“Jeannine Plamondon of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada,” Friend, Mar. 1996, 28
Bright River, the Lake of Shining Waters, Green Gables, Charlottetown, the North Shore, Avonlea—thousands of young readers all over the world know the place those names refer to. It is the world of Anne of Green Gables—beloved fictional character created by author Lucy Maud Montgomery. It is also the world of Jeannine Plamondon (10) of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Jeannine shares many interests and talents with the fictional Anne—she loves to read, she is a good writer, she loves to wander through the woods and the home that were the settings for Anne’s stories, she is a very good student at school, she has a wonderful imagination, she loves her island home. But Jeannine is a very real girl, with a great mom and dad (Michel and Dorothy), four sisters (Johanna, 21, Patricia, 18, Stephanie, 15, and Jocelyne, 13), and talents and gifts uniquely hers.
Because her dad was born in Quebec, the French-speaking Canadian province, and her mom was born on the island, where English is spoken, Jeannine has a bilingual heritage. Her dad teaches French at high school and also for the provincial government two nights a week.
Because of this heritage, Jeannine attends a French-immersion school. This means that in grades 1 through 3, Jeannine was taught most of her subjects in French. When she got to grade 4, she began studying English for one hour a day. She is very glad to be learning her father’s native tongue, along with the English she speaks every day, because many of her relatives still live in Quebec. Every other year the Plamondon family reunion is held there, and French definitely comes in handy. Besides, if Jeannine ever wants to share secrets with her dad, she can.
Jeannine’s English-speaking grandparents live on the island, and she loves to visit them too. She is taking violin lessons, and though she can play classical pieces, she also knows how to fiddle. Since her grandpa is also a fiddler, they can appreciate each other’s ability. Johanna has taught her some notes on the piano, too, so Jeannine tries to play a few songs on that instrument, as well.
Though her dad is not a member of the Church, the family holds family home evenings regularly. Jeannine especially loves the lessons her mom has taught about the prophets of this dispensation. All of the family are trying to learn the prophets’ names in the order of their service, but they find it is easy to get some of the Smiths mixed up. When Jeannine teaches part of the lesson, she loves to use her dolls as puppets to tell scripture stories.
Along with her mom and her sisters, Jeannine reads the scriptures every day.
Her favourite Book of Mormon stories are about the missionary Ammon, who tended the king’s sheep, and about the prophet Abinadi, who gave his life for his testimony of the gospel. She joins in daily family prayer and prays on her own. She remembers once when she couldn’t find her math test. After asking Heavenly Father to help her find it, she did.
One of the family’s favourite activities is ice skating. When Jeannine was still too little to skate, her mom, dad, and sisters pushed her to the ice rink in a stroller, so she was used to the ice before she ever tried it out herself. Now the whole family skates together almost every Saturday during the winter.
Jeannine likes to play soccer and is on a community team that has won quite a few games and awards. She is also a good artist. There are many beautiful places and interesting animals on her island, and many of them end up in her pictures.
Her sisters say that Jeannine is a lot of fun to be with. She also takes a lot of things seriously. Right now she is considering law as a profession, though she may change her mind as the years pass. She is concerned about the environment, too, and thinks that kids should do all they can to care for the earth. Her mom says, “Heavenly Father really blessed me when he gave me all my girls.”