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4/5 (25 évaluations)
237 pages
3 heures
Feb 21, 2012


Pollyanna's eternal optimism has made her one of the most beloved characters in American literature. First published in 1913, her story spawned the formation of "Glad" clubs all over the country, devoted to playing Pollyanna's famous game. Pollyanna has since sold over one million copies, been translated into several languages, and has become both a Broadway play and a Disney motion picture.
Feb 21, 2012

À propos de l'auteur

Eleanor H. Porter (1868–1920) was an American novelist. Best remembered for the enduring classic Pollyanna, Porter authored many children’s novels, adventure stories, and romances.

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  • Instead of always harping on a man’s faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out!

  • These visits of John Pendleton and Milly Snow were only the first of many; and always there were the messages—the messages which were in some ways so curious that they caused Miss Polly more and more to puzzle over them.

  • She knew Miss Polly now as a stern, severe-faced woman who frowned if a knife clattered to the floor, or if a door banged—but who never thought to smile even when knives and doors were still.

  • Mrs. Snow had lived forty years, and for fifteen of those years she had been too busy wishing things were different to find much time to enjoy things as they were.

  • She says it’s easy ter tell lifelong invalids how ter be glad, but ’tain’t the same thing when you’re the lifelong invalid yerself, an’ have ter try ter do it.

Aperçu du livre

Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter



Miss Polly Harrington entered her kitchen a little hurriedly this June morning. Miss Polly did not usually make hurried movements; she specially prided herself on her repose of manner. But today she was hurrying—actually hurrying.

Nancy, washing dishes at the sink, looked up in surprise. Nancy had been working for Miss Polly’s kitchen only two months, but already she knew that her mistress did not usually hurry.


Yes, ma’am. Nancy answered cheerfully, but she still continued wiping the pitcher in her hand.

Nancy—Miss Polly’s voice was very stern now—when I’m talking to you, I wish you to stop your work and listen to what I have to say.

Nancy flushed miserably. She set the pitcher down at once, with the cloth still about it, thereby nearly tipping it over—which did not add to her composure.

Yes, ma’am. I will, ma’am, she stammered, righting the pitcher, and turning hastily. I was only keepin’ on with my work ’cause you specially told me this mornin’ ter hurry with my dishes, ye know.

Her mistress frowned.

That will do, Nancy. I did not ask for explanations. I asked for your attention.

Yes, ma’am. Nancy stifled a sigh. She was wondering if ever in any way she could please this woman. Nancy had never worked out before. But a sick mother, suddenly widowed and left with three younger children besides Nancy herself, had forced the girl into doing something toward their support, and she had been so pleased when she found a place in the kitchen of the great house on the hill—Nancy had come from The Corners, six miles away, and she knew Miss Polly Harrington only as the mistress of the old Harrington homestead, and one of the wealthiest residents of the town. That was two months before. She knew Miss Polly now as a stern, severe-faced woman who frowned if a knife clattered to the floor, or if a door banged—but who never thought to smile even when knives and doors were still.

When you’ve finished your morning work, Nancy, Miss Polly was saying now, you may clear the little room at the head of the stairs in the attic, and make up the cot bed. Sweep the room and clean it, of course, after you clear out the trunks and boxes.

Yes, ma’am. And where shall I put the things, please, that I take out?

In the front attic. Miss Polly hesitated, then went on: I suppose I may as well tell you now, Nancy. My niece, Miss Pollyanna Whittier, is coming to live with me. She is eleven years old, and will sleep in that room.

A little girl—coming here, Miss Harrington? Oh, won’t that be nice! cried Nancy, thinking of the sunshine her own little sisters made in the home at The Corners.

Nice? Well, that isn’t exactly the word I should use, rejoined Miss Polly stiffly. However, I intend to make the best of it, of course. I am a good woman, I hope, and I know my duty.

Nancy colored hotly.

Of course, ma’am. It was only that I thought a little girl here might—might brighten things up—for you, she faltered.

Thank you, rejoined the lady dryly. I can’t say, however, that I see any immediate need for that.

But, of course, you—you’d want her, your sister’s child, ventured Nancy, vaguely feeling that somehow she must prepare a welcome for this lonely little stranger.

Miss Polly lifted her chin haughtily.

"Well, really, Nancy, just because I happened to have a sister who was silly enough to marry and bring unnecessary children into a world that was already quite full enough, I can’t see how I should particularly want to have the care of them myself. However, as I said before, I hope I know my duty. See that you clean the corners, Nancy," she finished sharply, as she left the room.

Yes, ma’am, sighed Nancy, picking up the half-dried pitcher—now so cold it must be rinsed again.

