Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) Ages 10+
When Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew, decide to adopt a child from a distant orphanage, they don’t get quite what they bargained for. The child who awaits them at the tiny Bright River train station is not the strapping young boy they’d imagined–someone to help Matthew work the fields of their small farm–but rather a freckle-faced, redheaded girl named Anne (with an e, if you please).
Matthew and Marilla may not be sure about Anne, but Anne takes one look at Prince Edward Island’s red clay roads and the Cuthberts’ snug white farmhouse with its distinctive green gables and decides that she’s home at last. But will she be able to convince Marilla and Matthew to let her stay?
Armed with only a battered carpetbag and a boundless imagination, Anne charms her way into the Cuthberts’ hearts–and into the hearts of readers as well. She truly is, in the words of Mark Twain, “the dearest and most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) was born in the village of Clifton (now New London) on Prince Edward Island in Canada. She was brought up by her grandparents after her mother died when she was two. Later her father moved away to Saskatchewan, where he remarried, and when she spent some months in his new home she was not happy. ‘I do not think’, she wrote, ‘that the majority of grownups have any real conception of the tortures sensitive children suffer over any marked difference between themselves and the other denizens of their small world.’
While working as a reporter for the Halifax Daily Echo, she wrote Anne of Green Gables in the evenings over a period of eighteen months and when it was rejected by four publishers she put it away for two years. Then she revised it and a Boston publisher accepted it at once. When it appeared in 1908 the book proved so popular that ever afterwards she felt constrained by the public’s constant demand for more stories about Anne. She did write five sequels – as well as many other novels – and they made her rich, but none reached the classic status of the first.
In 1911 she married Ewan Macdonald. She had two sons; she enjoyed fame and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935. She died in Toronto in 1942 and was buried in Cavendish Cemetery, not far from her birthplace.