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Daddy-Long-Legs

Daddy-Long-Legs - Ann M. Martin, Jean Webster This is a book that Noelle has been trying to get me to read forever. This is what she emailed me a year ago after I was like, WTF is a Daddy Long Legs?Daddy Long Legs is written way back in the day by Mark Twain's niece. It's kinda a little Anne Shirley mixed with Jo March. It's all in letter format but the protagonist is so charming. She's an orphan (guess I should put Jane Eyre in there too!) and then one of the orphanage's benefactors decides to send her to college anonymously so she writes him letters about her experiences there. She only saw his shadow on the wall so she calls him Daddy Long Legs b/c he seemed really tall.I wrote back:That's so funny because in the Korean drama I was watching, the lead girl starts getting letters from someone anonymously after her parents die and she just calls him "Daddy Long Legs." They're just friendly letters that offer support. I wonder if it was a reference to the book.And this time, it wasn't me just using any excuse to bring up a kdrama. It totally was a reference to Daddy Long Legs! Korean dramas, where literary references happen. Also where this happens:But I digress. I loved Daddy Long Legs! Judy is such an impertinent, feisty little badass. She's not embittered or hardened by her upbringing, but she's not overly solicitous either, which I really liked. Of course she's grateful for the opportunity to go to college, but in her mind, it's a loan that she's going to repay so she doesn't feel subservient to her mysterious benefactor. I know I would be tripping over my words and calling him "Sir" but Judy's all "Hey Daddy. What's up?" ...or as close to that as the 1900s allowed. I love that she is smart and straightforward, but thank God she fails a class or two or else I would've hated her perfect ass, amirite?Even though this book is older (published in 1912) and obviously dated, I think there's definitely an audience for it now. I wonder if Jaclyn Moriarty was influenced at all by this book when she wrote Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments (both of which you must read). I can totally see how this book influenced Little Noelle, and I'm definitely putting it in my niece's hands. I can just see her asking her dad the Very Important Question, ARE YOU BALD? (Sorry, Joel!) This is also a book I would give to high school students. I love Judy's approach to life and how she embraces her college experience. She's so self-motivated, and that helps her deal with rejection as well. If Rory Gilmore had read Daddy Long Legs instead of Mencken Chrestomathy, she wouldn't have dropped out of Yale after one bad encounter with Mitchum Huntzberger. Rating: 4/5 stars.This review appears as part of the Back to the Future series on Young Adult Anonymous.