In her own room Miss Polly took out once more the letter which she had received two days before from the faraway Western town, and which had been so unpleasant a surprise to her. The letter was addressed to Miss Polly Harrington, Beldingsville, Vermont, and it read as follows:

DEAR MADAM: I regret to inform you that the Reverend John Whittier died two weeks ago, leaving one child, a girl eleven years old. He left practically nothing else save a few books; for, as you doubtless know, he was the pastor of this small mission church, and had a very meager salary.

I believe he was your deceased sister’s husband, but he gave me to understand the families were not on the best of terms. He thought, however, that for your sister’s sake you might wish to take the child and bring her up among her own people in the East. Hence I am writing to you.

The little girl will be all ready to start by the time you get this letter; and if you can take her, we would appreciate it very much if you would write that she might come at once, as there is a man and his wife here who are going East very soon, and they would take her with them to Boston, and put her on the Beldingsville train. Of course you would be notified what day and train to expect Pollyanna on.

Hoping to hear favorably from you soon, I remain,

Respectfully yours,


With a frown Miss Polly folded the letter and tucked it into its envelope. She had answered it the day before, and she had said she would take the child, of course. She hoped she knew her duty well enough for that!—disagreeable as the task would be.

As she sat now, with the letter in her hands, her thoughts went back to her sister, Jennie, who had been this child’s mother, and to the time when Jennie, as a girl of twenty, had insisted upon marrying the young minister, in spite of her family’s remonstrances. There had been a man of wealth who had wanted her—and the family had much preferred him to the minister; but Jennie had not. The man of wealth had more years, as well as more money, to his credit, while the minister had only a young head full of youth’s ideals and enthusiasm, and a heart full of love. Jennie had preferred these—quite naturally, perhaps. So she had married the minister, and had gone south with him as a home missionary’s wife.

The break had come then. Miss Polly remembered it well, though she had been but a girl of fifteen, the youngest, at the time. The family had had little more to do with the missionary’s wife. To be sure, Jennie herself had written for a time, and had named her last baby Pollyanna for her two sisters, Polly and Anna—the other babies had all died. This had been the last time that Jennie had written; and in a few years there had come the news of her death, told in a short but heartbroken little note from the minister himself, dated at a little town in the West.

Meanwhile, time had not stood still for the occupants of the great house on the hill. Miss Polly, looking out at the far-reaching valley below, thought of the changes those twenty-five years had brought to her.

She was forty now, and quite alone in the world. Father, mother, sisters—all were dead. For years now she had been sole mistress of the house, and of the thousands left her by her father. There were people who had openly pitied her lonely life, and who had urged her to have some friend or companion to live with her. But she had not welcomed either their sympathy or their advice. She was not lonely, she said. She liked being by herself. She preferred quiet. But now—

Miss Polly rose with frowning face and closely shut lips. She was glad, of course, that she was a good woman, and that she not only knew her duty, but had sufficient strength of character to perform it. But—Pollyanna!—what a ridiculous name!


In the little attic room Nancy swept and scrubbed vigorously, paying particular attention to the corners. There were times, indeed, when the vigor she put into her work was more of a relief to her feelings than it was an ardor to efface dirt—Nancy, in spite of her frightened submission to her mistress, was no saint.

I—just—wish—I could—dig—out—the—corners of—her—soul! she muttered jerkily, punctuating her words with murderous jabs of her pointed cleaning stick. "There’s plenty of ’em needs cleanin’ all right, all right! The idea of stickin’ that blessed child way off up here in this hot little room—with no fire in the winter, too, and all this big house ter pick and choose from! Unnecessary children, indeed! Humph! snapped Nancy, wringing her rag so hard her fingers ached from the strain. I guess it ain’t children what is most unnecessary just now, just now!"

For some time she worked in silence. Then, her task finished, she looked about the bare little room in plain disgust.

Well, it’s done—my part, anyhow, she sighed. There ain’t no dirt here—and there’s mighty little else. Poor little soul! A pretty place this is ter put a homesick, lonesome child into! she finished, going out and closing the door with a bang, Oh! she ejaculated, biting her lip. Then, doggedly: Well, I don’t care. I hope she did hear the bang—I do, I do!

In the garden that afternoon Nancy found a few minutes in which to interview Old Tom, who had pulled the weeds and shoveled the paths about the place for uncounted years.

Mr. Tom, began Nancy, throwing a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure she was unobserved, did you know a little girl was comin’ here ter live with Miss Polly?

A—what? demanded the old man, straightening his bent back with difficulty.

A little girl—to live with Miss Polly.

Go on with yer jokin’, scoffed unbelieving Tom. Why don’t ye tell me the sun is a-goin’ ter set in the east termorrer?

But it’s true. She told me so herself, maintained Nancy. It’s her niece, and she’s eleven years old.

The man’s jaw fell.

