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One of the all-time classics of children's literature, a feel-good book full of enthusiasm and exuberance, and a perfect family read

"There is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it."

When Pollyanna Whittier's father dies she is sent to live with her Aunt Polly in Vermont. A clash of personalities ensues as Pollyanna's sunny disposition sits ill with her aunt's need for quiet, her passion for shutting windows, and her obsession with quietly shut doors. The key to Pollyanna's happiness is The Glad Game—originally invented to deal with disappointing missionary boxes—and is applied to all parts of life. No matter how dark the situation, it is always possible to find something to be glad about. Any attempts to discipline the child fail helplessly in the face of The Glad Game. A bread and milk supper in the kitchen is greeted with rapture; a puritan attic bedroom with sparse furnishing is valued for its rapturous views. As Pollyanna becomes acquainted with other inhabitants of the town, the cantankerous residents fall victim to her charms. However, the arrival of a motor car in town heralds a tragic change which not even Pollyanna looks likely to be able to overcome. This timeless classic has spawned many spin-off novels and films.

Published: Hesperus Press an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on Jul 1, 2014
ISBN: 9781780942667
List price: $8.99
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Although I've heard many references to people being too "Pollyanne-ish" I had never actually read the book - and I have to say that Pollyanna gets a bad rap. If more of us had the habit of finding things to be grateful for, we'd find that we were happier - even in the face of terrible troubles. Pollyanna didn't deny that things were bad - she just didn't dwell on them and she tried to look for the best in everyone and in all situations. The story is an old-fashioned one, but is enjoyable even so - and there's even a little romance at the end!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Unloved and unwanted, orphan Pollyanna Whittier boards an eastbound train to live with her Aunt Polly, a wealthy spinster. Aunt Polly treats the child insensitively, giving her a musty room in the attic and expecting her to keep quiet and stay out of the way. Pollyanna, with her optimistic outlook on life, turns all the lemons thrown her way into lemonade; punishments are viewed as rewards, unfriendly people in town are befriended. Pollyanna's "Glad Game" is soon played by all the people of the town. A terrible accident with a motor car as she is crossing the street finally breaks Pollyanna's spirit. When long-held secrets are finally revealed, even Aunt Polly comes around to warming up not only to her niece, but to a relationship she had long denied herself.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Orphaned Pollyanna is a very bright and cheerful girl who are sent to live with her cold and reserved aunt. Throughout the novel she plays "the glad game" - always finding something positive in the most unhappy circumstances - and she befriends several persons and helps them while the aunt is kept completely in the dark. Her "glad game" comes to a difficult personal test in the last part of the story.It reminded me a lot both in story line and spirit of Heidi and Little Lord Fauntleroy - also both children who have a very innocent and gullible nature - thinking always the best of people. I liked this american Children's classic a lot. The audiobook was read by S. Patricia Bailey - with just the right innocent voice for Pollyanna.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Although I've heard many references to people being too "Pollyanne-ish" I had never actually read the book - and I have to say that Pollyanna gets a bad rap. If more of us had the habit of finding things to be grateful for, we'd find that we were happier - even in the face of terrible troubles. Pollyanna didn't deny that things were bad - she just didn't dwell on them and she tried to look for the best in everyone and in all situations. The story is an old-fashioned one, but is enjoyable even so - and there's even a little romance at the end!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Unloved and unwanted, orphan Pollyanna Whittier boards an eastbound train to live with her Aunt Polly, a wealthy spinster. Aunt Polly treats the child insensitively, giving her a musty room in the attic and expecting her to keep quiet and stay out of the way. Pollyanna, with her optimistic outlook on life, turns all the lemons thrown her way into lemonade; punishments are viewed as rewards, unfriendly people in town are befriended. Pollyanna's "Glad Game" is soon played by all the people of the town. A terrible accident with a motor car as she is crossing the street finally breaks Pollyanna's spirit. When long-held secrets are finally revealed, even Aunt Polly comes around to warming up not only to her niece, but to a relationship she had long denied herself.