The primary appeal of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is its lively plot, which holds the attention of readers of all ages.
Young readers can identify with Rebecca Rowena Randall because she is not the completely perfect, idealized child of many early twentieth-century young adult novels. Sometimes irresponsible, Rebecca does not always follow Aunt Miranda's rules, and her excuses sound familiar to anyone who has ever been scolded for childhood misdemeanors.
Even when she tries to do the right thing, Rebecca makes mistakes, but her experiences demonstrate that most such errors can be corrected.
Further, Rebecca's example encourages readers to develop self-confidence. In both appearance and personality, Rebecca exemplifies the "ugly duckling." Initially the people of Riverboro consider her a strange-looking child whose imagination leads to distinctly odd behavior. Before the end of the novel, however, Rebecca's talents are recognized, and people begin to comment on how attractive she has...