Sho!—I wonder, now, he muttered. Then a tender light came into his faded eyes. It ain’t—but it must be—Miss Jennie’s little gal! There wasn’t none of the rest of ’em married. Why, Nancy, it must be Miss Jennie’s little gal. Glory be ter praise! Ter think of my old eyes a-seein’ this!

Who was Miss Jennie?

She was an angel straight out of heaven, breathed the man fervently. But the old master and missus knew her as their oldest daughter. She was twenty when she married and went away from here long years ago. Her babies all died, I heard, except the last one; and that must be the one what’s a-comin’.

She’s eleven years old.

Yes, she might be, nodded the old man.

"And she’s goin’ ter sleep in the attic—more shame ter her!" scolded Nancy, with another glance over her shoulder toward the house behind her.

Old Tom frowned. The next moment a curious smile curved his lips.

I’m a-wonderin’ what Miss Polly will do with a child in the house, he said.

"Humph! Well, I’m a-wonderin’ what a child will do with Miss Polly in the house!" snapped Nancy.

The old man laughed.

I’m afraid you ain’t fond of Miss Polly, he grinned.

As if ever anybody could be fond of her! scorned Nancy.

Old Tom smiled oddly. He stooped and began to work again.

I guess maybe you didn’t know about Miss Polly’s love affair, he said slowly.

"Love affair—her! No!—and I guess nobody else didn’t neither."

Oh, yes, they did, nodded the old man. And the feller’s livin’ ter-day—right in this town, too.

Who is he?

I ain’t a-tellin’ that. It ain’t fit that I should. The old man drew himself erect. In his dim blue eyes, as he faced the house, there was the loyal servant’s honest pride in the family he has served and loved for long years.

But it don’t seem possible—her and a lover, still maintained Nancy.

Old Tom shook his head.

You didn’t know Miss Polly as I did, he argued. She used ter be real handsome—and she would be now, if she’d let herself be.

Handsome! Miss Polly!

Yes. If she’d just let that tight hair of hern all out loose and careless-like, as it used ter be, and wear the sort of bunnits with posies in ’em, and the kind o’ dresses all lace and white things—you’d see she’d be handsome! Miss Polly ain’t old, Nancy.

Ain’t she, though? Well, then she’s got an awfully good imitation of it—she has, she has! sniffed Nancy.

Yes, I know. It begun then—at the time of the trouble with her lover, nodded Old Tom, and it seems as if she’s been feedin’ on wormwood an’ thistles ever since—she’s that bitter an’ prickly ter deal with.

I should say she was, declared Nancy indignantly. There’s no pleasin’ her, nohow, no matter how you try! I wouldn’t stay if ’twan’t for the wages and the folks at home what’s needin’ ’em. But some day—some day I shall jest b’ile over and when I do, of course it’ll be good-bye Nancy for me. It will, it will.

Old Tom shook his head.

I know. I’ve felt it. It’s nart’ral—but ’tain’t best, child; ’tain’t best. Take my word for it, ’tain’t best. And again he bent his old head to the work before him.

Nancy! called a sharp voice.

Y-yes, ma’am, stammered Nancy, and hurried toward the house.


In due time came the telegram announcing that Pollyanna would arrive in Beldingsville the next day, the twenty-fifth of June, at four o’clock. Miss Polly read the telegram, frowned, then climbed the stairs to the attic room. She still frowned as she looked about her.

The room contained a small bed, neatly made, two straight-backed chairs, a washstand, a bureau—without any mirror—and a small table. There were no drapery curtains at the dormer windows, no pictures on the wall. All day the sun had been pouring down upon the roof, and the little room was like an oven for heat. As there were no screens, the windows had not been raised. A big fly was buzzing angrily at one of them now, up and down, up and down, trying to get out.

Miss Polly killed the fly, swept it through the window (raising the sash an inch for the purpose), straightened a chair, frowned again, and left the room.

Nancy, she said a few minutes later, at the kitchen door, I found a fly upstairs in Miss Pollyanna’s room. The window must have been raised at some time. I have ordered screens, but until they come I shall expect you to see that the windows remain closed. My niece will arrive tomorrow at four o’clock. I desire you to meet her at the station. Timothy will take the open buggy and drive you over. The telegram says ‘light-hair, red-checked gingham dress, and straw hat.’ That is all I know, but I think it is sufficient for your purpose.

Yes, ma’am; but—you—

Miss Polly evidently read the pause aright, for she frowned and said crisply, No, I shall not go. It is not necessary that I should, I think. That is all. And she turned away—Miss Polly’s arrangements for the comfort of her niece, Pollyanna, were complete.

In the kitchen, Nancy sent her flatiron with a vicious dig across the dish towel she was ironing.

‘Light hair, red-checked gingham dress, and straw hat’—all she knows, indeed! Well, I’d be ashamed ter own it up, that I would, I would—and her my onliest niece what was a-comin’ from way across the continent!"

