When I was seven, my grandma sent me a copy of Anne of Green Gables. In the mail! This was at least a decade before we could sit in the comfort of our own homes, go clickety-click-click, wait a few days, and POOF! have a book magically appear in the mailbox. This was huge.
Except that the book had creepy cover. Not cutesy, like this one. Mine was a live action shot from the PBS mini-series; coal black except for a scraggly looking red-headed girl, clutching a super-ugly carpet bag. It looked like a V. C. Andrews' book cover.
I tried valiantly to read it once or twice, but just couldn't hack it. The paragraphs were so long, it seemed, and by the time I got to the end of the page I couldn't remember what I had read. A few years later, though, grandma sent me the rest of the series and I gave Anne another whirl. It was love at second sight.
Anne is a weird girl. She's naive and high-strung, and she causes no end of trouble to her adopted family (a prickly spinster sister and her kindly bachelor brother). Anne's desperate to be raven-haired and ivory-complected, and ends up staining her nose red and dyeing her hair green. And yet, Anne is lovable and charming, in that Canadian-orphan-at-the-turn-of-the-twentieth-century sort of way. It's a sweet book, and there's good news for you series-lovers out there: L.M. Montgomery wrote eight books about this red-headed snippet.