The Hundred Dresses


Readability Age Range



Year Published

Book Review

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

Plot Summary

Wanda Petronski’s strange last name is just one of many attributes that makes her odd in the eyes of her classmates. She lives in a shabby neighborhood next door to a man who everyone believes is crazy. Every day, Wanda wears the same blue dress — although she claims she has a hundred dresses in her closet at home. A girl named Peggy frequently teases Wanda about the hundred dresses, and Peggy’s reluctant sidekick, Maddie, joins the taunting to avoid getting teased. Only after Wanda creates 100 beautiful pictures of dresses, do Peggy and Maddie realize how they’ve hurt her, and they try to make amends.

Christian Beliefs

Nothing overtly Christian is mentioned, though Wanda demonstrates grace and forgiveness toward the girls who tease her.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Miss Mason, the girls’ teacher, raves about Wanda’s artwork. She receives a note from Wanda’s father, which indicates that Wanda’s family is moving due to prejudice against their Polish heritage. After reading the letter, Miss Mason says she’d prefer to believe no one purposely hurt Wanda’s feelings, and she asks the students to think about what has happened.

Profanity & Violence


Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

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Additional Comments

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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