Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
Pollyanna’s mother has died and she’s going to live with her spinster aunt. Nobody can say Aunt Polly is too pleased about it, but it’s her family duty. Pollyanna arrives talking a mile a minute. It seems she never shuts up. She has this game she plays. It’s the Glad Game. She tries to find something to be glad about in every situation.
Pollyanna starts visiting people around town. At first, people are sour about her Glad Game, but some of them start catching on. They find reasons to be glad.
She even befriends the local grumpy man, who becomes so enamored with Pollyanna that he invites her to live with him. There is a romantic mystery involved as well. Aunt Polly used to love someone, but was it the grumpy man or the doctor?
Tragedy strikes and Pollyanna has trouble finding reasons to be glad, but the other people she taught to be glad, show her how to be glad again.
What I liked
There is certainly a lesson to be learned from this book. There is usually something good about everything. You could say you’re looking for the silver lining or being optimistic or being thankful. No matter what you call it, it’s finding a way to pick the good out of all situations, even the awfully, horrible ones. This can be really difficult. Sometimes, you just know– you just know, that something is going to turn out awful and there isn’t a lot to be happy about in those situations. Is trying to be happy in a situation like that better than letting the misery of it compound? I don’t know.
What I didn’t like
Pollyanna seems like the kind of kid who would tire you out after five minutes of being around her.
She reminds me of my youngest brother in that aspect. My youngest brother is autistic. When he was younger, for some reason, he had diarrhea of the mouth. We would go on long car trips to Atlanta, to go to dollar stores(not making this up, my mom loves $1 stores), and he would talk incessantly. We would ask him to be quiet, which worked for about three minutes, then it would start up again. Pollyanna reminds me of those types of situations.
What happens to Pollyanna is really sad. It’s heavy for a children’s book, but so is Leslie’s death. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve read the book I referenced. I think I’m right there with Pollyanna on this one, what is there to be glad about in this situation? Are you even supposed to be glad in a situation like that? Isn’t it perfectly legitimate to feel sad sometimes? I believe Mister Rogers said it was ok to be sad sometimes, so you kind of have to take his word for it.
I’m glad that Pollyanna does not live with me.
Are children who talk incessantly, although not particularly misbehaved, difficult to deal with?
Do you try to be glad about all things in life?