Promptly at twenty minutes to four the next afternoon Timothy and Nancy drove off in the open buggy to meet the expected guest. Timothy was Old Tom’s son. It was sometimes said in the town that if Old Tom was Miss Polly’s right-hand man, Timothy was her left.

Timothy was a good-natured youth, and a good-looking one, as well. Short as had been Nancy’s stay at the house, the two were already good friends. Today, however, Nancy was too full of her mission to be her usual talkative self, and almost in silence she took the drive to the station and alighted to wait for the train.

Over and over in her mind she was saying it—light hair, red-checked dress, straw hat. Over and over again she was wondering just what sort of child this Pollyanna was, anyway.

I hope for her sake she’s quiet and sensible, and don’t drop knives nor bang doors, she sighed to Timothy, who had sauntered up to her.

Well, if she ain’t, nobody knows what’ll become of the rest of us, grinned Timothy. "Imagine Miss Polly and a noisy kid! Gorry! there goes the whistle now!"

Oh, Timothy, I—I think it was mean ter send me, chattered the suddenly frightened Nancy, as she turned and hurried to a point where she could best watch the passengers alight at the little station.

It was not

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Ce que les gens pensent de Pollyanna

25 évaluations / 25 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (3/5)
    Penso che tutti conoscano Pollyanna e il suo gioco di trovare sempre qualcosa per poter essere lieti.Il romanzo è - come tutte le trasposizioni che ne sono derivate - pieno di buoni sentimenti. Pollyanna può risultare vagamente irritante all'inizio - e troppo esageratamente buona per essere vera - poi una certa ingenuità rispetto ad alcuni temi più adulti le restituisce lo status di bambina (quasi) normale.---I think everybody know about Pollyanna and her game to found something to be glad on everything.The novel - such as all the its transpositions - is full of empathy and good emotions.Pollyanna is quite annoying at the beginning - and to much good to be true -, then some naivety about adult issues gives her back the status of (almost) normal child.
  • (4/5)
    This book is definitely a retread of themes that had already surfaced in children's literature like "Anne of Green Gables" and "Heidi:" a girl with an insufferably positive spirit brightens the world of the gloomy adults around her. However, in spite of the repetition throughout the book of that single theme, it is still an enjoyable read and probably strengthened by the author's willingness to permit tragedy to befall the main character, testing her resolve and creating a chance to show maturity and depth. There are a couple of secrets that are supposed to seem mysterious to some of the characters within the book, but that I at least figured out quite quickly. I don't remember whether the answers seemed that obvious when I was a child reading this book, but even if they did, the fact that you're in the know and proven right about your assumptions always feels a little bit good, and there is at least one red herring to throw a wrench in what otherwise might be a predictable plot. This is an appealing story for girls of all ages.
  • (5/5)
    This was one of my childhood favourites and I was prepared to be disillusioned - I read What Katy Did last year and came away wondering why I had ever enjoyed something so apparently sanctimonious - but that didn't happen. I could see exactly why I had loved Pollyanna as a child and sat sniffing at the sad bits and wishing I has a tissue.For those that don't know the book, here goes. Incredibly happy young orphan girl Pollyanna goes to live with her bad-tempered spinster Aunt Polly in the early years of the twentieth century. Pollyanna's cheerfulness touches the heart of everyone she meets, changing lives and eventually melting the heart of the stone-faced Aunt Polly. Obviously there's more plot than that but that's it in a nutshell. Incredibly sentimental and I loved every minute of it.I have to say though that I can't imagine a modern child reading and enjoying it the way I did. Childhood's moved on too much. But I still loved it.
  • (4/5)
    I'm sure I read this book as a child - I just couldn't recall much about it so decided to pick it up when I saw it in the $1 section at Target. A great story about a cheery girl who's been dealt a bad hand. Memorable characters and descriptive yet quick writing. I couldn't help but wish that there were more books in the series (like Anne of Green Gables).
  • (5/5)
    I've read Pollyanna several times many years ago.It is a wonderful story about optimism and finding a silver lining in any situation.I'm still trying to play "The Glad Game".I can't and don't expect to live in a moment of total happiness obsession, but“The Glad Game” can help you focus on what’s right in your world today,instead of what’s wrong. It is a sweet story that makes you happy.
  • (5/5)
    Unloved and unwanted, orphan Pollyanna Whittier boards an eastbound train to live with her Aunt Polly, a wealthy spinster. Aunt Polly treats the child insensitively, giving her a musty room in the attic and expecting her to keep quiet and stay out of the way. Pollyanna, with her optimistic outlook on life, turns all the lemons thrown her way into lemonade; punishments are viewed as rewards, unfriendly people in town are befriended. Pollyanna's "Glad Game" is soon played by all the people of the town. A terrible accident with a motor car as she is crossing the street finally breaks Pollyanna's spirit. When long-held secrets are finally revealed, even Aunt Polly comes around to warming up not only to her niece, but to a relationship she had long denied herself.
  • (4/5)
    Pollyanna was the daughter of a splendid young man, though he was very poor; and so was that mother, though she was pretty and kind. But when her father and her beautiful mother both die, the poor girl is left in the hands of her strict and dutiful aunt, Miss Polly Harrington, and Nancy, her impressed slave. Pollyanna, as a very optimistic girl, was overjoyed at the sight of that loving household, and decided to play ‘the game’ in it, too. ‘The game’, as you might want to know, was something her father had made up, where whatever you do, you must always find something to be glad of inside it, whether it isn’t shown straight away or not. Pollyanna was very happy with her new home; but then she encounters something so horrible that she wonders if she’ll ever feel glad about anything again.
    I thought this book was really very brilliant, only it was pretty much only dialogue, and I must admit that I hate too much dialogue. Yet the characters spoke in such an old-fashioned and very intriguing way that I could no longer doubt my liking of the book.
  • (5/5)
    This was another of my favourites as a child. Well worth giving to your kids to read.Hardcover. Reserved for the xmas fair.
  • (4/5)
    This book is about Pollyanna, who is an orphan who ends up living with her wealthy but stern aunt Polly. Pollyanna's father always encouraged Pollyanna to play "the glad game", where she finds something to be happy about in every situation, so now, she makes use of this game. Soon, Pollyanna teaches the game to other people in town that are having a tough time. The town is transformed by Pollyanna's bright, shiny attitude. Pollyanna is hit by a car, and loses the use of her legs. She has a tough time finding anything to be happy about in this situation. Eventually, she marries, and is put in a hospital where she learns to walk again.This book is a great way for children to learn that not all things in life have to have a bad side only. It teaches that even the worst situations have some good aspects.
  • (3/5)
    There was a time in my young life that I probably knew Disney's version of Pollyanna line-for-line. I-kid-you-not. As the granddaughter of much older grandparents, Pollyanna is universally-grandparent approved. It was watched frequently at their house, along with Shirley Temple and Little House on the Prairie.

