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From Anna

(Anna Solden #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  896 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Moving is never easy, especially when you're a little 9-year-old girl moving from the tumult of living in Nazi Germany to Canada in the 1930s. And if you're clumsy and your older brothers and sisters all call you "Awkward Anna" as well, it's even worse. In award-winning writer Jean Little's poignant novel, From Anna, readers are sure to be touched by Anna Soldens's struggl ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 31st 1973 by HarperTrophy (first published 1972)
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Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best things Jean Little has ever written. And since - as Andree put it - Jean Little is a Canadian treasure, that's saying a great deal.

It's a punch in the gut, Anna's story. Here is someone who knows exactly what it's like to be lonely, but not how to fix it, so she steels herself against while it only gets worse. Who is the youngest of her family and doesn't fit in with any of them - doesn't even look like any of them. Who can't read, and can't play games, and is alway
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is top-notch. It is written by a very sensitive children's author, Jean Little. It is about a little girl who is different from the rest of the family. She is awkward and is always stumbling over things. She cannot understand how her brothers and sisters can tell their Father is coming down the street before she hears his steps. Her mother is exasperated with her because she cannot learn to sew, but Anna wonders where the eye of the needle is that she can't find. Her teacher says she i ...more
Kerri (Book Hoarder)
I love this book so much, it's one of those ones that I've read over and over.

Set in the 1930's, From Anna tells the story of a nine year old girl who has to deal with the tumult of moving from Germany to Canada. For a young girl who's always had to deal with being awkward and the one who sticks out among her siblings, the sudden chaos of the move, a new country and learning English means that this is a very difficult time for Anna - and for her family as well!

The story gently unravels Anna's
Anna Solden has always been "awkward"--a word she hates, but accepts as true. It's a label her siblings have given her, and her school teacher and even her mother are exasperated with her. She constantly stumbles, cannot read well, and there are so many things she cannot do. Changes have come to Germany in the 1930's--some quite frightening--and Anna's father feels that it will be better if he takes his family away from an increasingly dangerous environment. The Soldens emigrate to Canada, where ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
target age: maybe 8?

I want to share this book with a child! There's not a lot of action, but the characters are nicely developed. Both of which are rather unusual for a book that targets a young audience. Little has succeeded in framing the story in such a way, that I bet all readers will be cheering for Anna long before the end of the book. (There's also a gentle introduction to the harsh changes that Germans experienced in the early 1930s.)
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first Anna is depicted weakly: not speaking-up among family, peers, or teachers on the simplest matters. Later, I grew to enjoy "From Anna", 1972, much more than I envisioned! I can't bear mistreatment, which thankfully this book was not about. I despair enough of anyone being underestimated and disregarded too often, which was Anna's plight. Mercifully, there was always her Dad or some friend who understood her better and gave her credence in the weakling days. This becomes a phenomenal stor ...more
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children aged 6+, Christmas celebrators, Book lovers
I have read this book over and over.

Anna is a young girl from a large German family. With the threat of War coming, Anna's father moves the family to Canada. But the move isn't easy. Everyone must learn English and adjust to Canadian culture. Furthermore, Anna must stop being so clumsy!

Everyone scorns young Anna and calls her 'Awkward Anna'. That is, until a Doctor's report reveals that Anna has very bad eyesight. Once Anna is given glasses and put in a special class, her world blooms. Finally,
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it

