Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Grades 5-6 Book Club: Anne of Green Gables

For November's Book Club, we chose to read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Madison, Maida and Reagan were present. Here is some of what we discussed.

In chapter 2, when Matthew is driving Anne back to Green Gables, she asks him: “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive” (p. 16). Given her tragic childhood, how do you think Anne is able to maintain such a positive attitude?

-She has an opportunity in front of her with new people and she's hoping it will be good
-She wants to think about what's in front of her
-She wants to forget her past

From the moment she arrives in Avonlea, Anne is insistent on renaming places and inanimate things. Barry’s Pond, for example, becomes “The Lake of Shining Waters” and Marilla’s geranium becomes “Bonny.” Why do you think she does this? 

-Because she feels that they are living things that deserve to have names
-They should have names that are interesting
-She thinks that a lot of names are too plain

Marilla gives several reasons for finally deciding to keep Anne. What reason do you think most changed her mind? 

-She is so passionate
-She proved herself
-She helps them and respects their family

Anne has a fascination with imagination and with helping others develop a vivid one.  How is her imagination a benefit to her?  How does it cause her problems?

-Her imagination keeps her occupied. She can imagine things that she wants to be (puffy sleeves)
-Amethyst brooch: she tries to make things interesting but then things can get out of hand
-Playing Elaine, she gets into trouble

Why is it important to Anne that everyone spell her name with an "e" ?  What does this mean to her?

-She thinks it makes it sound more sophisticated
-She thinks "Ann" is too common

Good behavior is very important to Marilla and very difficult for Anne. From where do you think each derives her moral code? How do both characters change, when it comes to behavior? Think, in particular, of Anne’s confessions. 

-Anne tries to make the best of life
-Marilla might be happy with being so rigid in how she does things and thinks of things
-Having Anne become a part of the family allowed Marilla to become more flexible

Throughout the novel, Anne often compares her clothing to that of her friends and other people in town.  What does fashion represent to Anne and why is it so important to her?

-So she can fit in. She doesn't fit in with the red hair and freckles. 
-So she can feel more comfortable
-She came to town in rags and so she's happy to forget that person she was

Anne is a remarkably compassionate child and is able to forgive even those who have judged her unfairly, such as Mrs. Rachel Lynde or Mrs. Barry. Why, then, do you think she holds such a grudge against Gilbert Blythe? 

-He insulted her
-She liked him and she was pushed down by her crush more than she was by Mrs. Lynde
-I agree with Reagan but it could be anything. Gilbert is 11 when he made fun of Anne and she's less forgiving of him. Mrs. Rachel Lynde is older and, even though she should know better, she is trustworthy and should be forgiven.

Discuss Anne’s reaction to Matthew’s death. How do you think it shows her maturation? How, if at all, do you think she was prepared for it? 

-I don't think she was prepared for it at all
-She was in shock and couldn't cry
-She almost thought it was a nightmare
-She was trying to be grown-up

At the end of the book, Rachel Lynde tells Marilla, “There’s a good deal of the child about her yet in some ways,” and Marilla responds by saying, “There’s a good deal more of the woman about her in others” (p. 285). What do you make of her comment? How has Anne changed during her time at Green Gables? How has she stayed the same?

-She got better at holding her tongue. Her creativity and imagination have stayed the same
-She didn't outgrow her imagination
-She's learned more responsibility
-She has learned not to make as many mistakes
-She doesn't talk as much

Anne of Green Gables was written over a century ago, yet it continues to capture the hearts of children of all ages.  What qualities in the writing style or story explain the timeless, universal appeal of this novel?

-The descriptions are so good
-It's great
-There are a lot of similes and sayings
-It's about friendship and growing up
-It's about kindred spirits and bosom friends

Did you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?

-I loved it
-I loved it
-I loved it

Have you seen a movie version of Anne of Green Gables?  How does it compare?

-We're just watching it right now
-It's a little boring

For December's Book Club, we will be reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

The next book club will be meeting on Wednesday, December 20 at 3:00 p.m. Please pick up your library copies of the book, and register, at the Circulation Desk so that Miss Lisa knows how many readers to expect!

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