A novel for ages 12-up, also loved by many adults. With a cast that includes Henry David Thoreau, a perceptive Shaker schoolmistress, and a murderous false friend, Anna's World is a powerful coming of age story, widely praised for its vivid characters, gripping plot, and moral stature.
Awards in national competitions: Moonbeam Children's Books Awards; U.S.A. Book News "Best Book" Awards; Reader Views Literary Awards; Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Included in the Renaissance Learning Accelerated Reader quiz program. A Study Guide and Author Notes are free downloads at chironbooks.com.
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What People are Saying About This
"Touches a nerve. I believe it comes very close to the heart of the human situation."--(Lucina Kathmann, International Vice-President, International PEN)
"A story full of wisdom, spirit, and spunk. Young readers will love this book and be sorry to see it end. I was."--(Beverly Donofrio, author of Riding in Cars with Boys and Looking for Mary)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Set in the 1840¿s Anna¿s home is destroyed along with her town and her father¿s store by a flood. In addition to all of this she is recovering from typhoid fever. She has been sent to live with the Shakers while her father tries to rebuild their life. The reader of this book gets a good look at the life and belief system of the Shakers. Through them Anna learns that all the things a big city can offer aren¿t always the best things. It is the story of change and choices. I can guarantee you some of my students have never heard of the Shakers. The historical look at this book is well worth the read.
Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite Poor Anna. That girl had a lot of sorrow and trauma to overcome, first with her momma dying in childbirth, the typhoid plague, and a flood that wiped out tons of her fellow townspeople and left Anna desperately ill. When she recovered, her father had left her with the Shakers. Abandoned and feeling very alone, Anna struggles with her nightmares, both real and in her dreams. Never having read another book about Shaker life, this book was an unusual venture for me. It was fascinating to get a glimpse into how people lived in the past. One of my favorite things about historical fiction is that, in addition to telling a story, it actually describes the nature of a certain culture and that is definitely true in Anna. I'm not sure if Shakers exist today, but in the past they had such bizarre rituals and beliefs. It was fascinating to get a better look at some of those practices within the pages of Anna's World. I LOVE when authors make historical figures characters in their books. While it may or may not be historically accurate, there's just something about coming across someone "famous" and being able to get to know them, if only in fiction. Henry David Thoreau makes an appearance, and as one of my favorite American writers and thinkers, I was thrilled! Anna's World by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin is a very character driven book. Anna herself is the main focus, but also different characters like Sister Zenobia, Sally, etc. are very well portrayed. While most characters are side characters and have only glancing roles, it's easy to see the depth and structure of their character development. They have wants, needs, prides, downfalls. Their motives don't necessarily have anything to do with the story, but they exist nonetheless, which really adds realism and complexity to the story. Anna's World is a captivating and dramatic work of historic fiction, delving into the depths of one girl's life in the 1840s.
This book is written with the Tween reader in mind, yet as an adult, I found it enjoyable. I always like a book that can teach me things and this one did just that. I have known about Shakers and their wonderful woodcrafts but I never knew they were versed in herbs and what they could do for medicine. I also didn't know they were Separatists in that they did not live as husband and wife or that they took in orphans. Anna Coburn, age 14, is left by her father with the Shaker Community after her town suffered a horrific flood. She doesn't want to be there with all the rules the Shakers have. Life is dull to Anna. She makes friends with another young girl, Sally who is a monitor in the Shaker school. Yet, there are some things that happen in the community like Henry David Thoreau speaking at their school and this catches Anna's interest. Sally talks Anna into helping her to run away so she can marry the boy she loves and Anna's father finally sends a servant to get her. Her father has been able to start a new business in Boston and has married and is now able to have Anna with him. Anna goes willingly but soon finds Boston is not the town or the life for her. ANNA'S WORLD tells of life in the late 1840's, the war with Mexico and the lifestyle of the Shakers. It is written in easy to understand language. It is a good book for the Tween in your life to learn about this period of history in America.