Violet, Meet Anne

Ever since Violet was an early reader I have been holding back books that I thought she might appreciate more as an older child — Harry Potter, the Little House series, and now Wrinkle in Time (though I think she is more than ready now). I doubt my judgement, sometimes, seeing that younger gifted kids are reading things I’ve been keeping in reserve, but it’s usually worked out.

One series I have waited on is Anne of Green Gables. I loved reading the Anne books, and read them all several times as a child and teenager. I did not want to risk giving these to a child fixated on fantasy and slapstick humor. What if she didn’t love them as I did? She’s already rejected Nancy Drew!

While we are busy with house stuff, I’ve tried to ply her with more reading, and finally I have gotten her a copy of Anne of Green Gables. The edition I found at Borders looks almost ridiculously designed to fool a modern girl into giving a gentler kind of book a chance. Being a little shameless myself, I chose it over the book covers that looked more like the ones I owned — something out Victoria magazine.

And it seems to have worked! She toted the book around all day yesterday, and claims to have read the whole thing. I knew she was hooked when I saw her reading in the midst of group activities, returning to the book after every task. Of course I like to think that she is embracing a book that I loved during my own childhood, but more than that I like to see — finally — her giving a little more attention to her gentle, dreamy side. Seems that Anne Shirley is the perfect guide for that adventure.



Filed under Gifted Ed, Gifted Heart and Soul, Love this Book, Our Philosophy (such as it is), Schoolday Doings

8 responses to “Violet, Meet Anne

  1. How lucky you are! I introduced Anne at what I thought was the perfect moment … and it fell flat. She doesn’t like ANY of Montgomery’s books! 😦

    I totally agree with you about leaving books until the right time. It was only in the past couple of months that I suggested my dd read the Harry Potter series (although we read and studied the first book when she was five) – and she loved them, but voluntarily left out the final book on the grounds it would be too violent.

    She read Wrinkle In Time a couple of years ago and liked it enough to get the sequels, which she found increasingly boring. So perhaps I introduced that too soon. It’s a tricky thing – if you do introduce a book at the wrong time, it can be years before the child will willingly approach it again.

  2. What a terrific moment! This wont be happening to me. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will never be able to hand off my dog-eared copy of Jane Eyre to any of my boys. Still, I’ve got three boys who are completely addicted to books and reading, and I satisfy myself with having shared that with them.

    So, savor that lovely moment for those of us who can’t partake directly!

  3. penelope

    Anne of Green Gables is actually kind of challenging. I re-read it recently, and I’d forgotten it was full of those long, multi-clause, descriptive sentences that people used to write, closer to the C19th.

  4. Zoe LOVED Anne of Green Gables. It was one of those books that become her “This is the best book ever!” for a time.

    I hold back books for Zoe too. Brian wants her to read Ender’ Game but I think she will get a lot more out of it when she is older… like 10.

  5. Angela, QueenBee

    How wonderful! After Little House books fell flat, I too waited to introduce Anne. It was the perfect plan, as she truly appreciated her at 11-12. We even have plans to revisit her again during high school, studying much of the poetry and fiction mentioned in the books. There are so many layers of discussion with a young woman as well!

  6. I don’t remember reading Anne at all. I don’t think I even DID, you know, and there’s me a good little Canuck. I did read every single Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twin book though. And when I was about 9 I went right into all the Giant Tomes I could find: Les Miserables, Lord of the Rings, etc. So now I’m second guessing myself a lot when I choose books for FDPG. She likes fantasy mostly, but when I read the Little House series they were all terribly riveted. I wonder if it was because I read it, so it was more in the “watching a book” vein? I don’t know. Right now I’m reading Lord of the Rings (the tragically bedraggled ancient volume from my youth)and again, they are all riveted, yet I distinctly remember hearing my eldest say, in response to my “You HAVE to read LOTR, it’s SO awesome!” comment last year: “You and I have very different tastes and I can tell I won’t like it.”

    Ahem. So there’s me: sitting between an opinion and my own worry. Sometimes an awkward spot.

  7. That’s neat.

    Your daughter is so cute. Ami thinks she sounds spunky and fun.

    Ami loves Anne, but she only read the two earliest & Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm however my daughter was in to the girl heroine books. (Anne got too old to keep her interest). On the other hand, she never finished the first Harry Potter book, but she read the first two Inkspells by Cornelia Funke books. I think it is primarily different interests, but I agree that some books kids are too young to fully appreciate.

  8. Anne was such a bosom friend to me!

    I was stunned to read one of my old favorites with my son and be really disappointed in the book. (It was Wrinkle in Time, mentioned by in another comment.) Thank goodness Anne still lives!

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