Saturday, December 13, 2008


Ever seen the old Disney movie Pollyanna? Did you know it was was based on a book?
I loved the movie when I was a child, and even bought a copy on VHS years ago so my kids could see it too. I have to admit they weren't as excited about the movie as I was, years ago. So it may be a generational thing. Whatever.
I remain confident that the story is timeless. Admittedly, it's a little goofy at times. Pollyanna can be almost Amelia Bedelia in her deliberate misunderstanding of people's words and actions. She's determined to put the happiest, kindest, gladdest spin on everything and everyone she encounters.
This past week I've been reading the book Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter, for the first time. I happened to notice it as I was looking for something to read during one of the library's slow times. I found out that the book was first published in 1912 -- almost 100 years ago!
But I still liked it.
Pollyanna Whittier is the daughter of a missionary and his wife, both of whom die fairly young. She's then sent back from the West to a little town in Vermont to live with her aunt. Polly Harrington is wealthy and bitter. She's about 40 and has never married. Pollyanna, with her loving, bubbly and overwhelmingly positive nature, is a shock to Aunt Polly's life, as well as to the entire town.
But it's a good shock. Pollyanna teaches one person after another to find something to be glad about in everything that happens. In doing so, she changes the sour outlook of the village residents, as well as her aunt, to one that's more loving and kind and hopeful.
The story may be a little difficult for elementary school children to understand, but girls in fifth and sixth grade should enjoy it. It even has a little romance!
Has anybody out there read Pollyanna? Or even seen the movie? Write and tell me what you thought of it!

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