Book Review: Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters
Paperback: 9780440421108, Yearling (Random House), $6.50
Hardcover: 9780375835230, Knopf (Random House), $15.95
This post was originally published here in May 2008. It has been edited from its original version.
A quick little review for you of a fantastic book I just plucked off the shelf. Another one of those “read a book for its cover” moments that paid off handsomely.

This was a fabulous read! I was pleasantly surprised to find the content reflected both the title and the cover art. This book reminds me of A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, except, you know, shorter, updated, and the storyline is a different. 
Cornelia is the only child of two famous pianists. She’s never met her father, and her mother is always off traveling to some foreign part of the world giving piano concerts (hence the orphan-like existence of Sara Crewe). People, especially adults, often relate to Cornelia only as this famous woman’s daughter, not as Cornelia herself. As a result, Cornelia spends a lot of her time alone reading books, especially dictionaries, coming up with longer and longer words to use to get people (especially her well-intentioned but nosy housekeeper, Madame Desjardins) to stop talking to her. When a new neighbor moves in across the hall, this famous Somerset sister opens up new worlds of adventure and imagination for Cornelia, with the unexpected improvement of Cornelia’s happiness along the way. 
A must-read for anyone who loved A Little Princess or The Penderwicks series. Simple, beautiful descriptive language, and the bonus of funny stories within the story make this a delightful summer read. This could be read aloud to anyone age 6 and up, probably a read-alone for anyone age 8/9 and up.

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