The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses

eBook - 2014
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Eleanor Estes's The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn't and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it's too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda's classmates, ultimately decides that she is "never going to stand by and say nothing again."
Publisher: [United States] :, HMH Books,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780547540450
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital
Alternative Title: 100 dresses


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Feb 22, 2019

I personnally thought that this book was good, but if I were the writer I would make some changes. One of the changes I would make would be that I'd tell the reader the full story and not make it mystorious. The original story made the end mystorious, Wanda moved away and the story never said where she went. Wanda said she had hundred dresses and at the end it never said if she really had hundred dresses. These minor ''mistakes'' make me feel like the book is not finished, but the rest I thought was pretty good. I engourage you people to read ''the hundred dresses'' and comment it so I know your thougts !!

VaughanPLDianeB Feb 18, 2019

A story over 70 years old that still resonates today is definitely worthy of a Newbery Honor medal. I enjoyed this short, simply written story. Behind its simplicity, however, lay many serious themes ideal for sparking meaningful and worthwhile discussions with students. Such themes include pre-judging, bullying, loneliness, wanting to belong, kindness and forgiveness -- just to name a few. Ironically, the beautiful dresses Wanda drew were just part of her talent -- her true beauty came from within and, eventually, gave the most pause for thought.

VaughanPLDonnalee Feb 09, 2019

This timeless story from 1944 shows that bullying and teasing are unfortunately nothing new. This lovely children's book shows how hurtful and destructive bullying and teasing can be, but also shows how kindness and empathy are even more powerful. Poor Wanda Petronski is mocked mercilessly by some of her classmates. Will the others stand by and do nothing? The book is gentle and simple enough to make it accessible for young children, but it remains a very thoughtful and impactful book. It is a Newbery Honor book and a true classic. Although written in 1944, it feels completely timeless and it has lost none of its poignancy. Highly recommended.

Jan 18, 2019


Aug 23, 2018

This has been one of my favorites! I have a copy at home! It's just heart wrenching but amazing at the same time!

Feb 04, 2018

Wanda is the poor motherless girl from Poland. By the author's description, you get the feeling that even if she doesn't have a perfect verbal command of English, she understands perfectly what is said to and about her and her shabby clothing. Worlds apart is Peggy, the popular rich girl in her class. After Wanda makes an attempt to fit into a conversation by talking about her beautiful dresses, Peggy begins what seems like a game to her and taunts Wanda daily in front of a crowd of classmates about all of the beautiful dresses in her closet.

Bridging their world is Maddie, Peggy's best friend. While she isn't isolated by a language barrier and has Peggy's unspoken social protection, she is uncomfortably aware that her poverty makes her more similar to Wanda than Peggy. While Maddie gratefully accepts Peggy's castoffs, she is terrified of the power Peggy's generosity gives her. The daily game of picking on Wanda continually hardens Maddie's uncomfortable vulnerability; she is keenly aware that speaking out in Wanda's defense could put her in Wanda's place.

The truth is that Wanda does have 100 dresses, just not the kind Peggy has. The book ends on a melancholy note. Maddie (and perhaps Peggy) become better people as a result of what happens to Wanda and her family, but Maddie (and the reader) are haunted by Wanda's unknown fate.

Dec 26, 2016

A gem from the past. Find a child and read it to them.

rere3 Aug 30, 2015

An important book with valuable lessons on bullying, class differences and childhood. Certainly even adults can feel the pang of emotion this book evokes.

Nov 18, 2014

This book was first published in 1944. It is about a Polish girl who tries to become part of the "in" girl crowd by boasting that she has 100 dresses at home. The girls poke fun of her daily by asking how many dresses, shoes, hats, etc. she has each day. One day, the girl, Wanda, does not show up for school. A few days later, the schoolroom walls are covered in 100 pictures of dress, Wanda's 100 dresses. The children exclaim over their beauty. But then the children find out that Wanda's family has left town because they are tired of being made fun of for being Polish. Maddie, one of the little girls feels bad about how she treated Wanda and wishes she could make it up to her. She writes a letter to Wanda. In the end, Wanda writes back saying two of the girls could keep one of her drawings.

First, this book would now be considered historical fiction because of the time period (1940s) that it depicts. The language and the behavior of the children is more typical of that time period. The story does a good job of showing how hurtful prejudice can be. However, the ending is incomplete. The little girl, Maddie, who feels bad about her behavior does not show that she has changed other than to say how happy she is that Wanda gave her one of the drawings of a dress.

Also, this book is advertized for grades 1 and up. This is too young an age to fully understand this book. I would recommend it for grades 3-5 especially since it is written on the fourth grade level.

Mark_Daly May 23, 2014

The small but troubling story unfolds at a measured pace, almost hypnotically, as it wraps its intense emotions around a blanket of comforting repetition and routines. There's ample fuel for family discussion after reading aloud, such as the contrast between the picked-on but generous Wanda and her embittered but defiant father. An introduction by the author's daughter describes the real-life origin of the story.

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Apr 21, 2017

Tjad2L thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Nov 18, 2014

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Apr 04, 2014

black_bat_287 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

indigo_cheetah_80 Jun 21, 2012

indigo_cheetah_80 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

red_ladybug_224 Jun 18, 2012

red_ladybug_224 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 8


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