    While I will always cherish the Disney movie and my memories surrounding it, the book tried my patience at times. In the movie, Pollyanna is more of a tomboy and sneaks away from her aunt for a good cause. In the book, she is annoying goody-goody. She is the perfect, unrealistic, angel child. I don't care if your parents were missionaries, you're going to get in trouble sometimes! She is like the anti-Anne of Green Gables and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Pollyanna would totally tattle-tell on them.

    I probably could have got passed the perfectness if the story hadn't taken a creepy turn. In the movie, the creepy old man who lives alone in the woods adopts Jimmy Bean. And notice, there's never a scene where Pollyanna is alone with the old man. Well, in the book, the creepy old man wants to adopt Pollyanna. Why, you ask? Because the creepy old man was madly in love with Pollyanna's mother and now he wants to raise Pollyanna. But Pollyanna has Aunt Polly, right, her relative? Creepy old man doesn't care.

    Maybe in 1913 it was sweet that your mom's old recluse boyfriend wants to adopt you...in 2013 it was just creepy, I couldn't get over it.
  • (4/5)
    Pollyanna (1913) by Eleanor H. Porter is now mainly read as a children's book, but is wasn't written or intended as such. It was an immediate bestseller and influenced many people and popular culture during the first quarter of the twentieth century.The story is about a young girl, who, as an orphan, is sent to live with her aunt, the stern Miss Polly. Pollyanna's father has taught her a game, which consists of always seeing things and situations in a positive light, and always being delighted with anything, in short, always be glad. The young, bright, innocent Polyanna spreads this belief, and starts influencing the people around her.Within a few months she has made friends with most people in the community, even people, such as Mr Pendleton, who was considered to be unapproachable. Her unlimited optimism cheers up all the people around her, and brings people together, who were separated through years of miserly sorrow and anguish.Underlying Polyanna's "glad game" lies the idea that everyone should be happy with small things. There are subtle suggestions that money is not the most important thing in life, and that apart from money there are many other things that may make people happy. The novel also suggests that Americans should care for each other before caring for others, far away, as there were still many poor and needy people within the US, at that time.To the modern reader the book may appear repetitive and very simple, probably why it is now seen as a children's book. Because of its young protagonist, and its message, the novel also seems aimed at children. However, it is likely that children will merely focus on the superficial and rather simplistic message about being happy with anything, while missing the more subtle criticism on a society which is increasingly ruled by money, turning people in miserly Scrooges, having a lot of money, but unable to find happiness in life.
  • (3/5)
    Originally published in 1913, this tale of a young orphan girl who comes to live with her aunt in a small Vermont town, transforming everyone she meets with her "glad game," is one of those classic stories featuring a hero or heroine whose name has become a byword for a particular quality or idea. Just as we speak of someone who refuses to act maturely as having a "Peter Pan complex," or describe a rags-to-riches transformation as a "Cinderella story," so too do we refer to someone with a tendency toward optimism as a "Pollyanna." Before we had an entire industry of self-help gurus advising us of the power of positive thinking, we had Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna, which follows the story of the eponymous Pollyanna Whittier, and her "overwhelming, unquenchable gladness for everything that has ever happened or is going to happen."Arriving in Beldingsville, Vermont from the western prairie, where her missionary father has just recently died, Pollyanna eagerly anticipates living with her Aunt Polly Harrington, for whom she is (partially) named. Although her reception is far from ideal - stern Aunt Polly looks upon her young niece as a duty, rather than a joyful addition to her well-to-do household - she perseveres in looking on the bright side of matters, viewing punishments as rewards, and laughing off many of the cold rebuffs she receives. Finding friendship elsewhere, Pollyanna teaches everyone in town, from the Harrington housemaid, Nancy, to reclusive neighbor John Pendleton, how to play the "game" - in which the player looks for something to be glad about in every occurrence in their lives - taught to her by her father as a young girl. When Pollyanna is struck by an automobile, and loses the use of her legs, the "glad girl" suddenly finds that she can no longer play the game, and that it is she who needs a little cheering up.Chosen as our February selection over in The L.M. Montgomery Book Club to which I belong, where we sometimes like to read book that are "in the spirit" of L.M. Montgomery, Pollyanna is one of those classics of which I have long been aware, but which I have never happened to pick up. Being familiar with the general story, I have always associated it in my mind with the kind of orphan narrative to be found in books like Anne of Green Gables, or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I'm very glad it was chosen by the club, as this has given me the push I needed to finally read it, thereby confirming my impression of it as being akin to L.M. Montgomery and Kate Douglas Wiggin's work. That said, although I found it readable enough (I got through most of it in one sitting), it wasn't quite as appealing as I'd expected it to be, and I thought that the charm sometimes wore a little thin. I appreciate the message of trying to find the good around us, but discovered that Pollyanna was just a little too positive for my taste - so positive that I started to become irritated with her. There was a point, midway through the book, when I felt that if I had to read one more scene involving Pollyanna laughing off something nasty, I would tear my hair out!I vacillated quite a bit between a two and three star rating with this one, trying to balance my irritation with the heroine, and my overall engagement in the story. I can't deny that I enjoyed reading Pollyanna, despite my irritation, so I rounded up. Of course, I'm not sure I enjoyed it enough to hunt down the sequels any time soon.
