The Hundred Dresses
This 1945 Newbery Honor winner is a classic and powerful novel about the effects of bullying. When students begin targeting a classmate who wears the same dress to school each day, she claims that she has 100 dresses at home. The bullying intensifies until the girl is pulled from school. The students are remorseful, but they realize they've lost their chance to apologize. This book is somewhat subtle, but readers who pay attention will be prompted to think about regrets and standing up for what's right.
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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.”