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Orphaned Pollyanna is a very bright and cheerful girl who are sent to live with her cold and reserved aunt. Throughout the novel she plays "the glad game" - always finding something positive in the most unhappy circumstances - and she befriends several persons and helps them while the aunt is kept completely in the dark. Her "glad game" comes to a difficult personal test in the last part of the story.It reminded me a lot both in story line and spirit of Heidi and Little Lord Fauntleroy - also both children who have a very innocent and gullible nature - thinking always the best of people. I liked this american Children's classic a lot. The audiobook was read by S. Patricia Bailey - with just the right innocent voice for Pollyanna.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Originally published in 1913, this tale of a young orphan girl who comes to live with her aunt in a small Vermont town, transforming everyone she meets with her "glad game," is one of those classic stories featuring a hero or heroine whose name has become a byword for a particular quality or idea. Just as we speak of someone who refuses to act maturely as having a "Peter Pan complex," or describe a rags-to-riches transformation as a "Cinderella story," so too do we refer to someone with a tendency toward optimism as a "Pollyanna." Before we had an entire industry of self-help gurus advising us of the power of positive thinking, we had Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna, which follows the story of the eponymous Pollyanna Whittier, and her "overwhelming, unquenchable gladness for everything that has ever happened or is going to happen."Arriving in Beldingsville, Vermont from the western prairie, where her missionary father has just recently died, Pollyanna eagerly anticipates living with her Aunt Polly Harrington, for whom she is (partially) named. Although her reception is far from ideal - stern Aunt Polly looks upon her young niece as a duty, rather than a joyful addition to her well-to-do household - she perseveres in looking on the bright side of matters, viewing punishments as rewards, and laughing off many of the cold rebuffs she receives. Finding friendship elsewhere, Pollyanna teaches everyone in town, from the Harrington housemaid, Nancy, to reclusive neighbor John Pendleton, how to play the "game" - in which the player looks for something to be glad about in every occurrence in their lives - taught to her by her father as a young girl. When Pollyanna is struck by an automobile, and loses the use of her legs, the "glad girl" suddenly finds that she can no longer play the game, and that it is she who needs a little cheering up.Chosen as our February selection over in The L.M. Montgomery Book Club to which I belong, where we sometimes like to read book that are "in the spirit" of L.M. Montgomery, Pollyanna is one of those classics of which I have long been aware, but which I have never happened to pick up. Being familiar with the general story, I have always associated it in my mind with the kind of orphan narrative to be found in books like Anne of Green Gables, or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I'm very glad it was chosen by the club, as this has given me the push I needed to finally read it, thereby confirming my impression of it as being akin to L.M. Montgomery and Kate Douglas Wiggin's work. That said, although I found it readable enough (I got through most of it in one sitting), it wasn't quite as appealing as I'd expected it to be, and I thought that the charm sometimes wore a little thin. I appreciate the message of trying to find the good around us, but discovered that Pollyanna was just a little too positive for my taste - so positive that I started to become irritated with her. There was a point, midway through the book, when I felt that if I had to read one more scene involving Pollyanna laughing off something nasty, I would tear my hair out!I vacillated quite a bit between a two and three star rating with this one, trying to balance my irritation with the heroine, and my overall engagement in the story. I can't deny that I enjoyed reading Pollyanna, despite my irritation, so I rounded up. Of course, I'm not sure I enjoyed it enough to hunt down the sequels any time soon.
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I remember reading the Golden Books version of this story as a kid, and wanted to read the novel now given it's status as a classic. I was pleased to find that although the language has dated, the moral of the story is still very valid in today's society (usually the case in a classic). Pollyanna was an easy and uplifting read, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a break from reading heavy crime novels, and who need a little 'sunlight' between the pages.
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Before anybody gets too arch about this classic, let me say that it compares remarkably well with the feel-good fiction of our time, juvenile or adult.
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