Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter and published by Dalmatian Press, will definitely cheer your spirit. (Amazon.com offers the Pollyanna Press, 2013, edition.) This condensed and adapted version of a well-known classic is perfect for children ages 8-14. Older children and adults will find it heartwarming as well.
The story begins as an eleven year-old orphan, Polly Whittier, comes to live with her spinster aunt, Polly Harrington. Aunt Polly is the stern younger sister of Pollyanna’s mother. She is not sure she is ready to care for a child, but she feels she has an obligation to take Pollyanna in. Nancy, Aunt Polly’s housemaid, who is sincere and softhearted, helps Pollyanna adjust to her new surroundings.
Pollyanna can’t help but share her cheerful spirit with everyone she meets. She tells them that the way to manage life is to play the ‘just being glad’ game. Her father, who is now deceased, taught her this game during a time when it was hard for her to be thankful. She has played the game everyday since and encourages others to play it as well. Some of the people she shares her favorite game with are Mrs. Snow, a sad invalid; John Pendleton, a crabby neighbor; Dr. Thomas Chilton, her aunt’s former sweetheart; and Jimmy Bean, another orphan.
Everyone in this story changes as a result of Pollyanna’s love and cheer. She tries to find out the mystery of who her Aunt once loved and arranges for John Pendleton to adopt Jimmy Bean.
When Pollyanna is one day suddenly hit by a car and told she will never walk again, her Aunt and new friends rally around her and try to encourage her, as she has taught them. They see that she has temporarily given up the glad game, and they try to lift her spirit.
Aunt Polly’s heart softens and she reconnects with Dr. Chilton, whom she was once engaged to. He believes a friend of his can help Pollyanna walk again. The story ends with a very happy ending and everyone in the story sold on continuing their thankful attitudes.
I loved this story because I saw how Pollyanna made such a difference in the lives of other by being “thankful in all things.” God encourages us to give thanks always. This book is a good example of why that is important. It will help young children to see the results of a cheerful attitude in their own lives.
Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”