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When I used to work in appliance warranty, we were a paperless environment, and weren't allowed any books at our desks. We also had very limited internet access, but one thing the company did let us do was visit a few websites that had classic books, many of which were now public domain, to read for three. It was my desire to escape boredom that led me to read Pollyanna, and then it's sequel Pollyanna Grows Up, both classic early Twentieth Century 'morality' tales aimed at teaching children good Christian values - in the case of these two books, how to be 'glad' for what you have rather than sitting about wanting more.
In the first book (spoiler alert) Pollyanna came to the house of her embittered Aunt Polly after her fathers death. A naturally cheerful child, she brightened the lives of everyone with her 'glad' game - a game that simply involved trying to find something good in any scenario. Then, sadly, she had an accident one day, and it was feared she's never walk again, but she never lost her gladness, not really, and at the end of the book is back walking again.
In this sequel, it picks up with Pollyanna all healed and healthy, but with her adoptive aunt and uncle needing to go away for his career, and worrying over who can care for the child. Their problems are solved when Pollyanna's former nurse at the hospital where she recovered writes to Aunt Polly, remembering Pollyanna's glad game and saying that she thinks it would help her sister, who has been bitter and miserable since her nephew, Jamie, was kidnapped by his father many years ago. However, this old woman isn't too happy with the idea, and vows to send Pollyanna away if she starts preaching .
Although just as easy to read and enjoyable at the first book, this one is a little odd - it feels like two separate stories jammed together, the first half of the book continuing with Pollyanna as a child, the second half suddenly jumping ahead 8 years with only the barest skimming over of events, and a rather tenuous theme of the missing child tying both books together. It doesn't quite work for me. With that said, it's great to see some of the old characters back again, and to see several new ones introduced , and of course the glad game is back in all it's force.
This story shows it's age, certainly. Like many children's books of the time, it was designed to teach a certain desirable behavior - in this case a sunny disposition. However, this book doesn't appeal at all to my nine year old daughter, being far too old fashioned for her interests. I still like it though, even though it didn't quite flow properly.
This book is available to read free at various sources online, or can be purchased from Amazon. 4 stars.
Anyone out there who read the Pollyanna story as a child or had that read to them will find this book every bit as entrancing. There is this daft notion amongst some adults that you can only read childrens books to children and not just for your own escapist pleasure. Nonsense! Whilst not an outright cure for all the woes of this world, a childrens book can often reach the parts no other book can reach, in a nice easy flowing, easy going way. I've not been writing for quite a while, y'know, one thing and another etc., as a result, I had loads of time on my hands and little to occupy me. One of my problems made it very hard to concentrate on anything for long, which made reading a good option as I could start and stop reading whenever I wanted. One of the last reviews I read, quite by chance, was Grimsbygals review of this book...... and that's just another thing to be 'glad' about! Okeydokey, so you want to hear about the book and not me do you? Fairynuff. This book effortlessly picks up where the original Pollyanna book left off. I never knew it existed until I read the review late last year, and I can't help wondering if I would have seen it in a different light as a child had I read it straight after the first Pollyanna book, of course now I shall never know. In the same way that this story leads Pollyanna into maturity I have moved on somewhat between the books, I have almost growed up! Pollyanna still has the 'glad' game off to a 'T' (or 'tee' I'm not quite sure which!), and her naivety is somewhat preserved by her being transposed into a city area amongst strangers and a situation quite alien to her. The difference with this book is that Pollyanna has large chunks of 'real life' thrown at her and shows how the older Pollyanna deals with these chunks in her own unique way. There is an undercurrent of intrigue in this book which had me going
back for more as often as I could to see how it all panned out. This is not a story to overlook. If you missed it as a child go get it from the library now. YES, that IS an order! If you don't already know the Pollyanna story get that out too and read it first (you poor underprivileged child you!). The good news is this. If you haven't got a child or two to read this to you CAN still read this..... read it to your teddy, dog or cat if you feel silly reading it to yourself (though your cat/dog/teddy may feel a bit silly but that's their problem!) Once you have read this you may find yourself visiting friends with kids just to have the excuse to read it to them. Go with this feeling, spread a little happiness! Whatever you read in the next few weeks, if you haven't read this, read it and lift yourself out of the winter doldrums into the spring back in your step towards the summer of love (not forgetting the autumn of your life). Oh goodness these headache pills are good aren't they???
After just writing an opinion on Pollyanna I have to be careful not to reveal too much information, which will give away the ending of that book. I bought this book when purchasing Pollyanna. I used to love the film and always wondered what happened to that cheerful little girl so I decided I would find out. This book continues Pollyannas Life from when she arrives back from the Sanatorium with her crippled legs cured. The whole town welcome her back with open arms and the story begins. Life has changed in Beldingsville. Jimmy Bean is know Jimmy Pendelton after been adopted by John Pendleton. Mrs Snow is a lot more cheerful and Aunt Polly is in love. Della Wetherby, a woman Pollyanna met in the Sanatorium invites Pollyanna to Boston for a year to cheer up her sister Mrs Carew. At first Pollyanna doesn't want to leave her friends so soon but she is soon persuaded by the prospect of meeting lots more wonderful people. In Boston life is so different. She is not allowed to walk where she pleases anymore and she is not allowed to talk to strangers. She does however manage to become friends with Jamie, a young boy in a wheelchair and also Sadie a girl who works in a supermarket and having hard times. She continues to play the glad game and works wonders for Mrs Carew changing her for the better. After her year is up she goes to Germany with Aunt Polly and Dr Chilton. Not much is told of her life in Germany and the next thing you know she has grown into a young lady. Unfortunately Dr Chilton suddenly dies and Pollyanna is left to look after Aunt Polly. They finally return to Beldingsville when Pollyanna is twenty and how she has changed. She has grown into an adult and wants to act like one. Another thing on her mind is love and who the lucky guy is I will not tell you. I enjoyed this book and it didn’t take long to read. Like Pollyanna it is written in the same style with many different chapters. In this book there was 32 differe
nt chapters each with a different title. It was nice at the beginning to read down these names and try and imagine what was going to happen. I had a completely different idea but it was still fun trying to do it. Although this is a children’s book I do recommend it to adults. I did find it interesting and didn’t feel it was really childish. Look at it for yourself and have a read. It was worth the £3.99 just to see what happened to this wonderful girl. ISBN 0-14-036758-6 Author: Eleanor H. Potter Number of Pages: 285 Price: £3.99 from Amazon.
Her crippled legs cured, Pollyanna goes to Boston before travelling to Europe with Aunt Polly and Dr Chilton. But growing up brings sorrows as well as joys, and when she returns after six years, with Dr Chilton dead and Aunt Polly fallen on hard times, even Pollanna struggles to remain cheerful.