This guilty pleasure comes to me via HipWriterMama:
Even though I knew it was the right thing for Marmie to entreat Jo to forgive Amy for destroying her manuscript in a petty, jealous rage, I still felt Amy got off lightly in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Was Amy flogged? Did Marmie ground Amy for life? I don't think so. Later on, when Amy got to go on the trip to Europe that Jo rightfully should have had, my contempt for the youngest March sister increased. Clearly, the unjust had the just's umbrella.*
Other instances of miscarriages of justice abound in children's literature. In John Fitzgerald's Great Brain series, John (the protagonist) often gets into trouble on account of the antics of his older brother, Tom, who is the "Great Brain" of the series. However, in one of the books, John refuses to take part. The Great Brain gets punished for his latest bit of mischief, but get this, John gets punished too. John's father says something to the effect of, "If you had gone along with your brother, the mischief wouldn't have happened [Editor's note: AS IF!], so you're getting the Silent Treatment as well."
Can you think of other instances in children's books that made you irate because what you perceived to be unfair treatment? Please post your thoughts in the comments.
*The rain, it raineth every day
Upon the just and unjust fella;
But more upon the just, because
The unjust hath the just's umbrella.