ANNA ON THE FARM by Mary Downing Hahn


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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During an incredibly hot summer in Baltimore early in the 20th century, nine-year-old Anna—from Anna All Year Round (1999)—is invited by her aunt and uncle to spend a week on their farm. She is especially delighted by the idea of escaping the city because it will give her equal bragging rights with friends who are going to the mountains or the seaside. In addition, although there is a deep, loving relationship between Anna and her parents, it is apparent that she is uncomfortable with some of the restrictions placed on her feisty and adventurous nature. After all, girls are expected to wear dresses, never get dirty, and stay home until they marry. During the eventful week on the farm Anna is exposed to more freedom than she has ever known. A challenging friendship with her uncle's orphaned nephew involves her in the world of boys' play. She wears overalls, catches fireflies, wades in a stream, rides a horse, and gets very dirty, all without serious repercussions. Hahn uses the direct present tense, a usually difficult style, deftly and with grace. The reader is drawn into Anna's world as she experiences it, allowing both a glimpse of a bygone era and a point of comparison to modern life. De Groat's expressive pencil illustrations depict several of the key moments in the story just as one would imagine them. Anna is a character filled with life and energy whose further adventures would be most welcome. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 19th, 2001
ISBN: 0064411001
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2001


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