Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter – Book Review

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter – Book Review

Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter


Author – Eleanor H. Porter
Publisher – Alma Junior
Pages – 288
Released – 22nd June 2017 (First edition 1913)
ISBN-13 – 978-1847496409
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


The orphan girl Pollyanna moves in with her miserable aunt in New England. Despite being unwanted, Pollyanna’s exuberance and positivity affect everyone who meets her, and she spreads joy and love wherever she goes. But when tragedy strikes, Pollyanna finds her optimistic attitude tested and she must learn to find happiness again.

A heartwarming tale that has become one of the most loved children’s stories of all time, Eleanor H. Porter’s 1913 bestseller – the first in a long series of Pollyanna novels by the author and other writers – is a beautiful story with a powerful moral message.

Review 2017

Eleven-year-old Pollyanna has been through such heartache. Her mother died a few years ago and now her Minister father has tragically died too. The only family she has left is her Aunt Polly who lives in Vermont in a big house on a hill.

Polly Harrington is a forty-year-old wealthy woman who lives alone in a large white house with green shutters. In her prime, she was a lovely young woman but over the years she has become stern and arrogant and likes to be alone. She knows it is her duty to take in her niece, though she really doesn’t want to.

Miss Polly has lots of hired help at her home, including general helper Nancy, Gardener Tom, Driver Timothy, and Miss Durgin the Washer Woman. The staff are all looking forward to having a young girl in the house, even if Miss Polly isn’t. They hope that over time she will bring joy and laughter back to what was once a house full of love and happy families.

Pollyanna was written in 1913 by Eleanor H. Porter and her name has over the years has come to mean, ‘an excessively cheerful or optimistic person’ – Look it up in a dictionary!. This is because little Pollyanna (named after her two aunts Polly and Anna) is always happy and sees the best in people.

Even though Pollyanna has been through so much hardship and heartache she is always upbeat and brings joy to the townsfolk who come to adore her. That is until a tragic moment and then it’s up to the people of the town to remind Pollyanna what an inspirational young girl she is.

The book is all about how a little girl who can see the good in every situation even when others can’t and that maybe if you look hard enough you can too.

I never read this book as a child, though I had known of it and had seen it about. Most likely because I tended to stay away from the classics as a child and unfortunately, I have a feeling even today that children prefer newer books than classics like this, which is a shame as they are really missing out.

As classics go this was surprisingly easy to read. The language is clear and mainly written using words we use today, except for sometimes when Pollyanna spoke. That girl also spoke ten to the dozen and at times it felt like she went on and on 🙂

As with nearly all Alma classic books, this has extra reading material at the back, as well as a quiz and a glossary of terms used back in 1913. This is a beautiful book that I really enjoyed. The words just flowed and the plot was so vivid and I felt like I had travelled back in time.

Reviewed by Stacey

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About the Author

Eleanor Emily Hodgman Porter (December 19, 1868 – May 21, 1920) was an American novelist. She was born as Eleanor Emily Hodgman in Littleton, New Hampshire on December 19, 1868, the daughter of Llewella French (née Woolson) and Francis Fletcher Hodgman.

She was trained as a singer, attending New England Conservatory for several years. In 1892, she married John Lyman Porter and relocated to Massachusetts, after which she began writing and publishing her short stories and later novels. She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 21, 1920 and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery.

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2 Responses

  1. Emma Mane says:

    I’ve didn’t read this as a child. I must now. So cute.