by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum
Anne Shirley, an imaginative and red-headed orphan, has spent her life living in orphanages and working in strangers’ homes. One day, she is sent to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, elderly siblings who live on their farm in Avonlea called Green Gables. There’s only one problem: the Cuthberts had wanted a boy. But Anne’s eccentric, dramatic, and vibrant free-spirit quickly wins the Cuthberts over.
Anne has many delightful misadventures as she tries to integrate socially into the community, experiencing friendship, heartache, joy, and loss as she attempts to find a sense of belonging and forge bonds with the people in her new life.
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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is the first novel in a series chronicling the life of its titular character. Published in 1908, Anne of Green Gables has gone on to be adapted to screen numerous times, including the 1985 television mini-series film starring Megan Follows as the vivacious Anne.
The film and its sequels follow Anne throughout her life, though the sequels particularly diverge noticeably from the source material. Nevertheless, this telling of Anne’s story has endured with the source’s readership for remaining faithful in tone, if not plot, with whimsical dialogue and warm, cozy cinematography.
More recently, Anne with an E onNetflix is a television series adaptation of Montgomery’s novel. It has a more somber and bleak tone, putting more emphasis on the themes of prejudice and bullying in an attempt to make the material more relevant to a modern audience.
A note to parents: Anne with an E contains more mature content than might be expected from an adaptation of the source material. We recommend looking up the series on sites such as Common Sense Media for detailed lists of content so that you can make an informed decision about whether it is right for your family.
Prince Edward Island
- Some members of the Avonlea community, most notably Mrs. Lynde, prejudge Anne for being an orphan. What do you think the story may be trying to say about prejudice?
- Anne has a vivid imagination and often pretends she is someone else. Why do you think she feels the need to escape herself and her circumstances?
- Anne is very fixated on her appearance, particularly her red hair, and she often flies into a rage when teased about it. Do you think Anne should have had to apologize to Mrs. Lynde for insulting her appearance? Explain why or why not.
- Anne’s influence on the Cuthberts is obvious, but what do you think the Cuthberts influence on Anne might be?
Anne of Green Gables is our Boomerang Book Club’s May 2018 selection (includes the language arts product below)!
Learn language arts with the Anne of Green Gables Boomerang!
The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.