Meet Anna, a 9-year-old German girl who has to make a new start in Canada. And boy, does she ever. Through a lot of the book she gets made fun of, and called Awkward. This soon changes once a very nice doctor tells her and her family something shocking. If I told any more, I'd be ruining this book.
Jean Little tends to write books about young children that have to overcome having a various disability. Anna does just this in this heartwarming story. You'd think that Anna would have done a lot of c
Jennifer Bohnhoff
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This book begins in Germany in 1933. Anna Solden is the youngest and clumsiest in a large family that treats her like the incompetent baby. After they immigrate to America to escape the worsening political scene, the family discovers that Anna can barely see. A new pair of glasses and a special class for the visually impaired helps her blossom into a proficient and confident child. The climax features a Christmas during the depression that might have been dismal had it not been for the pluck and ...more
Mrs. S
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
From Anna is another of Jean Little's books that I remembered from my childhood. It's funny how specific scenes and images have stuck with me and others are like new to me now. This book focuses on Anna, the slow, clumsy youngest child of a family who moves suddenly from Germany to Canada just before World War II breaks out. When they arrive in the States, Anna visits a doctor who discovers that her troubles are a result of her seriously limited eyesight. Getting glasses and joining a class of o ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
We mostly liked this book. I didn't really like how the mom was always choosing "the dearest child" or some of the negative behaviors by some of the children. But the general story line was good - a German family with 5 children moves to Canada. The youngest girl, Anna, has trouble with lots of things and most of her family thinks she's just "slow" or even stupid (even she does). It turns out she just can't see and life improves for her when she gets glasses.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My name is Anna, so my mom got this book for me at a used-book sale. It sat on my shelf for a few weeks and then I started to read it. It was one of the most touching stories I have ever read. (Harry Portera us still better, of course.)
Mary Schwartz
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I thought From Anna by Jean Little was the best book I've ever read. I'm 50% German and this book is my favorite German story. Sometimes I feel just like Anna.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great little story, I remember Jean Little coming to my school in grade 5, she was very inspirational.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This has been one of my favorite books for a long time.
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goodstuff
This actually probably more of a children's or young adult book, but I love it. It's a very tender story about a little girl who emigrates with her family to Canada from Germany on the eve of WWII.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, with its realistic description of the effects of a disability - in this case poor/limited eyesight. Nice family dynamics.
Bernadet Leda
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From Anna is a book everyone must read! It is about a 9 year old girl, the youngest of 5 children. Anna is different from her older siblings and they never let her forget, her father being the only one who understands her, or at least tries to. She’s awkward and seems to never to do anything right. She is treated poorly at home and school as well. However, the tables slowly begin to turn when Anna and her family are forced to move to Canada because of financial issues. I loved reading how Anna ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to my friend Sara Libby for introducing me to Jean Little. What a charming book about 9 year old Anna. She overcomes all and learns to have confidence in herself.

I wish more of Little’s books were available in the US.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anna and her family have to move from Germany to Canada. Anna struggles with teasing from her siblings, getting glasses, not having enough money, and having to go to a new school.
I really liked this book. It is sweet.
Zahraa Raafat
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any clasiiscs-lover
Anna is just perfect
Anna is a human masterpiece <3
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dieses Buch habe ich als Kind geliebt- und immer wieder gelesen.
Sarah Bailey
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book was one of the first novels I ever read as a young child. It has stuck with me through all these years and is still one of my most beloved books.
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Borrowed from a 5th grader
and thoroughly enjoyed it !!
La Coccinelle
Nov 29, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 31%

I like to try to read books by Canadian authors every once in a while. There are some really good ones out there, and I hoped this would be another. I think I read one of Jean Little's books many years ago, though I couldn't tell you anything about it now. I'd never heard of From Anna, but the library had a copy of the 40th-anniversary edition, so I thought I'd give it a try. I read the first few chapters, took a break, and procrastinated about ever going back to it.

The problem with thi
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
A good book.
Marisa W.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
I remember reading this in elementary school and not liking it- I thought it was boring.
Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a touching family story
From Anna is a wonderful, sensitive touching book. It concerns nine year old Anna who is emigrating from Germany in the 1930's to Canada.

But not only must Anna deal with the new country, but the old problems of being the misfit of the family. When they children are studying English, Anna's older borther Rudy names her "Awkward Anna:.

A quote: "Awkward! Awkward! How she hated it! How she thought it was true. Rudy used it most often--he guessed how much it hurt. Only Papa never used it--he Guessed
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Anna a 9-year-old girl moved from Nazi Germany to Canada around the 1030s. She cannot speak English very well, nor is she used to her new home in Canada. One day Anna realizes that she needs glasses, and that's why she was so clumsy all that time. All of a sudden her brothers and sisters thought of Anna so differently. I first picked this book up because I thought the book would have been a book like Dear John, but instead the title was "From Anna," my prediction turned out to be wrong. I finish ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This heart-warming story features Anna Soldens, who moves from Nazi Germany to Canada, where a family friend recognizes that her vision problem is the root of her academic issues and clumsiness. A special classroom and new teacher help Anna start over and gain a new sense of value. This wholesome story is suitable for religious audiences, and the story includes Christmas presents as part of the plot.
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Jean Little is a Canadian author, born in Taiwan. Her work has mainly consisted of children's literature, but she has also written two autobiographies: Little by Little and Stars Come Out Within. Little has been partially blind since birth as a result of scars on her cornea and is frequently accompanied by a guide dog.

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