I stared out the window, my brow furrowed. In books, writers are often depicted as dreamy and romantic, I thought. But I’m neither of those! It’s so unfair that writers are portrayed as hopeless romantics. Yet would it be better if I acted as a stereotypical writer does? I asked myself this question, but I didn’t need to. An eccentric, red-haired girl had already answered me.
Anne of Green Gables is the first of eight books in the Anne series, which was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It tells the story of Anne Shirley, an unusual, spirited orphan girl from Nova Scotia. She is brought to Green Gables to be adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, two siblings in their sixties. But Anne finds out that she was brought by mistake! The only thing Matthew and Marilla can do is to keep her for a while. The longer Anne stays, however, the harder it is to picture Green Gables without her.
Anne’s most prominent characteristic is her imaginative mind. In the short drive to Green Gables, Anne invents the White Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters, and she goes into raptures over the blossoming cherry trees. Her imagination is her unforgettable trademark, but it also causes her to forget herself. With her best friend, Diana Barry, Anne imagines ghosts into a nearby grove. Soon not even she will approach it after nightfall, for fear of the ghost of a baby, an idea which seemed ingenious during the day. She learns her lesson—but forgets it soon, because before long she is conjuring up castles and queens.
Mrs. Rachel Lynde is another of my favorite characters in Anne of Green Gables. She is Marilla’s old friend (if it can be called friendship) and the town gossip. Day after day she sits at the window, surveying all goings-on for miles. With her brisk, businesslike ways, it’s hard not to like her. Her indignant remarks make me smile, and it’s impossible not to laugh when she brings herself, red in the face and panting heavily, to investigate the matter of Anne’s adoption.
Anne of Green Gables is a hilarious story brimming with laughter. Anne proved that nonconformity is not a negative aspect—it makes you you. And without the many unique individuals in this world, well, the Earth would be a very dull place.
Elementary historical fiction, ages 10–12
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