I just realized that only two books on the Top 100 Chapter Books list were translated from other languages — The Little Prince and this one, Pippi Longstocking (1950) by Astrid Lindgren.
What it’s about: Pippi is a possible orphan (her mother died and her father washed overboard his ship) so she goes to live in the house her father bought in Sweden, Villa Villekulla. She brings along a suitcase full of gold and Mr. Nilsson, a monkey. She quickly meets the children next door–Tommy and Annika–and they all begin having adventures together.
Age level: Grades 1-3
Best part: Pippi is the best. She does what she wants, she’s generous, she’s strong, and she has her own horse and monkey. She doesn’t think or act like other kids and everyone eventually accepts that. She is fully her own person.
Worst part: There’s some light stereotyping of cultures from around the world but Pippi also admittedly lies about those cultures so kids will likely just group everything into the “lie” category.
I loved this book as a kid (and the others in the series), I loved it when Z and I read it together a decade ago, and I loved it now. Pippi just makes me smile. She seems simple but she outsmarts everyone who means to do her harm. This isn’t a must-read for any reason but it’s a should read just for fun. It might even help neuro-atypical kids feel empowered.
I’ll be reading Anne of Green Gables for only the second time so I look forward to that next!