Forgotten Gems: The Mitchells Series

by | Jul 20, 2018 | Books, Reading | 2 comments

This is the first post in my new blog series about largely forgotten (often out-of-print) children’s novels that definitely deserve to be rediscovered!

Today’s series is The Mitchells trilogy—a longtime favorite of mine. This gentle, charming trio of novels tells the story of a large family and their life as they transition from WWII-era Washington to the post-war Canadian countryside, and ultimately the suburbs of Montreal.

Friendly Gables, the third and last book in the series, was actually the first one I read. I was eight years old when I discovered it for the first time, and subsequently read it and reread it countless times over the years. To me, not having read the first two books didn’t matter at all—there were a handful of references to the earlier novels, but that didn’t diminish any of my delight. When I reread Friendly Gables last year, it was the first time I truly appreciated the plot structure: how each plot point is interconnected; how most of the main characters undergo satisfying arcs…it’s a joy to read.

The settings and characters are warm, vivid, and humorous. If you want a cozy family read, look no further! I absolutely recommend this series for fans of the Penderwick family, the Moffats, the Melendy Quartet, etc… there’s also a Maud Hart Lovelace vibe of strong characterization and witty lines. Best of all, these books are still in print from Bethlehem Books!

I can’t wait to introduce you to more of my favorite “forgotten” novels!


  1. Kristin Lundgren

    I’ll have to look for them. I’m always open to reading stories like MH Lovelace, Anne, etc., and that’s a time period I like. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Anna Rose Johnson

      I hope you enjoy them! 🙂 I’m looking forward to sharing more of my favorite vintage books in this blog series.


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