I know that almost everyone is familiar with the Pippi Longstocking series by Lindgren, but I had never heard about Ronia, the Robber's Daughter until I spotted it on NPR’s list of books that children should read. I checked it out from the local library and my kids both really enjoyed it. I think that they loved it even more that the Pippi series!
The story begins with a girl named Ronia who is, as the title states, a robber’s daughter. Her father is the robber chief and she is expected to run the clan one day. She lives in the woods and has no peers until one day she runs into a boy her own age that is the son of a robber from a group of robbers that have sneaked into her father’s forest to thieve.
Since Birk is a Borka robber and she is a “Mattis” robber, she knows that they should never be friends, but secretly is anyway. That following winter, is extremely cold. Her father’s clan is well fed and provided for while her friend’s clan is not.
Ronia makes a decision to help the neighboring rival clan when she sees how thin her friend is. When her father realizes that Birk is her daughter's friend, he becomes is furious, irrational, and disowns her. Ronia runs to live in the woods with Birk.
Although this is not a Romeo and Juliet love story, it is a story of love and friendship between two children of the opposite sex. Ronia also learns to forgive her father even though he has acted coldly towards her.
Lindgren has a wonderful knack at really bringing her characters to life! My girls were both deeply engrossed with the character of Ronia. This book is a wonderful story about life and learning to do the right thing when the situation arises.
We loved this book and will be adding it to our home collection soon.