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Marion Dane Bauer is the author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor book On My Honor and the New York Times bestseller My Mother Is Mine. Her other titles include A Mama for Owen, If You Were Born a Kitten, Grandmother's Song, and Thank You for Me! She has retired from the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults where she was the first Faculty Chair. She lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and can be reached at MarionDaneBauer.com.
Gr 7 Up-Unloved and unwanted, orphan Pollyanna Whittier boards an eastbound train to live with her Aunt Polly, a wealthy spinster. Aunt Polly treats the child insensitively, giving her a musty room in the attic and expecting her to keep quiet and stay out of the way. Pollyanna, with her optimistic outlook on life, turns all the lemons thrown her way into lemonade; punishments are viewed as rewards, unfriendly people in town are befriended. Pollyanna's "Glad Game" is soon played by all the people of the town. A terrible accident with a motor car as she is crossing the street finally breaks Pollyanna's spirit. When long-held secrets are finally revealed, even Aunt Polly comes around to warming up not only to her niece, but to a relationship she had long denied herself. This recording is based on the book by Eleanor H. Porter, originally published in 1913. It remains a charming, albeit old-fashioned, classic. Barbara Caruso's narration is faithful to the text, with a few minor changes sprinkled throughout. Caruso makes use of vocal inflections to differentiate characters. There is no background music or sound effects to distract listeners. Comparable in quality to Pollyanna read by S. Patricia Bailey (Blackstone Audiobooks, 1996), this recording is preferable to the same title available from Chivers (1995).-Stephanie Bange, Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library, OH