Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Story of Little Lord Fauntleroy

I think I’ve always had a strong opinion on books. At least it seems that way. Growing up, we had to read a certain number of childrens classics every school year and write a book report on each. And no matter how much my mom pleaded, I would not read Last of the Mohicans. Or The Yearling. Or The Wind in the Willows. I just wouldn't.

It's probably a good thing, too. Because the one time I gave in, didn't go so well.

I particularly was bothered by books with orphaned protagonists. They were (and still are) just so overdone. But of all the books about sad orphans, none were as wretched as Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Each time we went to the library, my mom excitedly pulled Little Lord Fauntleroy from the shelf and tried to get me to agree to read it. It certainly didn't look good. The cover photo was from some 1960's movie, starring some poofy-haired British kid and a cranky old man. And the title was all in cursive and yellowish. Not appealing in the least. But in a moment of weakness, I agreed.

I tried to make it, I did. Day after day, I kept the pages turning. Night after night I optimistically told myself the story would only improve. But it didn't. The old man was still old. Still cranky. The British kid was still British. And surprisingly well-behaved. And everything pointed to a grand finale in which the old man softens and adopts the boy.

And I could have cared less.

With three pages left, I'd had enough. I put the book aside and informed my mom that I wasn't going to finish it, and that there wasn't anything she could do to change my mind.

But your book report! We only have INSERT A VERY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME HERE left in the school year!

Leave that to me, mom.

And she did. And we went to the library, and I picked out Little Women. The beastliest book I could find. Just to prove that this was so not a problem.

And I had it read and the book report written in probably the same amount of time it would have taken me to labor over those last three pages of Faunt and write some terrible lie about how much I had enjoyed its dry personality.

And that is the story of Little Lord Fauntleroy.


  1. hahahah you don't like orphan tales? what about OLIVER by dickens? that's probably the best orphan book around. But then good ol' disney made it tolerable past the 17th century english....Oliver and Company made it more silly....

    but yes im ashamed to say i read Little Lord Fauntleroy for a summer library contest. I too could not get past the first 5 ADD mind played with the book and the little cover for three weeks andthat set me back 4 stickers. I will never forgot it.

  2. I completely forgot about this. So sorry, Amanda!!!!! I am sure you could write a book beginning with Kindergarten???!!!!!

  3. I should have signed "mom" to the above :~)

  4. Mom -

    Don't be sorry! It's one of my favorite funny memories. :)