All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

To make it easier to purchase books you may read about on the blog, I've linked to through The Cats and a Book Bookstore, which is located on the bottom of this page. Your purchases are fulfilled and handled through Amazon. To assure your privacy, Cats and a Book doesn't handle any of your payment or contact information.

Happy reading!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables is the classic children's story of Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl of eleven, adopted by unmarried siblings, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. The Cuthbert's family farm and home is "Green Gables, " and located in the settlement of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. Written in 1908, the story retains elements young and pre-teen girls would find historically interesting and relevant to their school and social lives.

Anne is an unusual child, given to flights of imagination that tend to impair her ability to accomplish her household chores, and lead to several interesting scrapes involving friends and boys. With red hair, which she hopes will turn a lovely shade of auburn when she gets older, pale features, and no dimples like her best friend Diana, Anne uses her curiosity, imagination, and intelligence to her advantage as she matures. In this conversation with Matthew, Anne tries to gain some discipline with her studies:

"Well, I suppose I must finish up my lessons. I won't allow myself to open that new book Jane lent me until I'm through. but it's a terrible temptation, Matthew. Even when I turn my back on it I can see it there just as plain. Jane said she cried herself sick over it. I love a book that makes me cry. But I think I'll carry that book into the sitting room and lock it in the jam closet and give you the key. And you must not give it to me, Matthew, until my lessons are done, not even if I implore you on my bended knees. It's all very well to resist temptation, but it's ever so much easier to resist if if you can't get the key."

Later, she learns the "(k)indred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world." With Anne's history of "not belonging"--being shuttled from one foster home to another since her infancy and the deaths of her biological parents, finding "kindred spirits" was important to her.

Anne of Green Gables is a sweet story and pleasant to read. There are good lessons for children (and adults) in Anne's trials and challenges. Grosset and Dunlap published the novel, and it has since been followed by a series of stories about Anne and adapted into movie versions. Anne of Green Gables can be downloaded free of charge from Google Books.

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