Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I will just admit this right off the bat: I never read this as a child. Oh, I had the copies. Someone in my extended family gave me both Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea in beautiful hardcover editions, yet I doubt I barely cracked a page. I decided it was time to read it.
As a child I much preferred contemporary realistic fiction. I was into the Baby-Sitters Club, Mary Downing Hahn books, and Lois Lowry's Anastasia series. I didn't have time for flowery, overly descriptive, antiquated books. I liked lots of dialogue and something I felt I could relate to. Now that I've read through Anne of Green Gables I can see why I would have never liked it as a child. Anne is such a dreamer that her page-long diatribes would have driven me wild.
The pacing of the story bothered me quite a bit The first year of Anne's life in Green Gables was slow and more detail driven, while the next few years of her life flew by with only a few incidents. Other than that, it was a great book. And I cried at the end. I cried! Montgomery does a fine job building characters you fall in love with and care about, which makes the events in their life so much more moving.