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Monthly Book Discussions > *Monthly Read*: From Anna by Jean Little

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message 1: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Hello everyone! This month's winner for the March Young Adult monthly read is From Anna by Jean Little by Jean Little. Feel free to discuss about what you love or hated about this book.

message 2: by Manybooks (last edited Mar 02, 2012 05:37PM) (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments I will definitely be rereading this (and the sequel). One of my favourite books by Jean Little, a book that touches on many issues, including immigration, bullying those with special needs (not just by children, but by adults).

Anna is first bullied by her unsympathetic teacher in Germany (and some of her schoolmates), but also by her siblings and even to an extent, her mother, who consider her willfully clumsy and a source of embarrassment. It is only after the family immigrates to Canada (just after the Nazis take control), that it is recognized that Anna has really poor vision and that her problems in school come from her not being able to see enough. A special class for children with vision problems proves to be a boon for her, and although she does again experience some bullying both because of her vision problems but, of course, also because she is German, she makes friends in the class, friends with similar challenges to he own. The book also deals with immigration and that immigrating, moving is not always all that easy, and that it can be especially traumatic for children with special needs such as Anna, who is at first afraid of having to learn a new language, make new friends, figure out school etc.

What is not really mentioned in the book itself, but must also be taken into consideration is the fact that Anna and her family (but especially Anna) were also lucky to have escaped Germany when they did. The Soldens left Germany because the father, an English teacher, realised some of the dangers of the Nazis. But when one takes into account that the Nazis did not only attempt to exterminate Jewish people, Gypsies and so-called enemies of the state, but that they also tried to get rid of people they considered "unworthy of life" (homosexuals, people with mental and physical challenges, the chronically ill), Anna's father's decision to immigrate to Canada likely saved his daughter's life.

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