My passion for all things Anne of Green Gables is well-documented. I've read the books ragged. I'm reliving them in audio form now. When a recent edition of some of the books made middle-grade kindred spirit Anne look like a YA heroine in need of a plot beyond a love interest (and also blond, rendering impossible the meet-cute in which Anne's own future love interest calls her "Carrots" and she breaks a slate on his head), I couldn't stop showing it to other booksellers, prefacing it with, "Wanna see something horrible?"
So when I say I like Emily of New Moon at least as much as I like Anne of Green Gables, I don't say it lightly.
Emily, the star of another series by Anne author (and my secret best friend, though she didn't live long enough to know it) L.M. Montgomery, is similar to Anne in a lot of ways. Both are orphans raised by well-meaning guardians who just need a little help in the imagination department, and both are exactly the right people to deliver that help.
But pretty much everything Anne is, Emily is more so. Anne is imaginative and dabbles in writing; Emily writes obsessively and has a psychic incident once per otherwise-realistic book. Anne has a "bosom friend" in Diana; Emily has an impassioned friendship with Ilse, complete with raging quarrels. Anne has red hair and freckles; Emily has elf's ears, for cryin' out loud.
Um, I'll be curled up in the corner rereading this if anyone needs me.