by Astrid Lindgren
This charming story is of an outlaw family of thieves, living in a forest. Ronia, the key character doesn't realize at first that her family's means of living is morally wrong. She befriends a boy from an enemy group of robbers. Together they explore the forest, deliberately face their fears, and learn great lessons of love, trust and forgiveness. Full of strong emotions, very realistic characters, fantastic creatures and lots of adventure, Ronia, the Robber's Daughter was a really enjoyable read. In some ways it felt to me rather like a meeting of Peter Pan and Robin Hood. There's also a sense of the Romeo and Juliet story, because of the boy/girl friendship from rival, feuding families.
If I had come across this book as a kid, I'm sure I would have loved it. It's one I want to make sure to read to my own daughter someday. I think this book would especially appeal to young girls because it features a young girl who is admirably brave and resourceful, yet has her own human faults as well. Ronia is one of the best young female protagonists I've read of. Much bolder than Heidi and not nearly as silly as Pippi Longstocking.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 176 pages, 1985