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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Road to Avonlea is an award-winning series based on books by L.M. Montgomery. It's in much the same vein as Kevin Sullivan’s best-known production of Anne of Green Gables. It is filled with wholesome entertainment for all ages, and although its slower pace might not appeal to every kid, those who do tune in will be treated to positive messages about family, friendship, and learning life’s lessons. The show’s setting in early 20th century Canada exposes viewers to another time and place and prompts discussion about how things have changed in the past century.
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What's the story?
ROAD TO AVONLEA centers on Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley), a young heiress whose father sends her from Montreal to the picturesque town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, to live with her maternal aunts, Hetty (Jackie Burroughs) and Olivia (Mag Ruffman). Sara’s adventurous spirit makes for plenty of fun with her cousins, Felicity (Gema Zamprogna), Felix (Zachary Bennett), and Cecily (Harmony Cramp and later Molly Atkinson), who live nearby on their family’s farm. The series ran for seven seasons, with latter episodes changing focus from Sara and her cousins to the lives of other Avonlea residents.
Is it any good?
Watching this series is like being treated to comedy, drama, romance, and natural splendor, and the show’s good, clean content is uplifting to the soul. Its leisurely pace might be a tough sell on your kids, but if they will give it a chance, they may be surprised at its entertainment value. Creator Kevin Sullivan skims the very best of L.M. Montgomery’s beautiful stories from books like The Golden Road and Chronicles of Avonlea and weaves them into a series that’s pleasing for the senses.
If you’re coming to Road to Avonlea as an existing fan of Sullivan’s best-known works, Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, rest assured that you won’t be disappointed in this related work. Everything from the tone to the music remains consistent, and some of the original cast members -- including Jonathan Crombie and Colleen Dewhurst -- return in some capacity. Watching this delightful series with your kids is a real joy, and it encourages discussions about history, family relationships, friendship, and growing up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about family. How has the definition of family changed over the years? What examples of different kinds of families exist in Road to Avonlea? How is family a source of strength for the characters? For you?
Kids: What differences did you notice between your lifestyle and that of the kids on this series? What are their hobbies and interests? How has technology changed how we spend our free time? Do you think one way is better than the other? Why?
Did this series attempt to teach you anything? If so, what? Were there any lessons to be found in the characters’ actions?
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