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Anne of Avonlea by L M Montgomery

 2017, first published 1909

Anne returns to Avonlea and becomes the village school teacher. She and Marilla take on twins Doris and Davey after Marilla’s third cousin Mary dies. Doris is a very well-behaved child.  Davey is always up to mischief. 

We meet several old friends from Avonlea – Gilbert Blyhte, Diana Barry and Mrs Rachel Lynde. Anne and Gilbert are now friends.  There is a hint of romance, but we shall have to read the third book to find out if that really happens.  We meet plenty of other new interesting characters too: outspoken Mr Harrison, romantic Miss Lavender and dreamy child Paul Irving.  

Anne and her friends set about improving Avonlea though almost become the laughing stock of the village when the hall is painted a bright blue. 

There is still some sadness about Matthew’s death. 

The book ends with Anne preparing for life at college.     
L M Montogmery is a skilled writer. Her characters come alive.  They are rounded and believable. Her smooth prose carries us along. We are given a real sense of time and place. 

She portrays a life that will somewhat alien to the modern teenager.

The book is 327 pages long.  The chapter are of a reasonable length and had each has a self-contained story though some longer stories run through the book   


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …