Little Women

Little Women

4.2 357
by Louisa May Alcott

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The latest addition ot the Charming Classic series includes a paperback edition of Little Women, the first American children's novel to become a classic, and a beautiful gold-tone cameo. This timeless favorite follows the four March sisters—pretty Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth, and vain Amy—as they grow and mature into four distinctive little women.…  See more details below


The latest addition ot the Charming Classic series includes a paperback edition of Little Women, the first American children's novel to become a classic, and a beautiful gold-tone cameo. This timeless favorite follows the four March sisters—pretty Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth, and vain Amy—as they grow and mature into four distinctive little women.

Louisa May Alcott was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, the setting for Little Women. Jo is based on Louisa herself, and Meg, Beth, and Amy are inspired by Louisa's own three sisters.

Editorial Reviews

Hammond Times
The traditional story and characters are still there, but this edition includes fascinating background facts and photographs.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Many of us grew up reading Louisa May Alcott's books and lived vicariously in the world of Jo March and her family. They struggle to make ends meet during the Civil War, and gave to those who had even less. Jo befriended and was in turn befriended by Mr. Laurence and his grandson. She struggles mightily to control her temper and battles to break out of the decorum society imposed on women. She never loses her spirit and even in this much-abridged version of the story, the warmth and caring which epitomized the March family shines through. Gerver has retained the essence of Alcott's story, and this version is filled with wonderful period and those that depict life during the Civil War. For today's readers this may be as close as they will come to Alcott, but it is my hope that interest may be piqued and that her other books (Little Men, Jo's Boys, Rose in Bloom, etc.) will soon find their ways into readers hands. 1999, DK Publishing, Ages 9 up, $14.95. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Library Journal

Alcott's standard gets bumped up to a Penguin Deluxe, complete with illustrated front and back covers, French flaps, and ragged paper. Very nice. Next time you're ordering new copies of LW, get this one.

—Michael Rogers
School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up

Louisa May Alcott's 19th-century classic is the story of the March sisters-Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth-who live with their beloved Marmee, while their father is away serving as a chaplain during the Civil War. They must make many sacrifices during this time, but they learn that happiness is not dependent on riches, and trouble doesn't last forever. Rebecca Burns's homey, perfectly modulated voice easily moves from one character to another, and her narration for the male characters is credible. The CDs include tracking every three minutes. The companion ebook features automatic start-up, keyword searching, PDF printable format, table of contents, and index. A great choice for classes studying New England family life during the Civil War period-Kathy Miller, Baldwin Junior High School, Baldwin City, KS

From the Publisher
"The American female myth."
—Madelon Bedell
Daniel Shealy University of North Carolina at Charlotte
“Broadview Press’s Little Women provides a definitive text along with the most comprehensive historical overview yet offered. Alton not only gives us a text based on the first edition, she also presents the genesis and development of Alcott’s most famous novel using the author’s own public and private writings. For the first time in one edition, we now have the complete story of the March family! It is a wonderful scholarly achievement that has long been overdue.”
Elizabeth Keyser Hollins University
“Anne Hiebert Alton's edition for Broadview is unique in supplementing the text with Alcott's sources for and correspondence about the novel, with those of Alcott’s works that she attributes to Jo and her sisters, selections from the text that she alludes to most frequently, such as Pilgrim's Progress, and excerpts that demonstrate Alcott's feminism. A number of these selections are not readily accessible elsewhere, and some will prove unfamiliar even to Alcott scholars. Alton and Broadview are to be commended for bringing them together in a single volume.”

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Product Details

Trident Press International
Publication date:
Signature Classics Series
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
9 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Playing Pilgrims

CHRISTMAS WON'T BE Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

"It's so dreadful to be poor!" sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

"We've got Father and Mother and each other," said Beth contentedly from her corner.

The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly, "We haven't got Father, and shall not have him for a long time." She didn't say "perhaps never," but each silently added it, thinking of Father far away, where the fighting was.

Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, "You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can't do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don't." And Meg shook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.

"But I don't think the little we should spend would do any good. We've each got a dollar, and the army wouldn't be much helped by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from Mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintram for myself. I've wanted it so long," said Jo, who was a bookworm.

"I planned to spend mine in new music," said Beth, with a little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth brush and kettle holder.

"I shall get a nice box of Faber's drawing pencils. I really need them," said Amy decidedly.

"Mother didn't say anything about our money, and she won't wish us to give up everything. Let's each buy what we want, and have a little fun. I'm sure we work hard enough to earn it," cried Jo, examining the heels of her shoes in a gentlemanly manner.

"I know I do - teaching those tiresome children nearly all day, when I'm longing to enjoy myself at home," began Meg, in the complaining tone again.

