When Anne Shirley turns thirteen, she faces complex issues with her friends, inspirational adults and Marilla and Matthew. At the same time, she begins a friendship with Gilbert Blythe that emotionally escalates to disrupt the status quo of her peaceful world. Her free-spirited nature is challenged by her perceived need to become sensible, and her journey toward this goal is fraught with confusion and more than a few unfortunate – albeit, amusing - mishaps.
Through school events and playtime after class, Anne continues to deepen her bosom friendship with Diana Barry. It almost sours when she frightens the living daylights out of Diana’s elderly Aunt Josephine. Just when all is forgiven, their friendship faces an even more profound test when Anne begins to spend more time with Gilbert.
Meanwhile, at Green Gables, Matthew’s health begins to slide. During an outing into the forest he becomes disoriented and must rely on Anne to find their way home. He implores Anne to hide the incident from Marilla. Anne struggles with her promise to Matthew but she’s not one to harbor secrets. In the end, she confesses to Marilla and wrestles with the burden of her betrayal to Matthew.
The rising tension between Anne, her girlfriends and Gilbert culminates with a daring river rescue. Gilbert saves Anne and relishes his moment as her hero. Although Anne is grateful to Gilbert, she must make a decision that breaks his heart.