Mister God, this is Anna
illustrations by Papas
published by: Harper Collins
paperback, 293 pages
Originally published in 1974, this is an absolute gem of a book. Vernon Sproxton, who knew Fynn and could therefore verify that he was an actual person and not a literary device, describes this book beautifully in his introduction:
"There are good books, indeifferent books, and bad books. Amongst the good books, some are honest, inspiring, moving, prophetic and improving. But in my language there is another cateogory: there are Ah! Books. This is one of them. Ah! Books are those which induce a fundamental change in the reader's consciousness. They widen his sensibility in such a way that he is able to look upon familar things as though he is seeing and understanding them for the first time."
And what is it about? The front cover explains that it is "The True Story of a very Special Friendship", which is explained further on the back:
"Anna was four years old when Fynn, then only 16 himself, found her wandering the streets of London's docklands. Badly neglected and abandoned by her parents, she leapt at the chance to stay with Fynn's mother.
The impact of this extraordinary child on Fynn's family and his neighbourhood friends was to be immense. Nobody who met Anna coudl remain the same: this intelligent, lively, precocious little chatterbox would completely disarm adult preconcenptions with her innocent world-view. Her outpourings on life, mathematics, science and her mentor, Mister God, so elegantly recounted by Fynn and illustrated by Papas, have made this bestselling book compulsive reading for all ages."