Little Women

Little Women

3.3 45333
by Louisa May Alcott, Kate Reading

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Little Women is one of the best loved books of all time. Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep

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Little Women is one of the best loved books of all time. Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep sadness when Meg leaves the circle of sisters to be married at the end of Part I. Part II, chronicles Meg's joys and mishaps as a young wife and mother, Jo's struggle to become a writer, Beth's tragedy, and Amy's artistic pursuits and unexpected romance. Based on Louise May Alcott's childhood, this lively portrait of nineteenth-century family life possesses a lasting vitality that has endeared it to generations of readers.

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 5-8-This audio version of Louisa May Alcott's classic is both satisfying and disappointing. The narrator, Liza Ross, a voice artist with theater and television credits, does a remarkable job of bringing to life the voices of more than ten male and female characters, allowing the personalities of each character to emerge. Meg's longing, Jo's determination, Beth's gentleness, Amy's dreaminess, Marmee's loving morality and Laurie's charm and wit all shine through. The narration is nicely punctuated by classical piano music. Listeners will be disappointed that this abridgement ends with the first part of the novel (John Brooke's proposal). This is only mentioned briefly in the story description in the inside cover of the cassette, with no indication if the second half of the novel is or is not available. Listeners in elementary and middle school will enjoy this version, but older students will want to hear more of the March family's adventures.-Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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.”
Library Journal - Audio
★ 03/15/2015
One of the most beloved American classics is beautifully and eloquently brought to life in this recording filled with passion and spirit. Four sisters in 19th-century New England grow from little girls to respectable young women. Each sister carries unique hopes for her future, but Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy learn that life often has other plans in store. Their coming-of-age stories are filled with hilarity, humility, friendship, heartbreak, and duty. Characters come alive with unique voices and mannerisms, flawlessly narrated by Susie Berneis. VERDICT This new recording of this time-honored novel is essential listening for fans of American literature.—Erin Cataldi, Johnson Cty. P.L., Franklin, IN

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Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
10 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 lots 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, anyhow,"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's going to be a hard winter for every one; 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 Megshook 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 grub hard enough to earn it,"cried Jo, examining the heels of her boots in a gentlemanly manner.

"I know I do, teaching those dreadful 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''e ready to fly out of the window or box her ears?"

"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 practise good a bit." 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 pa was a pickle-bottle," advised Jo, laughing.

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