Category Archives: Book

Anne of Green Gables

I devoured the Anne of Green Gables book series when I was a mere fourth grader in Sophia Girls High School in Bangalore, India! I could not put them down, even going after school between library days to get the next book in the series. I was after all following in my Mom’s footsteps as she had recounted to me how amazing the story was. Lucy Maud Montgomery writes a vivid, beautiful, heartfelt tale of a little orphan girl’s life as she blossoms into womanhood with love, intelligence, character and wit! I absolutely loved it and re-read it many times over!

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In the mid 90s, after immigrating to the US, I had the opportunity to get the video series from our local library in Paramus, New Jersey and was absolutely fascinated. It was awe-inspiring to see the vivid descriptions come to life as Anne lived her exciting life out with full drama on the exquisitely beautiful Prince Edward Island. Megan Follows acted wonderfully bringing to life the character of the little orphan girl who grew up before our very eyes on screen. She displayed the charm, wit and intelligence that Ms. Montgomery had woven into Anne’s character, giving many a young girl the dream of living life to the fullest, just like her. Even more was the desire to bring up a daughter just like her! I definitely fell in love with Anne Shirley as a kid and dreamed of the day I could visit her home on Prince Edward Island in Canada. It intrigued me even more for my middle name is Anne too and I always imagined (with the flattery of Anne) that my Mom had named me after reading this amazing story! Yes, I am an ANN with an E!

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Even as a young girl, visiting Shishu Bhavan (Mother Theresa’s orphanage in Bangalore) always touched a cord deep in my soul – I just knew I wanted to help those precious children. But, orphan care was even more etched into my brain and heart after I read and then saw the beauty of family enfold in this precious little girl’s life. I saw the impact that even a very unlikely family like Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, an older brother and sister duo, could have on a vulnerable little girl’s life. I watched as she longed and waited for a feeling of permanency even if it meant just working hard to serve a family as an unpaid maid – the setting of the book clearly showed how little she was valued as a person in society, she was just another unworthy orphan girl! I saw the fear and sadness in little Anne as she faced the uncertainty of a future with the Cuthberts – something I have taken for granted with the expected permanency of my family. I saw Anne willing to do anything so she could just stay with them – yet failing miserably repeatedly as her angst at being looked down on as a “red head” caused her to blow up many a time! It was real and funny, yet taught us many important life lessons. She was modest and boisterous, sufficiently aloof to be desired yet bold enough to face the world on her own. Anne through her stay with the Cuthberts had the opportunity and the tools to hold life by the horns and face it with grace and dignity coming through as a winner! She chose not to mope about her past misfortune but to focus on her future hope! Anne took on the young men of her generation and pummeled forward making a mark on her world as well as on the hearts of many of her readers and viewers. Anne Shirley was an incredible role model for young girls for generations to come!

Anne of Green Gables was one more piece of the puzzle of my desire to adopt one day. The series gave me a glimpse of the beauty of adoption (though technically, Anne was permanently fostered by the Cuthberts). At that stage, I hadn’t even comprehended the eternal and awesome beauty of God adopting me into His family through Jesus with a promise of living with Him in His heavenly home as His precious and beloved adopted daughter forever. That truth eventually did seal the deal for me, leading my husband and me to adopt an older child! And God in His Grace brought the adoption of our son to fruition for His glory too! As I look back on Anne’s story and my son’s story, I see gratitude being the basis for living life well – gratitude to God first and then gratitude to parents. I also saw the reality of the privilege of teaching a child about the God who loves and cares for her when she came not knowing about Him at all. I saw the beauty and the privilege of changing the course of a hope-less orphan child’s life when she was given the status of foster daughter! Anne lived a full life of joy and grace bouncing off that true heartfelt gratitude! Well done Lucy M. Montgomery!

Of course this is yet another fictional, happily ever after story – those are the ones that catch our attention and fill us with awe and wonder. But, life doesn’t always follow art; the reality of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children has shown us that gratitude is hard fought for. That kids who were orphaned often struggle with loss, brokenness, trauma and lack of control which turns their worlds upside down. It takes an act of God through Jesus’ death to redeem them, and then fill them with a His value, joy, forgiveness and purposes which then takes them into the fullness of life! In fact, every one of us can relate for we are all spiritual orphans who need redemption from our Heavenly Father and only through that hope we can live purposefully for His glory! Just like Anne longed to live on Prince Edward Island, we too long for the beauty of Heaven – her adoption by the Cuthberts allowed that to happen just like ours will happen through Jesus!

I have introduced this book series and TV series to my children because it’s a beautiful story of redemption and hope! In fact, much to my delight, my family bought me the DVD set just this past Christmas! I love it! If you haven’t ventured into Anne’s world, it’s never too late!

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Here are a few opinions to add voices to mine: Eight writers on how Anne shaped a generation of young women.

Henry Huggins

This book is great for dog lovers! It is all about a boy named Henry who finds a dog who won’t stop following Henry! Henry finally calls his mom and asks if he can keep the dog. Henry’s mom says yes and He names the dog Ribsy! The book is all about the adventures of Henry and Ribsy! The book is written by Beverly Cleary. Henry Huggins is the first book she wrote! When Beverly was a kid, she had gone to the library to get a kids book. When their was no book she complained to the librarian. The librarian said that their was no kids book and if she really wanted one she should write one! Thats just what Beverly did!! She wrote a whole bunch of books. But Henry Huggins was the first!

