At the age of ten, Sara's father decides she should leave India and go to a boarding school in London. Sara excels at school, and the headmistress, Miss Minchin, favors her thanks to all the money her father can bring in, unleashing the jealousy of some of her classmates.
All goes well until news of the death of Sara's father leaves her a penniless orphan. Miss Minchin decides to let her remain in the school as a servant to avoid a scandal, making her face Miss Minchin's daily harsh treatment and the bullying of her seniors and ex classmates. In all that she is still able to go on, thanks to the warmth and courage she finds in her true friends.