Childhood Books: Pollyanna


Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter is the story of a little girl sent to live with her aunt Polly, who is a rich single lady with a strict rather fixed outlook regarding how a girl must be brought up primly and properly. Pollyanna, however, is an exceptional girl who believes in taking life sunny side up, a rather important and optimistic outlook that she developed through the ‘Glad’ game taught to her by her father. The game consists of looking for something to be glad about in everything one encounters; in even the worst of life’s situations.

Pollyanna’s story grew into quite a movement; it led to the coining of the term ‘Pollyanna’, used to describe an optimist. It also led to the formation of ‘Glad’ clubs in the States and also a board game.

I”ve read just the first part of the Pollyanna book series and that too recently. I was at the Delhi airport and Odyssey was closed or renovating (not sure which of the two). I was disappointed but I walked into a nearby children’s store and while browsing through the books there, came across Pollyanna. It took me a few hours to finish the story and then I was really hoping I had come across or heard of her when I had been younger. I am sure ten year old me would have really enjoyed these books and found a lot to learn from the ‘Glad’ games. Yes the books seem to have quite an effect on the older generation as well; optimism is something that gets harder to understand and explore as one ages. 🙂

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