Anne Shirley is an orphan who goes to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings who need help on their farm at Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, Canada. They had hoped for a boy, but “make do” with Anne. Anne is intelligent, free-spirited, and does everything in life whole-heartedly. One cannot help but laugh at her misadventures and the trouble she gets into. If Anne were around today, she would most likely be known as a Drama Queen. Her quick temper matches the bright red of her hair, both of which she considers to be a downfall and a “lifelong sorrow.”
What girl doesn’t want a best friend like Diana Berry? Someone to cry with, laugh with, and who will defend you to the end. Or a beau like Gilbert, who appreciates and indulges Anne’s quirks. These vivid characters make this book (and the sequels) a classic. From the romantic setting of Prince Edward Island and the familiar descriptions of Green Gables, it is easy to see the world through Anne’s eyes.
I identified with Anne early on because she always had to emphasize that she was “Anne with an E,” and I had to do the same thing as “Sara without an H.” I can’t tell you how many times my name is misspelled by people. It does something to your character to have to firmly proclaim that your name is not spelled in the usual way. I suppose it helps to develop your identity from birth! Anne and I became “kindred spirits” because of this. I also share her passion for writing and reading, so we had those things in common as well. I so enjoy seeing Big Sis enjoy those same things, too. I believe I also would’ve been kindred spirits with Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author, who said this:
“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.”
If you’re studying the Victorian era, Anne of Green Gables is a great living history book to read. Cadron Creek, the same Christian publisher of The Prairie Primer for Little House on the Prairie, also offers a unit study for Anne called Where the Brook and River Meet. Big Sis and I are working through it now.
There are so many opportunities for lessons to go along with Anne of Green Gables. Field trip possibilities abound, as well. If you’re able, take a trip to Avonlea Village in Canada and see the place that Anne so loved. There is an Anne of Green Gables museum and Prince Edward Island has a park and Green Gables house to see. Visit my Pinterest board for more Anne ideas and websites.
We have enjoyed watching the Anne of Green Gables miniseries together, as well as the black and white classic movie. These make for some great mother-daughter moments after reading the book. We’ve even watched the Anne of Green Gables cartoon on PBS, which my girls like. We found some of those DVD’s at the library, too.
Anne of Green Gables captures the enthusiasm and innocence of youth and presents it as a great discovery. It seems our society today doesn’t allow children to be children for very long, so enjoy this time with your girls while you can. For these reasons, Anne of Green Gables is a gem worth returning to over and over again!
“Isn‘t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it‘s such an interesting world. It wouldn‘t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There‘d be no scope for imagination then, would there?“
– Anne of Green Gables
Check out the Anne of Green Gables virtual field trip here:
When I Read, I Dream doll series: Anne of Green Gables
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