Thanks to Sarah Rettger for pointing out an article in Newsweek about Anne of Green Gables.
Are you sitting down?
I love Anne. Love her, the book, all the books. I own every one of Lucy Maud Montgomery's journals.
And this quote by a so-called Anne scholar had me scream so loud my sister next door wanted to know what was wrong (and then offered ice cream.) Here it is in context, with me bolding the bit that pissed (and Sarah) off.
"That "Anne" has survived so long—and, with 50 million copies sold, so strong—is a small miracle considering the state of young-adult literature. It's rare to find a best seller with a strong heroine anymore, in large part because, although girls will read books about boys, boys won't go near a girl's book, no matter how cool she is. Even in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, the strong, grounded Bella is willing to chuck it all for the love of her vampire boyfriend. "The literary smart girl is still showing up in literature, but she's often the sidekick," says Trinna Frever, an "Anne of Green Gables" scholar. "It is a reflection of a culture that's placing less value on intelligence, and also treating intelligence as a stigmatized quality." As smart as Anne is, you aren't likely to find her in a classroom, either. She has survived largely through mothers who pass the book on to their daughters."
Sarah has a list of smart heroines, and I'll just add, without links, the following smart girls in NYT bestsellers:
Cami in Ally Carter's Gallagher Girl series
Liesl in Markus Zusak's The Book Thief (not book smart, but I think she has Anne's tenacity)
Meggie in the Inkheart books
The sisters in the Penderwicks
OK, I'm going to stop trying to find past NYT Bestseller lists, but my point is just a cursory look at these lists show smart girls.
Trinna Frever may know Anne. And she may know what it is about Anne that we love. But she does not know today's books for children and teens.
Plus: Anne is a classic.
She doesn't NEED to be promoted by using it in a classroom! She is a joy to discover and read on one's own.
Other than that bit, it's actually a really good article about Anne. And I love the bit wondering why Anne isn't taught in college classrooms, like Tom Sawyer.
Happy Birthday, Anne!
Edited to add: Found a must read blog for other Anne lovers: Blogging Anne of Green Gables.
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