ANNA ALL YEAR ROUND by Mary Downing Hahn


Age Range: 6 - 8
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Nothing very special happens in Hahn’s beguiling slice-of-life novel, set in Baltimore at a time when gaslight illuminated the streets and commuters traveled by trolley. Eight-year-old Anna outgrows her old coat, dares to go down a steep hill on roller-skates, tricks her mother into giving her a birthday party, and plays tag with her friends. What makes the book stand up and shout are not the ordinary events Hahn delineates, but her powerful depiction of the childhood emotions that accompany the inevitable process of growing up. Anna is a great girl, earnest and well-meaning, full of grit, determination, and heart. The book, which is episodic, is divided into four sections—one for every season—and every chapter chronicles a brief incident in vivid, simple prose, ably highlighted by deGroat’s straightforward black-and-white illustrations of the era. Life was different in 1913, but the core issues that children face—whether to cheat to save face, or to accept a dare that’s too hard—are timeless, and young readers should find Anna’s experiences meaningful.  (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 19th, 1999
ISBN: 0-395-86975-7
Page count: 133pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1999