If You Like L. M. Montgomery…

Books to Read if You Like L. M. Montgomery

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Top Ten Tuesday

Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl invited us to share “Books for People Who Liked Author X” this week. That threw me for a loop for a minute. I read pretty widely at this point and I’m not terribly faithful to any one genre. Could I do this? Maybe I needed to go rogue. Then I realized the angle I needed to take. Here’s a list of books I recommend if you like L. M. Montgomery, of Anne of Green Gables fame.

Books to Read if You Like L. M. Montgomery

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, read by Susan Denaker–Even though the first book in this series was published in 2005, it has a timeless feel of childhood scrapes and small heartaches.

Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary–Ramona, who first appears in Beezus and Ramona, is a rule breaker. She simply can’t help getting into misadventures. But I think her curiosity and sense of fun would make her appeal to fans of L. M. Montgomery’s books.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly–Calpurnia is more scientifically-minded than Montgomery’s heroines, who tend to be dreamers, but I think the characters find common ground in their love of nature and the outdoors. Calpurnia struggles to be the daughter her mother wants her to be, just as Anne struggles to live up to Marilla’s standards when she first arrives at Green Gables. They both find solace in grandfatherly figures.

The Melendy Family by Elizabeth Enright, read by Pamela Dillman–This classic children’s series begins with The Saturdays. First published in 1941, these books chronicle the innocent adventures of four siblings

Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton–I’ve only read the first book in this classic British children’s series but the children’s wild imaginations reminded me a lot of Montgomery’s characters.

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott–I know that most of you would list Little Women here but I have never cared for that book. Sacrilege, I know! I tried and tried as an older child and then a teenager but I never could get past that one death scene. I finally actually finished it for the first time sometime in the past couple of years. But Little Men is a book I can get behind. No unnecessary tears in this one. Little boys being little boys and adults gently guiding them in the ways they should go definitely falls into Montgomery’s territory.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman–CeeCee, like many of Montgomery’s characters, has to assume too much responsibility too young and then finds herself relying on the kindness of strangers.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith–This recommendation is for fans of Montgomery’s slightly older characters. The main character, Cassandra, wants to be a writer. She has an eccentric family and there’s a will-they-won’t-they relationship, which I think are reminiscent of Montgomery’s books.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly–Here’s another one with slightly older characters. Maddie desperately wants to go to college and be a writer but she also has to care for her younger siblings. Montgomery seemed to write about these sorts of dreams vs responsibilities situations fairly often.

The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett–I’m changing course a bit here. All my other choices were based on characters and maybe a bit on plot. This one is mostly based on the sense of place. The coast of Maine and Prince Edward Island don’t have that much in common (I’ve been fortunate to visit both places) but the authors describe each location beautifully and lovingly. I could picture the areas so clearly in my mind that I was dying to visit them both. The gentle story and quirky characters do actually make this a good comparison on that front too.

That’s my list! Have you read any of these? Which books did/would you choose? Link up every Tuesday at That Artsy Reader Girl!

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  1. Ooh, nice idea for a list. I keep meaning to read Jennifer Donnelly but I never have. Now I have another incentive.

  2. Love this list.. Have read about half the books (Enid Blyton was among my favorite authors growing up.. and I think I have read all of her mystery series…) I loved Calpurnia, and yes I love Little Men too..Here is my TTT

    1. I remember my third grade teacher’s assistant reading the Cricket in Times Square to our class after lunch but I don’t remember much about the book itself. She read a lot of similar books to us–Stuart Little, maybe Charlotte’s Web and the Henry and Ribsy books. It’s amazing how many books she got through in a school year, just reading a few minutes after lunch every day.

  3. Oh I loved The Famous Five as a kid. Clearly I also need to look into The Penderwicks. I wonder if they were translated seeing as I have a 6 year old I need to read books to 😉

    1. These are all books I wish I could read again for the first time, but they would also stand up to a re-read, I think. I know Montgomery does. I can’t even guess how many times I’ve re-read her books.

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