I first read this when I was about 13 or 14 years old and remembered it fondly. After all these years I was afraid it might be too sanitized for my grown-up self. I needn't have worried. Pollyanna Sunshine is nowhere to be found, and my years of life experience only made the book more meaningful for me. This is a realistic account of the joys and hardships of life in northern Alberta in the early 1900s. I grew so attached to Mike and Katherine that I wanted the story to keep going. It's not surprising that the book has remained popular for over fifty years. Have your tissues ready for the last few chapters.