WELCOME TO SPRING! I’m absolutely thrilled for the sunshine and blooms (though I hear it’s snowing on the East Coast?)
For each Lars Book Club book we’ll be recapping the previous book and announcing the new book in the same post. You can find both after the jump from Lars contributor, Julie Richardson.
Book for April
It’s no secret that Lars and its readers love flowers! Any and every kind! They’ve been an integral part of and a large reason for the growth of Brittany’s blog. She’s extremely talented with paper, amiright?? So we’re taking our reading in a different (nonfiction!) direction this month. The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How They Change Our Lives by Stephen Buchmann is a fascinating look at everything about flowers. And I mean everything. Don’t be frightened or intimidated by the scientific talk! His extensive research goes from how flowers have adapted and changed, to what flowers mean in different cultures, to our countless uses of them…all of it is eye-opening. I’m fairly certain you won’t look at flowers the same way again. Come back in a month and tell me the most interesting new fact you learned about flowers. Enjoy!
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson (March’s book)
Did you enjoy Before Green Gables?? I sure did. Was it what you were expecting and how you pictured Anne’s early childhood? I came up with a few questions or discussion points to think about. Feel free to share your thoughts, reactions, or favorite parts in the comments section!
1. Walter and Bertha Shirley were both teachers one of literature, the other math, one “absent-minded and untidy” with wild red hair, the other serene, tidy, and blonde, with an exquisite nose. For you diehard Anne fans, was this how you’d pictured Anne’s parents? Can you see them both in the Anne that you know?
2. I love the pages where Anne is named, where Bertha describes her as “…so eager, and so alive…and smart.”(p.29) Then Joanna thinks to herself that “…she was certain that Anne was going to be able to stand up to whatever life threw at her…she was certain that this little person, this funny looking little child, was going to prevail.” Why/how do you think Joanna seems to know (with a slight sense of foreboding) that this girl will encounter hardship, but will also have the strength to overcome it?
3. Anne’s tender heart is drawn to (and she often becomes friends with) the most unlikely of beings, whether they be real or imaginary: Katie Maurice, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Archibald, Sadie, Lochinvar the cat, little Noah, Violetta the echo, Miss Haggerty, even Mr. Thomas at times. Why do you think this is so?
4. Anne suffers heartbreak and loss over and over. Did your own heart break with hers?? Could you understand how “Anne’s angers were ferocious and deep”? In that same paragraph (p.203), it says, forgiveness, but so far it hadn’t quite happened.” Do you feel that Budge Wilson successfully laid the groundwork for the Anne that we meet later at Green Gables? (and yells at Rachel Lynde? and breaks her slate over Gilbert’s head? Ha!)
5. Attending school is like heaven for word-loving Anne, and she is fortunate enough to have loving, understanding schoolteachers like Ms. Henderson and Mr. McDougall, who almost seem to fill the soft, parental void she yearned for. Were you ever profoundly influenced by a beloved teacher?
“She was working on There were so many lovely (and sad) parts in this book, but I do hope you liked getting a glimpse of young Anne! Here are a few further reading suggestions if you’d like to read more about Anne or other characters like her: (I have not yet read Craker or Gammel’s books, but wholeheartedly recommend the others.)
Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery
Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery
to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore
Orphan in Us All by Lorilee Craker
Montgomery and Her Literary Classic by Irene Gammel
Lars Book Club hosted by Julie Richardson