Here is a list of books she wrote:

Henry Huggins

Beezus and Ramona

Dear Mrs. Hempshaw

Ellen Tebbits

Henry and Beezus

Henry and the Clubhouse

Henry and the Paper Route

Henry and Ribsy

Muggie Maggie

Otis Spofford

Ralph S. Mouse

Ramona the Brave

Ramona Forever

Ramona and her Father

Ramona and her Mother

Ramona the Pest

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Ribsy

Runaway Ralph

Strider

The Declaration of Independance

By Patricia Ryon Quiri

 

Click on this link to hear Sarah read the book to you: (TBD)

I like Sam the Minuteman because it was interesting to read about how a boy felt in the war. This is fiction but it also had some history facts in it. I learned a lot from The Declaration of Independence book as it gave me a lot of information about how our country got its independence.

Additional Links:

Liberty Kids Videos:

The Boston Tea Party:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ-FWHN3ljI&feature=relmfu

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkNObgK43Z4&feature=relmfu

Midnight Ride:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na3pq9wqJlA

Part 2:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5GkpQArxRg&feature=relmfu

The ShotHeard Around the World:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLLg7l_rSuY&feature=relmfu

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfxrNXOZsYk&feature=relmfu

The First Fourth of July:

Part 1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoFnFwQVRTU&feature=related

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1SJcu2G6J0&feature=relmfu

Sam The Man!

Sam the Minuteman

by Nathaniel Blenchley
Pictures by Arnold Lobel
 An I can read book – Level 3 (Grades 2-4)

Click here to hear me read the book to you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhNeFHL441I&feature=youtu.be

Long ago, over two hundred years ago, there were only colonies in America which were ruled by England. The English King made a rule that the colonists must pay tax on ordinary things like tea, sugar and paper. This made the colonists very mad, so no one drank tea. They decided that they would drink coffee, they would drink water but they would not drink tea!  They were not allowed to vote, but they were forced to pay taxes. One day, in 1773, many boats bringing tea came to Boston.  The Patriots sneaked up on the ships and threw all the tea into the water. This was called the Boston Tea Party. This made the King angry. From that day onwards the English army was against the colonists.

One of the colonist families was the Browns. One day, they heard that the English soldiers were coming to Lexington, the place they lived. Sam Brown‘s Dad was a Minuteman. They were ordinary people who had to be ready to fight on a minute’s notice. The American Revolution was about to begin in 1773. Sam was also asked to become a young Minuteman. He had to stop being afraid so that he could help the other Minutemen fight for their freedom. Paul Revere was a brave man who went on a horse all over to tell people that the British soldiers were coming. He was a silversmith and a patriot.

The British soldiers were called Redcoats or Lobster Backs because of their red coats. There were thousands of Redcoats and very few minutemen. They soldiers came and fight all night. Eight Minutemen died. Then, suddenly, the Redcoats left. While they were fighting, Sam Brown’s friend John got hurt when a bullet hit his leg. Sam’s fear changed to anger. His Dad helped John home. When Sam got home he told his Dad that he would shoot each soldier! His father told him that he might have the chance to do just that if the war began. But his mother said that he is not going out there again. When the British soldiers returned, Sam’s mother wanted him to stay in the house. But it was too late, Sam had already got his gun and run out after his Dad. The Revolutionary War had begun. It lasted 8 years! The colonists did not know that this war was the start of their fight for independence of a new country – the United States of America.

Since 1777 Americans have celebrated their independence day on the 4th of July. Some people like to bring history back, so they dress in costumes and act like important people. Others have barbecues and have fun watching fireworks. It is a fun national holiday in the USA!

Peanut George!

A Weed is a Flower – The Life of George Washington Carver

Written and Illustrated by: ALIKI

Story read by Sarah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chrd7dzrxbc&feature=youtu.be

When George Washington Carver was born he had many things against him. He was kidnapped as a baby but was found soon after by his owner. He was a very unusual child.  He loved  plants. If he ever had a dying plant he would find out why and keep it from dying.  He had a garden and was called “The Plant Doctor”.  He left his slave owner’s house at 10 to discover all his questions. He would go to any school he found along the way and he would listen from the outside as slaves could not study inside schools.

He didn’t have a home which means he stayed in different houses. He tried to save money for college. By the time he went to college he was 30 years old! Most kids with parents go to college way earlier. But another problem he had was that most colleges didn’t allow blacks to study. So he went to Iowa and found a college that was glad to have a black student. He was good at piano and was a good artist. But he was best at agriculture.

He then went to Alabama to teach at the Tuskegee. He wanted to help poor people.  He set up a place where he taught farmers how to take care of their crops. He taught them to cultivate peanuts and sweet potatoes instead of just cotton. George Washington Carver was very smart. He learned to make over 100 products from sweet potatoes and over 300 products from peanuts. He used all his talents to help others and was never interested in making money.  He was honored with many awards.This baby that had no hope became one of the best scientists of his country!

George Washington Carver did his best because of his faith in Jesus. He believed that his life honored God when he worked hard and helped others. He was a good example to me of how to live for Jesus.

This is a good book because it taught me about the life of a great inventor and scientist.  George Washington Carver was a very good example for me.

Videos on George Washington Carver:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=jxRKfgp9uyE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wv4qYIyJoM