I read this when I was nine or ten, I don't remember. My mom has a very old translated copy in polytonic greek (which is something in between the ancient and the modern greek we use now). I remember feeling that it was quite an accomplishment to read the whole thing with no problems :)
The book's protagonist is a kind and generous boy named Cedric Errol. Even though he has lost his father, his mother's love is more than enough for him. Her love shaped his character like he had indeed two parents and their relationship is one of my favorite things in the story.
One day he gets a visit from a lawyer claiming that Cendric is the only heir of one Earl of Dorincourt, which happens to be his grandfather (from his father's side). So, Cedric along with his mother, they go to Britain for the Earl to meet them. He turns out to be a very grumpy old man, disliked by everyone. The little lord though will melt that ice heart of his and make him remember what it means to love and be loved.
The plot might not be original or unpredictable but the characters, especially Cedric, are just so lovable. An honorable mention is the mother: she was so... elegant. The fact, for example, that she didn't reveal her true feelings for the Earl to Cedric, but rather let him form his own opinion, made me like her even more. She raised a fine young boy, because she was a fine woman.
I read this book every summer and still love it as much as I did that first time.