Anna All Year Round [NOOK Book]

Overview

Eight-year-old Anna enjoys one exciting experience after another in this charming story set in Baltimore just before World War I. She gets a new winter coat that's even better than Rosa's, rollerskates down the steepest hill in the neighborhood, and rides the trolley all by herself. And she delights in the changes occurring in the world around her, as motorcars and electric lights appear for the first time on her street. Based on the childhood experiences of the author's mother, these heartwarming episodes touch ...
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Anna All Year Round

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Overview

Eight-year-old Anna enjoys one exciting experience after another in this charming story set in Baltimore just before World War I. She gets a new winter coat that's even better than Rosa's, rollerskates down the steepest hill in the neighborhood, and rides the trolley all by herself. And she delights in the changes occurring in the world around her, as motorcars and electric lights appear for the first time on her street. Based on the childhood experiences of the author's mother, these heartwarming episodes touch on timeless themes of family, friends, and the wonders of growing up.

Chronicles the sometimes funny, sometimes sad experiences of eight-year-old Anna with her friends and family during a year in Baltimore just before World War I.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
The author based this story on her mother's memoirs. Anna Elisabeth Sherwood was eighty when she wrote about her experiences growing up in Baltimore early in the century and her daughter presents a fictionalized account segmented by the seasons of a year. Although Anna enjoyed a pleasant childhood, young readers may think her life Spartan and they will no doubt consider her parents loving, but overly strict by today's standards. In her reluctance to admit she is having trouble with math, Anna resorts to copying from a classmate. She is shamed in front of the entire class and is forced to talk with Father about her problem. As winter begins, Anna longs for a fancy store-bought coat like the one her classmate Rosa wears and, just before Christmas, she and her friend Charlie look through the Sears Roebuck catalog and then write letters to Santa. The story would benefit from less narrative and more dialogue, but today's readers should find it interesting to follow along with Anna and discover just what it was like to be an eight-year-old child in 1913.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Life in Baltimore in the years just before World War I might seem slow and dull to today's youngsters, but eight-year-old Anna experiences the same yearnings, disappointments, joys, and adventures that all children do. During the seasons described here, she struggles with long division; she outgrows her winter coat and longs for a red one just like the one belonging to her snobby friend Rosa; she asks Santa for an Erector set, though it is not considered a suitable present for a young lady; and she eavesdrops on her mother and aunts' conversations, only to be thwarted when the adults speak in German (a glossary of German terms is included). Hahn masterfully captures Anna's humiliation at wearing a coat that is too small, her thrill and fear during her fling as a daredevil roller skater, and the comforting sense of family that surrounds these everyday activities. De Groat depicts the period details-dress, transportation, etc.-and the characters' personalities all come to life through her soft, though vibrant pencil illustrations. Reading this book is like taking a quiet, peaceful carriage ride over the cobbled streets of an earlier time.-Linda Bindner, formerly at Athens Clarke County Library, GA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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. (glossary) (Fiction. 6-8)
From the Publisher
Based on the childhood of the author's mother, this engaging episodic novel follows the everyday adventures of third-grader Anna Sherwood growing up in pre-WWI Baltimore. Anna is "ein kluges Mädchen"-a clever girl, in her mother's native German-who likes reading better than arithmetic ("All you can do with numbers is make prob-lems. But you can make stories and poems with words"); she's also something of a tomboy. The novel moves from fall to summer as Anna conquers long division (having previously resorted to cheating); battles with her mother over the color of a new winter coat (Anna wants bright red, Mother wants "drab and boring" brown); "split[s] her chin wide open" roller-skating down the steepest hill in Baltimore on a dare; and is judged grown-up enough to ride the trolley downtown to have lunch with her father. All the chapters are informed by Hahn's able evo-cation of time and place-a Baltimore of groceries delivered by horse-drawn wagon and streets lit by gas lamps-and of the specific characters who inhabit it. Many of the episodes are driven by the tension between Anna and her strict, old-fashioned mother (in one of the best chapters, "Anna's Birthday Surprise," Anna, desperate to have a birthday party despite Mother's refusal, secretly issues invitations and then, with a mixture of hope and dread, waits to see what will happen when her friends arrive); the tension is always defused by the unqualified love between Anna and her father. Hahn's use of the present tense to tell Anna's stories helps keep nostalgia at bay, as does the energetic, just-dashed-off quality of deGroat's rough pencil sketches.
Horn Book

"powerful depiction of the childhood emotions that accompany the inevitable process of growing up...timeless... young readers should find Anna's experiences meaningful." Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547562988
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/29/1999
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,072,354
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Diane deGroat

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous and The Old Willis Place. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Language
of Secrets

Anna is sitting on the sofa reading. It's a rainy September day. Drops of water run down the front window, blurring the narrow brick row houses across the street. Leaves drift from the trees. The clock on the mantel chimes eleven. At the same moment, a horse clip-clops past, hauling a wagon.