  • (1/5)
    My grandmother owned an early edition of this book and had me read it one holidays when I was at her house. By the 1980s this book was far too dated and saccharine, and the word 'Polyanna' had entered the common dialect. I couldn't get through it, though as an historical document, it might still be interesting. Just not for a modern kid, perhaps.
  • (5/5)
    The name Pollyanna has become synonymous with an overly-cheerful person, but the original story isn't nearly as irksome as the name's co notations suggest. I was completely charmed by this book. A few years ago I read Heidi and the main character came across as saccharine sweet and far too optimistic. So despite growing up with two separate film versions of Pollyanna (including the famous Hayley Mills version) I was worried that this one would be all sugar and no substance. It wasn't that way at all!Pollyanna's joy is sincere and she's been through a hard life already at the tender age of 12. She moves in with her strict aunt after becoming an orphan. Her minister father taught her to find something to be glad about even in the most dire circumstance. Her "glad game" is not pretentious, it's just her way of dealing with life and it's her earnestness that sells the spirit of the book.Every person she meets is touched by her unbridled enthusiasm. What a beautiful way to live your life. No matter what their circumstances, each person who crossed her path found that their world was a little brighter because of her presence. How many of us can say that?BOTTOM LINE: A sweet gem that I can't wait to share with my own daughter one day. We could all learn a little something from Pollyanna.“What men and women need is encouragement. Their natural resisting powers should be strengthened, not weakened ... Instead of always harping on a man's faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut ... Hold up to him his better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out! ... People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts.”
  • (4/5)
    One of my favorite films growing up (and still to this day much to my mother's chagrin) was Pollyanna starring the magnificent Hayley Mills (remember the original Parent Trap?). The story of a young girl orphaned and sent to live with an aunt she had never met (and who was less than thrilled to be taking her in) who brought happiness to an entire town captivated my imagination and never failed to make me cry both tears of anguish and happiness. Yes, I realize that I sound like a TV special but I am being completely sincere. The book that the film was based on was written in 1913 by Eleanor H. Porter and was an instant bestseller that generated so much success that several sequels were penned (the majority by different authors). One of the major plot points in the story was completely changed for the film version but I don't think that it took too much away from the overall storyline (you'll have to read the book to know what I mean mwahaha). The book's positive message to "be glad" is one that I think anyone regardless of their age can appreciate and embrace.
  • (4/5)
    Although I've heard many references to people being too "Pollyanne-ish" I had never actually read the book - and I have to say that Pollyanna gets a bad rap. If more of us had the habit of finding things to be grateful for, we'd find that we were happier - even in the face of terrible troubles. Pollyanna didn't deny that things were bad - she just didn't dwell on them and she tried to look for the best in everyone and in all situations. The story is an old-fashioned one, but is enjoyable even so - and there's even a little romance at the end!
  • (4/5)
    I've just finished a re-read of Eleanor Porter's "Pollyanna," which apparently I had read a number of times when I was younger, because I remembered every single little aspect of the plot. I suppose many people already have at least a passing familiarity with this tale, which was first published in 1912 and has been reprinted many times since then, as well as having been adapted for the screen on numerous occasions.I confess, I was surprised at how well this story held up when read through adult eyes. Oh, it's rather sentimental, true enough, but perhaps I'm not as jaded as I would like to think I am because some of the sentimental/emotional passages totally did a number on me!Obviously this book has staying power, though the nearly dozen sequels that followed (written by a number of various authors) have long since faded from the public's memory. To the best of my recollection, the first Pollyanna book is far superior to those that followed, but I still wouldn't call it perfect. The "plucky orphan" character has long been a staple of children's literature and has appeared in many guises throughout the years, but immediately after I started reading the book I got a very strong "Anne of Green Gables" vibe, "Anne" having been published four years previously to the first printing of this story. This feeling of déjà vu continued on and off throughout the novel, and I couldn't help but wonder if Porter was influenced by Maud Montgomery's work.Despite a number of interesting little sub-plots, the narrative of Pollyanna is rather loose and episodic, and