"You don't have half such a hard time as I do," said Jo. "How would you like to be shut up for hours with a nervous, fussy old lady, who keeps you trotting, is never satisfied, and worries you till you're ready to fly out of the window or cry?"

"It's naughty to fret, but I do think washing dishes and keeping things tidy is the worst work in the world. It makes me cross, and my hands get so stiff, I can't practice well at all." And Beth looked at her rough hands with a sigh that any one could hear that time.

"I don't believe any of you suffer as I do," cried Amy, "for you don't have to go to school with impertinent girls, who plague you if you don't know your lessons, and laugh at your dresses, and label your father if he isn't rich, and insult you when your nose isn't nice."

"If you mean libel, I'd say so, and not talk about labels, as if Papa was a pickle bottle," advised Jo, laughing.

"I know what I mean, and you needn't be statirical about it. It's proper to use good words, and improve your vocabilary," returned Amy, with dignity.

"Don't peck at one another, children. Don't you wish we had the money Papa lost when we were little, Jo? Dear me! how happy and good we'd be, if we had no worries!" said Meg, who could remember better times.

"You said the other day you thought we were a deal happier than the King children, for they were fighting and fretting all the time, in spite of their money."

"So I did, Beth. Well, I think we are; for, though we do have to work, we make fun for ourselves, and are a pretty jolly set, as Jo would say."

"Jo does use such slang words!" observed Amy, with a reproving look at the long figure stretched on the rug. Jo immediately sat up, put her hands in her pockets, and began to whistle.

"Don't, Jo, it's so boyish!"

"That's why I do it."

"I detest rude, unladylike girls!"

"I hate affected, niminy-piminy chits!"

"'Birds in their little nests agree,'" sang Beth, the peacemaker, with such a funny face that both sharp voices softened to a laugh, and the "pecking" ended for that time.

"Really, girls, you are both to be blamed," said Meg, beginning to lecture in her elder-sisterly fashion. "You are old enough to leave off boyish tricks, and to behave better, Josephine. It didn't matter so much when you were a little girl; but now you are so tall, and turn up your hair, you should remember that you are a young lady."

"I'm not! And if turning up my hair makes me one, I'll wear it in two tails till I'm twenty," cried Jo, pulling off her net, and shaking down a chestnut mane. "I hate to think I've got to grow up, and be Miss March, and wear long gowns, and look as prim as a China aster! It's bad enough to be a girl, anyway, when I like boys' games and work and manners! I can't get over my disappointment in not being a boy; and it's worse than ever now, for I'm dying to go and fight with Papa, and I can only stay at home and knit, like a poky old woman!" And Jo shook the blue army sock till the needles rattled like castanets, and her ball bounded across the room.

"Poor Jo! It's too bad, but it can't be helped. So you must try to be contented with making your name boyish, and playing brother to us girls," said Beth, stroking the rough head at her knee with a hand that all the dishwashing and dusting in the world could not make ungentle in its touch.

"As for you, Amy," continued Meg, "you are altogether too particular and prim. Your airs are funny now, but you'll grow up an affected little goose, if you don't take care. I like your nice manners and refined ways of speaking, when you don't try to be elegant. But your absurd words are as bad as Jo's slang."

"If Jo is a tomboy and Amy a goose, what am I, please?" asked Beth, ready to share the lecture.

"You're a dear, and nothing else," answered Meg warmly; and no one contradicted her, for the "Mouse" was the pet of the family.

As young readers like to know "how people look," we will take this moment to give them a little sketch of the four sisters, who sat knitting away in the twilight, while the December snow fell quietly without, and the fire crackled cheerfully within. It was a comfortable old room, though the carpet was faded and the furniture very plain; for a good picture or two hung on the walls, books filled the recesses, chrysanthemums and Christmas roses bloomed in the windows, and a pleasant atmosphere of home peace pervaded it.

Margaret, the eldest of the four, was sixteen, and very pretty, being plump and fair, with large eyes, plenty of soft, brown hair, a sweet mouth, and white hands, of which she was rather vain. Fifteen-year-old Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of a colt, for she never seemed to know what to do with her long limbs, which were very much in her way. She had a decided mouth, a comical nose, and sharp, gray eyes, which appeared to see everything, and were by turns fierce, funny, or thoughtful. Her long, thick hair was her one beauty, but it was usually bundled into a net, to be out of her way. Round shoulders had Jo, big hands and feet, a flyaway look to her clothes, and the uncomfortable appearance of a girl who was rapidly shooting up into a woman and didn't like it. Elizabeth - or Beth, as everyone called her - was a rosy, smooth-haired, bright-eyed girl of thirteen, with a shy manner, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression which was seldom disturbed. Her father called her "Little Tranquillity," and the name suited her excellently, for she seemed to live in a happy world of her own, only venturing out to meet the few whom she trusted and loved. Amy, though the youngest, was a most important person - in her own opinion at least. A regular snow maiden, with blue eyes, and yellow hair curling on her shoulders, pale and slender, and always carrying herself like a young lady mindful of her manners. What the characters of the four sisters were we will leave to be found out.

