Anne of Green Gables is a beloved children's book among multiple generations. The success of Montgomery's novel depends largely upon her ability to make her characters timeless. While the setting is in the early 20th century, the book has remained relevant for over a century since its 1908 publishing date. Anne, Gilbert, and Marilla are relatable characters because the situations in which they find themselves are ones which every kid eventually experiences as well. They are not limited by their time period. Even though they interact with a world drastically different in appearance from kids today, these characters react to their situations in predictable, relatable ways. For instance, Anne is teased in school by Gilbert. It turns out he has a crush on her, but she refuses to accept that. This scenario is one that almost every child has lived through on either end of the conflict and can thus feel connected to the events of the book.
Montgomery's plot is cohesive but wandering. She depicts Anne's life without placing her within the constraints of strategic narration. Anne does what Anne would do in real life, and the events are related to the readers accordingly. In fact, Montgomery's narration almost reads like Anne's diary, even though it is written from a third party perspective. Once again, this helps the audience to really connect with Anne. What really distinguishes this book is that the supposedly haphazard and incoherent experiences of Anne's life end up forming a clear arc which can only be truly appreciated at the novel's end.
This book serves to de-stigmatize the issues that kids deal with. By writing about problems like puberty, bullying, and imagination from a child's perspective, Montgomery communicates to her young readers that they are valued and haven't been forgotten by adults. She treats each scene with Anne with such sacred sincerity that it's almost as if she's whispering between the letters on the page, "You are valued. What's happening to you is important. And you're not alone." This is the true magic of Montgomery's book: she helps children feel special. A simple, genuine account of a fictional girl's life then serves to encourage real kids through the many bumps and spills of their young lives.