Jean Little's classic celebrates its 40th anniversary with a new look for a new generation!

Nine-year-old Anna has always been the clumsy one in the family — somehow she can never do anything right. She bumps into tables, and she can't read the chalkboard at school. Her perfect brothers and sisters call her "Awkward Anna."

When Papa announces that the family is moving from Germany to Canada — he's worried ...

See more details below
From Anna

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


Jean Little's classic celebrates its 40th anniversary with a new look for a new generation!

Nine-year-old Anna has always been the clumsy one in the family — somehow she can never do anything right. She bumps into tables, and she can't read the chalkboard at school. Her perfect brothers and sisters call her "Awkward Anna."

When Papa announces that the family is moving from Germany to Canada — he's worried about what the Nazis' rise to power will bring — Anna's heart sinks. How can she learn English when she can't even read German properly?

But when the Soldens arrive in Canada, Anna learns that there is a reason for her clumsiness. And suddenly, wonderfully, her whole world begins to change, especially when new friends at her special school help her stand up to bullies who call her names.

A truly heartwarming story, From Anna will resonate with any child who has ever felt left out. This 40th anniversary edition includes an Introduction by Katherine Paterson and and Afterword by Jean Little herself.

When the family moves from Germany to Canada in the 1930's, a nine-year-old girl discovers the reason for her awkwardness and apparent inability to do anything right.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Book Review Service
This is a special book. Like a warm friendship, it makes one different.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781443119740
  • Publisher: Scholastic Canada Ltd
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 503,168
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Jean Little is one of Canada's best-loved children's writers. She is a member of the Order of Canada and has received numerous awards including a CLA Book of the Year Award, a Governor General's Literary Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for Body of Work. Jean is the author of almost 50 books, including four in the Dear Canada series, and the acclaimed novel Dancing Through the Snow. She lives in Guelph, Ontario. Her website is jeanlittle.ca.

Joan Sandin was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and lived in Stockholm, Sweden for 15 years. She always loved to draw, and illustrated her first book — a story written by her big brother Tom — when she was five. Joan has three children, more than a dozen grandchildren, and more than 100 published books in English and in Swedish. She now lives Arizona again, where she continues to illustrate, write, and translate children's books. Here website is joansandin.com.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Song For Herr Keppler

Let it really be Papa, Anna wished desperately as she tugged open the big front door. Let me be right.

She wanted to run down the steps but they were uneven and she had fallen headlong down them before now. That was no way to meet Papa, landing at his feet upside down and with a fresh batch of bruises. The moment she was on flat ground, however, she ran. Then she was close enough to be sure -- and she was right.

"Papa, Papa1" she cried in delight, flinging her arms around his middle and hugging him. The next instant she was trying to get away. She, Anna, never grabbed people like that, not right out on the street where anyone could see. But Papa had dropped his briefcase and was hugging her back so hard you could tell he would not mind if all the world were watching.

"Stop, stop! You're breaking my bones," Anna gasped at last.

Laughing, he let go of her. At once she became very busy picking, up the briefcase, dusting it off with part of her skirt and giving it back to him. She kept her head bent so he would not catch her joy at being the first to meet him, at the wonderful hug, at everything. But Papa guessed. He reached down and captured one of her hands and swung it in his as they started for the house.

"Where are the others?" he asked.

Anna scowled. Why were the older four always so important? And yet of course he would wonder. She could not remember ever before having been the only one to meet him. Always Gretchen or Rudi, Fritz or Frieda, or even all four, hadbeen there too.

"They're busy fighting about what happened in school today," she explained. "But I sat on the windowsill and watched until I saw you coming."

She was dragging her feet now. She so wanted him to herself a few moments longer.

"What happened in school?" he asked. He let go of her hand, and they both stopped walking while he waited to hear. Without thinking about it, Anna reached up and jerked on one of her thin braids. It was a habit she had when she was worried.

"Don't, Anna," Papa warned . "It'll come undone." He was too late. Anna looked down in dismay at the crumpled ribbon in her fist. So often Mama begged her to leave her hair alone. So often she forgot.

"Maybe I can fix it," Papa said. "I can try anyway."

Anna turned her back and held the ribbon up over her shoulder to him. Awkwardly he bundled together the loose hair into one strand. Her mother was right about it being difficult. Wisps of it kept slipping away from him. But at last, while Anna clutched the end, he tied a lopsided bow around the middle. He frowned at it. He had made no attempt to rebraid it and it looked all wrong. Anna knew how it looked as well as he did, but she told herself she did not care. Even when it was newly done by Mama herself, it never looked just right, like Gretchen's smooth, gleaming thick braids.

"About school, Papa," she reminded him, turning around.

Papa forgot her hair too.

"What happened?"

For one instant, Anna hesitated. It was really Gretchen's story, not hers. But Gretchen and the rest so often had something to tell. There was never anything. she, Anna, could say about her troubled days in Frau Schmidt's class. Anyway, it was Gretchen's own fault she hadn't been watching out for Papa!

"We were all at Assembly," Anna plunged in. "We always have Assembly before we start classes and we sing then. We get to choose a couple of the songs. The older children, that is. This morning it was Gretchen's turn and she asked for 'Die Gedanken sind frei.' The whole school knows it except for the younger children. I'm the only one in my class who knows it all."

Anna paused, proud of her knowledge and remembering the day Papa had taught her the song, when she was only five years old. He had explained the proud words until she understood them and then they had marched along together, singing it. Die Gedanken sind frei. It meant "thoughts are free."

"So what happened?" Papa said again.

"Well, Herr Keppler . . . You know, Papa, he's the new Headmaster the government sent after Herr Jakobsohn left."

Papa nodded, and his face darkened. He and Herr Jakobsohn had been friends. They had played chess together. But the Jakobsohns had gone to America three weeks ago.

"Herr Keppler just said, 'We will not sing that song in this school again.' Fräulein Braun had already started to play the beginning to get us started and nobody knew what to do. Gretchen was still standing up and she went all red and said right out loud, 'Why?' That was brave of her, Papa. Everybody is frightened of Herr Keppler. When Rudi says he isn't, he's lying."

"What answer did Herr Keppler give Gretchen?" Papa said.

He sounded angry, almost as though he already knew.

"He didn't answer her at all," Anna said. She was still surprised as she thought back. "I mean, he didn't give any reason. He just looked at her and said, 'Sit down.'" The command came sharply from Anna's lips as she imitated the Headmaster.

"Rudi says maybe Herr Keppler just doesn't like that song and that it didn't mean anything special . . . ." Her voice trailed off uncertainly.

"What did you sing instead?" Papa asked, beginning, once again, to move slowly toward the house. As they walked, he looked not at her but at the ground.

"'Deutschland, Deutschland fiber alles.'"

They were at the steps now. Their time alone was almost over. Anna's shoulders drooped.

From Anna. Copyright © by Jean Little. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    For Anyone Who Has Ever Felt Left Out

    I first read this book as a teen. I immediately loved it because it made me feel okay about not always fitting in. It's an easy read, and is as enjoyable for adults as it is for teens. I gave a copy of it to my niece when she reached 'the difficult years' and she enjoyed it as well. A great young adult novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)