Is Classic Children’s Literature Really Appropriate for Children?

I love to write but I am not a voracious reader.  Never have been.  I want to be learned and quote passages from famous novels but have never put aside the time to read on a daily basis.  Having said that though, when I come across a book that interests me, I cannot put it down.

In my quest to walk on the brighter-side of life, I recently picked up a children’s classic which I have always intended to read: Anne of Green Gables.

I have seen the movie (if you haven’t, rent it, now!) and the stage play, have visited the house on Canada’s Prince Edward Island and have, I admit, read an abridged version but I have never read the official full-length work.

Fifty million people in twenty different languages had preceded me in my venture so there must be something to it.  And of course, they were right.

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel is as delightful today as it must have been when she first penned it.

Her vivid descriptions of the pristine landscapes of Canada’s east coast, how she captures Anne’s irrepressible childhood imagination, Anne’s trials and tribulations as she tries so hard to conform to what is expected of her, and the friendships and bonds that are formed as she warms even the coldest hearts of all those around her, captivate and endear the reader.

Anne and Pollyanna are no doubt kindred spirits.

Had I read this book as a child, I am certain I would have been a devout reader.  As an adult, I appreciate it even more and resolve to make time for more classic literature, including the Anne of Green Gables sequels.

Thank you, Ms Montgomery, for bringing Anne Shirley into my life.  She is a friend I am glad to have met.

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day
with no mistakes in it yet?”
– Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Have you read a children’s book that changed or shaped you somehow? Share it below.

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2 responses to “Is Classic Children’s Literature Really Appropriate for Children?

  1. I don’t see that this brief essay addresses the question of whether children’s literature is suitable for children. From the viewpoint of Polly Prissypants, it isn’t and it never was. I happen to think it was and is. But then I was seven when I first read The Last Days of Pompeii, so who am I to judge?

    • Thanks for your comment, Anne. This essay was meant as a prompt for internal reflection and discussion. As I stated, I am glad that at my age, I have discovered the unabridged version of this classic novel and had I discovered it at a young age, it would have likely changed my relationship with reading. From this, one could conclude that I do believe that classic children’s literature is indeed appropriate for young children, which would be a correct conclusion, and to that, we agree.
      Since The Last Days of Pompeii solidified your view, I will add that to my ‘must read’ list.
      Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope to chat with you again soon.