My Life in Books: Pippi Longstocking

Long before Swedish crime writers became the Hot New Thing, Astrid Lindgren was enthralling children with her tales of the unconventional Pippi Longstocking, with her gravity-defying flame red plaits and quirky dress sense.

I think I must have been about six when I first discovered these books, and I loved Pippi’s independent spirit and strong-willed nature.  Thus it would seem that my fondness for strong and unconventional women began early in life.

As with The Famous Five, I think part of Pippi’s appeal is that she lived a life free of parental restraints – she lived on her own and did whatever she wanted.   Stories about children with that kind of freedom hold a universal appeal that’s still relevant, and the fact that these books are still in print leads me to believe that Pippi’s adventures are enjoyed by today’s children.


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