1. "Shoes" books by Noel Streatfield
These books are really just sweet. My aunt gave me Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, and Theater Shoes for Christmas when I was younger, and just a year ago, I found that Skating Shoes was back in print, so I had to buy it. There is also Circus Shoes, but while I have read it, I don't believe it is in print any longer. Now, I'm almost certain every single one of these books features at least one orphan. Ballet Shoes is centered around the budding performance talents of orphaned girls Posy, Pauline and Petrova. These books would be simply wonderful for any young girl to read, and they all encourage the fact that hard work and dedication are the only ways to reach one's goals. In a world dominated by 15 minutes of fame stardom, this is an invaluable lesson to teach.
Also, if you are a Meg Ryan fan, these are the books she starts her monologue about while she is crying at FOX Books. And, they really are as wonderful as she says they are, and Ballet Shoes really is the best one.
2. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events is just what you would think they are about--a series of rather unfortunate events. These books follow Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on their adventures following the mysterious death of their parents, as they run away from their distant relative, Count Olaf, who is trying to essentially embezzle their parents' fortune--which Violet is not yet old enough to handle. What ensues is thirteen (as in, that unlucky number) books, each featuring a title which employs alliteration, that tell the story of the Baudelaire's rather unfortunate lives, in a dark and witty fashion. The series does end happily though (or at least, relatively so), and the books are quite addicting. I would highly recommend them if you have not yet had a chance to read them.
3. The Emily Series by L.M. Montgomery
The Emily series is, unfortunately, out of print, and has been for quite some time. For this reason, I have only found two out of the three at the second hand book store, but I am on a constant watch to find the third. Although L.M. Montgomery is known more for her classic, Anne of Green Gables, I have read both, and quite prefer Emily. As you would expect, Emily Starr is an orphan who goes to live on New Moon Farm with her aunts after her father dies of consumption. Just like the Anne series, Emily also lives on Prince Edward Island. This series tells the story of Emily's childhood as she makes new friends, and develops her talent for writing. I found this series far easier to relate to than the uber-romanticized Anne series, and thus, enjoyed it more to a tremendous extent.
So, there it is. My favorite series featuring orphans. Hopefully you discovered a series you haven't read yet, like the Emily series, perhaps?
Don't forget to check in next Sunday for more of my favorites!