Book review by Libby Salmon, aged 10 years old
I think that books are like doilies – some are creative, bright and simplistic. Some are very detailed, with frilly bits around the edges and patterns inside – they may use more words to say things or have a more complex web of interwoven stories.
I’d say Anne of Green Gables is definitely a frilly doily kind of book!
It is the first in a series of eight books. In it you meet a young orphan and then you follow her life throughout the following books. It’s set on an island off the coast of Canada and was written in 1908. The siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide they need help on their farm and agree to adopt an orphan. When Matthew arrives at the railway station to pick up the boy he was expecting, he is surprised to find a small girl waiting for him. It turns out that the orphanage thought they wanted a girl. The rest of the book is about how Anne, Matthew and Marilla’s relationship develops and the adventures Anne gets into.
Right from the beginning we can see that Anne is very talkative (“Mrs Spencer said that my tongue must be hung in the middle”) and has a very active imagination. In the buggy on their way home from the station, she talks incessantly, which Matthew enjoys a lot, surprisingly; he takes a shine to her. He is very quiet and feels that she is doing his share of the talking for him, which saves him from having to. Initially Marilla wants to send Anne back because they wanted a boy to be of use to them. However, Anne’s positivity and friendliness wins her over, despite her talkative nature!
Sometimes Anne wishes to please everybody and anybody gets her into challenging situations. She is always trying to be good. The benefit of these challenges is that Anne learns from them. One major incident occurs when she is trying to make friends with Diana Barry, one of the girls her age from the village. Marilla has given Anne permission to invite her to tea and said they may use her raspberry cordial, telling Anne which cupboard it was in. Anne gets the bottle of currant wine from the cupboard thinking it is the cordial. It is so nice that Diana asks for more and more, while Anne is too nervous to drink any. Only after Diana has left do they realise what it actually was – and by then it was too late! As a result Diana’s mother thinks Anne is hare-brained and is only won over when Anne nurses Diana’s little sister through croup. Diana and Anne go on to become firm friends for life.
A similar incident occurs when Anne’s teacher is visiting and Anne is baking her a cake. Anne has a cold at the time and her teacher is surprised to find that Anne has flavoured the cake with liniment instead of vanilla essence.
At the beginning of the book Anne is eleven years old and I found her very easy to relate to. I think Anne is very nice and I would love to meet her if she was real. Her red hair and impetuous nature make her lively and fun to be around, as well as landing her in silly situations sometimes. She always takes on dares, which means she sometimes does silly things; and she always sees the good side of things, helped by her lively imagination. For example, she has make-believe friends to keep her company until she finds real ones.
I would recommend it for children aged ten and up. It is well worth a read!
What is your favorite book?