I think I would have liked to see all the story elements woven together more completely. I also noted that a handful of key scenes were played off-stage, and only referred to by the characters in passing, which seemed a bit odd to me.But, I suppose the primary problem I have with Pollyanna is the heroine herself. She's just TOO good, TOO sweet, TOO everlastingly charming and upbeat to be the least bit believable. Now, I wouldn't say that she is OFFENSIVELY good---unlike the horribly sanctimonious Elsie Dinsmore (a favourite Victorian child heroine), Pollyanna doesn't preach to the other characters or give the impression that she's morally superior to everyone else. But Pollyanna didn't come across as a natural little girl for me; she pales not only into insignificance, but into invisibility, in comparison to the marvellous Anne Shirley of the "Green Gables" books. In addition, I would say that Pollyanna's general naïveté might have a certain charm in a child half her age, but in a ten- or eleven-year-old character, it just seems a bit odd. I don't want to sound too mean-spirited, but you'd almost think that she has some sort of developmental disability. So, the portrayal of the main character is kind of a major drawback to the novel.Still, despite a somewhat mixed review, I'm going to recommend this story; I think at least some young people of today would enjoy it, though obviously it will probably have more appeal to young girls than to young boys. And if you have even a passing interest in vintage children's literature, this book should be read at least once, as it's been so iconic in the field of American juvenile lit. I'll give it four stars, with the high rating due in part to the nostalgia factor, since I did enjoy this very much when I was young.(You know, from my youthful reading I remember Aunt Polly as being very old in this book---so imagine my surprise to learn that the character is actually five years younger than I am at present. Man, I am so totally depressed now...)This book has been published in many varying editions over the years (including an abridged paperback version for the school market, sold by Scholastic). The copy I've just read is the same one that I had as a child, published by The Page Company in 1914. It really is a lovely edition, and I would recommend this particular version if you can find it. The boards are covered in a green patterned cloth that catches the light in different ways, depending on the angle you look at it. Tilt it one way and you'll see a diamond pattern of light fleur-de-lis on a dark background, tilt again and it's dark fleur-de-lis over stripes, tilt again and you'll mostly see just the stripes, tilt again and the light stripes turn dark and the dark stripes turn light----okay, okay---you get the idea I'm sure! Now, I know there must be a name for this sort of material---but I know almost nothing about fabric and so can't describe it using the correct terminology.This edition also has eight illustrations tipped in; full-page black-and-white paintings printed on glossy paper. This once again reminds me that it's a real shame so few juvenile titles contain pictures in the present day---these are quite nice.
  • (4/5)
    There are many classics that I did not read as a child. Treasure Island, Frankenstein, Robinson Crusoe, Around the World in 80 Days, and Little Women are but a few.However, I vow to systematically read these treasures in the next few months. Today I read Pollyanna.Published in 1913, this gem stands the test of time. It is delightfully sappy, corny and wonderfully filled with old fashioned fun.Pollyanna is an orphan whose father left her with the wonderful gift of optimism and the ability to find something to be glad about even in the most difficult situations.When chatty, gregarious Pollyanna is taken in by her stern, hardened Aunt Polly, magic occurs. Not only is Aunt Polly changed, but the entire town is transformed as well.If you haven't read this classic, I recommend you do so! Grab a pair of rose colored glasses, a cup of sugared hot chocolate, a sprinkling of holiday cheer and be prepared to smile.
  • (4/5)
    Orphaned Pollyanna is a very bright and cheerful girl who are sent to live with her cold and reserved aunt. Throughout the novel she plays "the glad game" - always finding something positive in the most unhappy circumstances - and she befriends several persons and helps them while the aunt is kept completely in the dark. Her "glad game" comes to a difficult personal test in the last part of the story.It reminded me a lot both in story line and spirit of Heidi and Little Lord Fauntleroy - also both children who have a very innocent and gullible nature - thinking always the best of people. I liked this american Children's classic a lot. The audiobook was read by S. Patricia Bailey - with just the right innocent voice for Pollyanna.
  • (4/5)
    Pollyanna is that joyful book character that we never find in contemporary children’s literature. It was so refreshing to read this old story and revel in her ability to play the Glad Game, to find something good in any situation, and to see how this ability changed the lives of all who were around her. Pollyanna, to my surprise, was not the priggish, bamby-pamby, goody-goody-two-shoes I’d been led to believe she was. Instead she was a real girl who actually put into action the ideas of joy and service to others in her everyday life. A delightful read.
  • (4/5)
    Pollyanna is eleven years old when she is sent to live with her prim and proper unaffectionate aunt Polly after becoming an orphan. Aunt Polly has rules that are to be strictly enforced, but somehow Pollyanna doesn’t seem able to stick to these rules. However, the punishments meted out to her, such as having to sleep in Aunt Polly’s bed after she’s discovered sleeping outside on the roof don’t seem like a punishment at all to Pollyanna, who sees them as a treat!

