This is a childhood favorite series. Therefore I was not required to write a review and all comments and opinions are entirely my own.
In this first volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, sweet, motherless eight-year-old Elsie struggles with several bewildering problems. She has never known her mother, and her relationship with her father is filled with misunderstanding and tears. The young girl learns to depend wholly upon her faith in her heavenly father.
Elsie Dinsmore is the reason I fell in love with fiction. These were the first novels I ever owned that were”mine” and I devoured this series unlike I’ve ever read. To this day, some 10 years after reading it, I still think about young Elsie from time to time and how she would handle a situation that was very similar to my own. Her story is impacting and inspirational, especially if read by a girl her very own age.
Elsie Dinsmore is not a book that is filled with meaningless entertainment for middle graders to pass the time, it is written for them to model an example, much like Elsie strives to follow the example of Christ. To this day, I look back on Elsie and see the best fictional character ever created, and it’s not just her story that reveals this, it’s how she handles her story.
She’s mistreated in ways I can’t imagine, rejected by her family, cast out by friends, and confused and hurting because of things she doesn’t understand, but she never loses faith in her heavenly Father and she never questions whether or not He is present in her life. She just knows. Elsie is the true example of the term “child-like faith”.
Her story is convicting. Tear-jerking. Humorous at times. And all who read her will either hate her because she models the example of Christ or will fall in love with her. If you are (or know) a young girl between the ages 8 and 13, I highly recommend reading the first 5 Elsie Dinsmore books*, they will cause you to look at your faith in a way you have never look at it before.
All the material is clean, void of any curse words or sexual scenes, however as the series progresses Elsie does get married and begin to have children though the details are left out. There is also some action that progresses with the series as they come dangerously close to members of the Ku Klux Klan and with wars that break out. Though the action is tense, especially for the targeted audience, it is not detailed and will not give the reader scary images to replay in their minds.
So, I give the first 5 books of Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finely 5 out of 5 stars!
*There are over 30 books in the Elsie Dinsmore series, as it continues the lineage of the original Elsie, but I never got past book 5 because the story tends to repeat itself. That is why I only recommended the first 5, when Elsie’s story ends.