The most important sentiment from the novel is this:
I want something for you, Lena. For all my children. And I hope I'm not wrong because it's going to cost you pain, but I want it for you just the same. I want you not to know your place. You have a right to an education and hope and the chance to use your gifts. I pray to God you won't ever have to live your life by someone else's rules. (89)
Challenge all you see fit to challenge. Do not stand idlly by and let other people run over you.
This isn't one I would have chosen for myself, I don't think. It was recommended, for that particular passage, by my school librarian.
Sebestyen, Ouida. Words by Heart. New York: Bantam Doubleday Doll Books for Young Readers, 1979.