    Pollyanna’s natural exuberance melts the iciest hearts of those she meets, from the invalid Mrs Snow to the haughty Mr Pendleton – the villagers, including the kindly Dr Chilton, all grow to love Pollyanna, and even Aunt Polly’s heart begins to thaw, but then tragedy strikes which affects the entire village.

    I read this book as part of my Decades Challenge. The language is obviously a little dated, this being first published in 1913 but it’s a sweet story of how to appreciate what you have, rather than looking at what you don’t have.

    I haven’t seen the Hayley Mills version of this for years, but there is a version with Amanda Redmond in the role of Aunt Polly and this is a cracking adaptation!
  • (4/5)
    I've read Pollyanna several times, but this was my first time listening to an audio version. Aside from finding Nancy's habitual repetition of phrases more annoying to hear than read, I liked it fine.Pollyanna may seem too perfect by today's standards, but for when the book was originally written, she wasn't. That she would climb down a tree, bang doors, and wander about the village on her own made her close to what we used to call a 'tomboy,' so please keep that in mind if you're not familiar with early 20th century children's literature. (I grew up on old books as well as new.)It's also not fair to judge John Pendleton by what we know about child abusers today. It's clear, from the dialogue, that Mr. Pendleton has no interest in using Pollyanna as a substitute for her late mother. If Jenny had married John, Pollyanna would have been his daughter. He wants only to give her a [good] father's love and receive a daughter's love from her. Pollyanna and her 'glad game' are still good things to learn about. It is all too easy to see only the dark side of life. Pollyanna doesn't just look for things to be glad about. If something is wrong, she strives to make it better -- and she doesn't give up if she doesn't succeed the first time.Aunt Polly may consider herself a good woman who knows her duty, but we readers know better. For a woman who calls herself a Christian, she lacks the true spirit. How she treats Pollyanna in the beginning is proof of that. I love the way she learns about how much true good her young niece has been doing about town. Polly is rich, but Pollyanna does better for the locals with her smiles, words, cheerful personality, and sincere interest in their welfare in the months since she came there to live than Aunt Polly has done in her entire life.I agree that it's too bad that Pollyanna's name has become an insult. I think if more persons knew what she's really like, the name would be a compliment.
  • (4/5)
    Definitely saccharine at times, but I did find this genuinely moving when I read it, so it pushes the right buttons.
  • (5/5)
    Pollyanna is orphaned at eleven years old. Her wealthy Aunt Polly feels it's her duty to have Pollyanna move in with her. Right from the start, Pollyanna spreads her "gladness" wherever she goes. As time passes, she touches the lives of many people in her community until her own "gladness" is in need of repair.This was delightful! Of course, I am aware of the Pollyanna stereotype, but now I have a clear image ingrained in my mind. I am so glad that I finally read this uplifting book. I am. I am. (4.5/5)Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite childhood books.