Enemy, is also good, but it gets a bit more into some of Jean Webster’s wackier beliefs, and the letter-writer in that one isn’t quite as much fun. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

  2. April 16, 2010 9:41 am

    I remember reading this years ago – and it was a good read for me…

    I came upon it after watching the movie rendition of the Book – With the same name as well..
    Daddy Long legs – Fred Astaire… made in 1955..

    I cant remember the name of the young lady who played the orphan girl – but she was well place and I thought it was a good movie of the book…

    Funnily this script has been used over and over again – but I have never read another book where the letter writing worked so well..

    Thanks for the memory…


  3. April 16, 2010 11:47 am

    yay! I’m so glad you loved it too. You’re right, watching Judy grow up was simply wonderful.

  4. April 19, 2010 4:11 pm

    Jenny – Sadly this copy belonged to the library. But, I need to add this book to my personal library and you know I’m going to try my hardest to get a copy just as cute as this.

    Erotic Horizon – Oh, I need to watch the movie! I just requested it from the library :)

    Nymeth – I’m so glad I followed your recommendation on this one! It was such a sweet story.


  1. Daddy-Long-Legs (the movie) « alita.reads.

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