Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter was an all time favourite of mine. The central character is young orphan Pollyanna Whittier, who on the death of her parents, is sent to live with her strict Aunt Polly in Vermont.
Pollyanna has been taught by her Father to play “The Glad Game”, where you find something to be glad about no matter what the situation. So when wealthy Aunt Polly bypasses all the beautiful, unused bedrooms at Pollyanna’s new home and gives her an attic room with no pictures or carpets, Pollyanna thanks her aunt for the beautiful view from her attic window.
Pollyanna visits some of the most cantankerous townspeople and soon has them playing the game with her. She brings happiness and joy to her Aunts household, although Aunt Polly takes longer than most to warm to her.
Aunt Polly realises how much Pollyanna means to her when Pollyanna is hit by a car. Unfortuately she overhears the doctor telling her Aunt she will never walk again and Pollyanna becomes downhearted and can find nothing to be glad about. Soon the townspeople begin calling to Aunt Polly’s house to enquire after Pollyanna, and to let her know how much they miss her around the town and slowly Pollyanna’s spirit returns and she plays the game again.
The book ends happily with Aunt Polly marrying her former beau and Pollyanna being sent to a hospital where they help her to walk again.
Great book with a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up.