“Love, after all, can never be just an abstraction. By its very nature, it indicates something concrete: intentions, attitudes, and behaviors that are shown in daily living.” – Pope Francis
AR 4.1 (1.0 point)
Independent readers ages 9-12
Review and Comments
Anna Hibiscus is a delightful story about a little girl and her devoted family. Each chapter begins with the same words, “Anna lives in Africa with a very large extended family.” Their bond is undeniably strong throughout the stories she relates to the reader. Her parents freely share their love with their children. Her grandparents, the elders in the family, express their wisdom not only in oral lessons but in their exemplary daily living. Anna learns a very important lesson about charity with her grandparents’ guidance. Their sacrifice is truly inspiring. The support of the aunts, uncles, and cousins is also obvious and emphasizes their attitude that “It’s not good to be alone. We have to help each other.” The family believes in “proper African ways,” but they also embrace modern ways. It is obvious that Anna is very happy to belong to this family where love and support are given every day.
There are many comparisons made throughout the stories that call attention to interesting differences yet none are labeled right or wrong. Anna gives a very good description of her home compound and the exciting city right outside her gate. She loves them both. Her mother grew up in a small family in Canada while her father grew up in Africa in this large family, and Anna finds the differences very interesting. And when they travel in a boat for a family vacation, Anna notes details as they pass a large city and then a rainforest. She sees beauty in it all. While on vacation, her family enjoys their alone time away from the larger family group but by the end of the vacation everyone has joined them. It is obvious the larger family unit has benefits for everyone. Then, Anna meets an aunt who left home long ago and it is undoubtedly a very happy occasion for everyone. The aunt shows the family that she still joyfully embraces family traditions and also exhibits a few adopted “modern” ways.Continue reading Modern and Traditional: A Review of ‘Anna Hibiscus’