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The Reading Jackalope

Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery While I really still enjoy this series, and even this book, I can't quite give this book the same praise that I gave Anne of Green Gables. Anne is growing up, and her inquisitive tongue and bright, mischievous nature are tempered a bit by age and experience (if 16-18 can really said to be age and experience). I don't mind this at all, and Anne is still a delight to read about. However, I feel that Montgomery felt she needed a mischievous child to get into scrapes and amuse her reader and so gave us Davey Keith, one of the orphan twins Marilla adopts early in this book. Unfortunately, there is a lot of "boys will be boys" attitude surrounding Davey, and while younger me was just as amused and charmed by him as I was by a younger Anne, this grown-up me is really annoyed and aggravated at the crap he pulls. He often and frequently uses his twin sister (the angelic, quiet Dora) as the subject of his rather mean pranks and while he's punished for them, there's definitely an air of "well, boys" about it.

Even more troubling then Davey is a small passage about Paul Irving, Anne's favorite student. Paul is very like Anne in that he's a very imaginative child and very sensitive, but Montgomery stresses that he's not a 'sissy boy' and he's respected by the other boys because he can fight just as well as they can. It's a clear rejection of boys who don't fit into the masculine model of the late 1890s, early 1900s.

Still highly enjoyable and readable. And the nostalgia factor is strongly in play here.