Without looking up from her book, Anna knows it's Mr. Hausmann, the grocer, on his way to his shop at the bottom of the hill. He finishes his deliveries every Saturday morning at exactly the same time. Father says he could set all the clocks in the house by Mr. Hausmann.

Tired of sitting still, Anna slides quietly off the sofa and tiptoes down the hall to the kitchen door. Mother's sister, Anna's aunt May, has come over from her house next door. She and Mother are sitting at the table, drinking coffee and gossiping about their other sisters. Fritzi, Aunt May's big white bulldog, is asleep at Aunt May's feet.

Anna stands in the doorway listening. Mother has five sisters and three brothers. It seems to Anna that someone in the family is always mad at someone else. This morning the two sisters are cross with Aunt Amelia. Anna isn't fond of Aunt Amelia, so she lingers, hoping to hear something interesting.

"Did you hear what Amelia had the nerve to tell Margaret?" Mother asks Aunt May. "She said her tablecloth wasn't starched properly!"

This doesn't surprise Anna. Once she saw Aunt Amelia run her finger across their dining-room table to check for dust. As if Mother would leave a speck of dirt anywhere! Why, she even sweeps the sidewalk in front of the house every morning. With Mother around,dust has no chance.

Aunt May makes a loud harrumph. "Amelia should talk. The last time I called on her, I counted three cobwebs in the corners. Poor Friedrich. I can't believe she's a good wife to him."

Mother nods in agreement and leans closer to Aunt May. "What do you think of Julianna's new beau? Have you met him yet?"

Aunt May wrinkles her nose. "I don't--"

Just then, Anna has the misfortune to sneeze.

Mother and Aunt May both turn and stare at Anna. Until now, they hadn't noticed her standing in the doorway.

Mother looks cross. "Fie, Anna. Where are your manners? It's rude to eavesdrop."

Aunt May smiles. "My little sweet potato has sprouted ears as well as eyes," she says, giving Anna a hug. Fritzi lifts his head and wags his tail. Like Aunt May, he's glad to see Anna.

Mother doesn't smile. She picks up the coffeepot and holds it over Aunt May's cup. "Möchtest du mehr Kaffee, May?"

Aunt May winks at Mother and pats Anna's fanny. "Ja bitte, Lizzie."

Anna pulls away from her aunt and scowls. Mother's family is German. When they don't want Anna to understand what they're saying, they speak in German. No one will teach Anna to speak it. It's the language of secrets.

"Was denkst du von Julianna's neuem Freund?" Mother asks.

Aunt May makes a face. "Ich mag ihn nicht."

Anna tugs at Mother's sleeve. "Speak English," she begs.

Mother shakes her head. "Go and play, Anna. What we say is not for you to hear.""It's talk for grown-ups, very boring." Aunt May gives Anna another pat. "Do as Mother says and run along, mein kleiner Zuckerwürfel."

Anna flounces to the door. When she's sure neither her mother nor her aunt is looking at her, she sticks out her tongue. She wants to be called my little sugar lump, not mein kleiner Zuckerwürfel.

Fritzi starts to follow Anna, but Aunt May calls him back. Mother doesn't allow Fritzi to leave the kitchen; she's afraid he'll jump on the furniture the way he does at home. Although Mother has never said it to Aunt May's face, she doesn't like Fritzi. She thinks he's ugly and smelly and spoiled rotten.

Alone in the parlor, Anna finds a book written in German. She sits in Father's big chair and opens the book. Since no one else will do it, Anna will teach herself German. She stares at the long words till her head aches. She cannot understand any of them. Some of the letters look strange. Others have funny marks over them.

Anna groans and closes the book. German children must be smarter than American children, she thinks, or they'd never learn to talk or read.

When Father comes home from his job at the newspaper, he finds Anna asleep in his chair, Mother's German book in her lap.

Anna opens her eyes and gives Father a hug and a kiss. Father picks up Mother's book and glances at the pages. "I didn't know you could read German," he says.Anna sighs. "That's just the trouble, Father. I can't! I was trying to teach myself, but it's too hard. Why can't German be as easy as English? Why do all the words have to be so long and fancified?"

Father smiles. "I imagine that's exactly what German children say about English."

Anna loves Father too much to argue but she's certain he's wrong. Anyone can see English is much easier than German.

Father strokes Anna's long brown hair. "Won't Mother help you?"

Anna shakes her head. "All Mother has taught me is ‘Gesundheit,' which you say when someone sneezes, and ‘Auf Wiedersehen,' which means ‘good-bye.' I also know ‘bitte,' which means ‘please,' and ‘danke,' which means ‘thank you.'"

"Those are all good words," Father says. "Why do you want to know more?"Anna picks up her doll and smoothes its wrinkled dress. "When Aunt May visits, she and Mother talk in German to keep me from learning their secrets...

Anna All Year Round. Copyright © by Mary Hahn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

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    Looks boring not buying

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    Posted January 31, 2013

    Good

    Good

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    Posted May 27, 2012

    Babyphat

    Great!read rhis book 2day!

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    Posted April 29, 2011

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