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Little Women 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 357 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, classic novel. Never had to read it in school so decided to read it as an adult. Was pleasantly surprised. A little slow at some points but glad I read it since it is considered a classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved reading this book. Saw the movie years ago. Books are always better as you can get so caught up in the stories!
nina929 More than 1 year ago
What can I say, I love it, you can't ask for anything more than to have the book and the movie at the same time, is the perfect present for your little girl that likes to read. One of the classic novels of all times. Buy it!!! You wont regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please don't get it on the nook. It takes a really long time to load and turn pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very touching and how they showed kindness to each other. And yes it is a very long book but I think it is worth reading it. In my opinion this is a must read book during middle school to high school. But I as an adult think you shiuld read this bokk again when you are an adult because you might find some thing you never noticed when you are reading it. This book is a real historical fiction book af it shows love for each other and I am not ashamed to tell you tis but I cried at some parts of this story because it was soooooooo touching. Parents/gardian you have to tell your kids to read this book because it changed my life when I was 12 years old. And this was the first time I read this book and I am really happy that I read this book. I hope you are goin to read this book and HAPPY READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever! The auorther of this book should get an award for writing such a amazinly great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful piece of literiture
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book and I think anyone who likes reading would enjoy it. Although it is taking me a while to read. It keeps on getting stuck when I try to read it and I can't find the page I'm onand that is really annoying but other then that i think this is a very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So romantic wonderfullly written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I must have read this book 1000 times yet i love to turn the pages and read it agian & again
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being poor doesn¿t make one any less; In ¿Little Women,¿ by Louisa May Alcott, a family rises above poverty to find joy in the riches of everyday life. The book is about a family that deals with the everyday struggles of money. They lack the social status that they once had when their father owned a school. Now these four girls and their mother try to look past all the hardships in their lives and find the happiness left within. The family consists of four girls and an supportive mother who are determined to make the best of each of their lives given the circumstances she has been dealt. Their father is away working as a Chaplain during the Civil War, so the mother is left empty-handed to support the four children. This story is based on following dreams, whether it be falling in love or discovering happiness in some other sort of passion. The primary conflict of the novel is the March family¿s struggles with money in an area where their neighbors seem to be more well-off. The girls find themselves trying to rise above the talk that goes on about them by focusing more on their inner beauty. They are teenage girls, and they are trying to overlook hardships that seem impossible, and each girl will learn that money does not buy everything. Amy says, ¿I don¿t think that it is fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things and other girls nothing at all¿, showing their state but she is too young to know that happiness comes from the heart. Beth corrects her childish theory by stating, ¿We¿ve got a father and a mother and each other¿ to display that the prettiest thing is love, which they each hold for one another.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite book as a young girl. Now that I have daughters I read it again to see if I still loved it in light of some of the current literature my 5th grader is reading. I still love it and can't wait for my daughter to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read. Ages 10 and up shoukd look into this book. This is a spoil-free page, and guys, no one dies. So, just read this GREAT American classic. p.s. don't let 643 pages scare you. It is soooooo worth it. : { )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the book I would begin to read each summer on the last day of school. I would run home and if the weather was good, climb into an apple tree in our orchard and begin the wonderful process of immersing myself in the life of the March family. My heart softens just thinking about those times, and I am 65 years old now. I would wake up in the morning with the sun streaming through my east bedroom windows and open the book and begin reading to wake me up. I remember the sounds of the Bob-Whites calling and the heat of summer. I will begin reading this book to my granddaughter this Christmas. Although this heart warming book was my favorite, sometimes I would shake it up and read "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain first and Little Women second. We had that book in our farmhouse bookshelf in the old "classics" black binding with gold printing. I don't remember if Little Women was found on those bookshelves, but I still have my copy with my name in it inscribed with a childhood cursive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found out who died too. Im so angry at that guy/girl!!!!!!!!! Actually, im angry that they told you, I didnt read that review; i watched the movie. SPOILED!>:(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has a real lot of typos in it. My nook took a long time in turning the pages as well. It has a very good story line though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much so enjoyed this book. Besides the few spelling and punctuation and grammer errors it was a great story. Highly reccomended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall, the book dragged a bit but other than that, it was amazing. I hate it when ****** dies though (im not telling who because i hate spoilers :I ). Please stop cussing guys. - nook reviews by Anna