Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

From Anna

Little, Jean (Author)
Scholastic Canada 2012. 214 pages
First published: 1972
ISBN: 9781443113427 (paperback)
9781443119740 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Historical

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In 1933, threatened under Hitler’s rise to power, the Soldens—Mama, Papa and their five children—flee Germany to come to Canada. Settled in rural Ontario, they struggle in every way, but none more than Anna. No matter what she does, she’s still clumsy Awkward Anna to everyone except Papa.

“There goes Awkward Anna,” they would say and soon the name is accepted by them all. Except Papa.

Being diagnosed as seriously visually impaired is Anna’s chance to blossom. Then, three days before school is to begin, Anna’s new glasses arrive. “Perched on her nub of a nose, they looked like two round moons … an utterly new expression came over her small, plain face, a look of intense surprise and wonder. She was seeing a world she had never guessed existed.”

In a Sight Saving Class, she encounters kindred spirits who become caring friends, and a kind teacher who instills a love of reading. As Anna’s prickly defences crumble, she courageously speaks up and shows her strengths to her family.

Deceptively simple descriptions and actions define the characters. “The older children were busy looking at their feet suddenly. There was something about Anna’s aloneness that they did not want to see.” Through the heartfelt story, readers share the perspective of the challenges of her disability as Anna learns to shine. Black and white illustrations convey the story’s warmth and honesty.

  •  

    Explore a world map and locate Germany and Québec. Consider how far apart they are, how people travelled between the two locations in the 1930s and how the places might be different.

  •  

    Create a family portrait for Anna. Add character traits for each person.

  •  

    Compare school life as portrayed in the book and your current school culture. Discuss how and why Anna’s life would be different in the two time periods.

  •  

    Discuss how the community helped Anna believe in herself and her possibilities. In your reader-writer's notebook, write about people who help you believe in yourself.

  •  

    Explore a world map to understand the distance between Germany and Canada. Discuss how people can travel from one place to the other.

  •  

    Create a family portrait for Anna. Add character traits for each person.

  •  

    Compare and contrast school life between the two countries as portrayed in the book. Discuss how and why Anna’s life would be different in the two time periods.

  •  

    Discuss how the community helped Anna believe in herself and her possibilities. In a reader-writer's notebook, write about the people who help you believe in yourself.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Geography, History and Citizenship