Pollyanna has, unfortunately, gained the undeserved reputation of promoting an almost silly “deny pain and suffering in life, look at things through rosy colored glasses, and trip along with a happy-go-lucky attitude” view of things. No, no, no! The title character experienced her share of pain and suffering in life and never denied it. Rather, she learned how to deal with it by finding something to be “glad” about. As the author noted, “I have never believed that we ought to deny discomfort and pain and evil; I have merely thought that it is far better to greet the unknown with a cheer.”

After Pollyanna’s mother died, her minister father taught Pollyanna how to play the “glad game.” When the only thing for her in a “missionary barrel” was a pair of crutches instead of the doll she wanted, her father told her to be glad that she did not need the crutches. Then after her father died, she came to live with her somewhat grumpy maiden Aunt Polly in Beldingsville, where she made friends with lots of unhappy people and infected them with cheerfulness. However, when Pollyanna is hit by an automobile, how will she herself cope? I have heard conservatives object to this book, originally published in 1913, on the basis that it promotes “liberal” religion. I guess that each one will have to decide that matter for himself, but I liked the book and when we did it as a bedtime read aloud Jeremy (age 10 at the time) said that he enjoyed hearing it too.

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