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Review- The Gilded Girl by Alyssa Colman

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I have a little free library at my office and tend to pick up books of all genres and subjects for the neighborhood folks to take and read. I picked up this middle grade book at our local library’s book sale a few months ago. I was intrigued enough by it to read it one Saturday.

It is a book about discovering who your true friends are and how to be a real friend as well.  The story is about two girls who start out with vastly different lives. One is the spoiled, rich girl and the other the poor orphan who is employed as a servant in the magic school the first girl comes to as a new student.

The rich girl makes friends easily, but she is someone who spends money on her friends and buys them gifts. The poor girl has a harder time as the students (as well as the owner of the school- who is a truly awful person) are not kind to the servants and staff at all. As this is gilded age New York City, that wasn’t surprising.

A change of fate is in store for the rich girl and things change drastically in her life. This change in circumstances leads to both girls discovering a lot about themselves as well as about the other people in their lives.  Many surprises and adventures are in store for them. And many discoveries about the world and life await.

This was a great story for 9-13 year olds. It teaches lessons about the true nature of friendship. It shows money doesn’t make you a likeable person or even a good person. It shows that things are not always how they seem and people can disguise their true selves depending on circumstances.

I recommend this for pre-teens but it also has valuable lessons for us adults as well.