Little Women

Little Women

3.3 45345
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

CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.35(d)

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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 (Collins Classics) 3.3 out of 5 based on 59 ratings. 45346 reviews.
Jgirl09 More than 1 year ago
The March family is forced to be with out their father during the war. The four sisters: Meg, the beautiful eldest, Jo, the tomboy author, Beth, the tender-hearted, and Amy, the romantic artist, face many timeless struggles that girls of all ages face. Their story only brings them closer and captures you in the process. In my opinion, the book Little Women is a classic book for many ages. I thought the book was interesting and I personally have read the book at least twice. The book has a timeless theme. It also has characters that relates to most. In conclusion, I would suggest you read it at least once. The March family reminds you that even in rough times you can get through it. Louisa May Alcott has created in my opinion a timeless book. This book will probably remain popular for many years. The book was interesting and great for girls especially, but don't let that stop you boys from reading it, too. I liked it so much I watched the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful classic and the format is fantastic. However it is a little known fact that Little Women was published in two separtate volumes, the first in 1868. This version is only part one of what has been traditionally recognized as Little Women since 1880. At the end of this story Beth is still alive! This is ridiculous. It is such a shame because my daughter loved reading this book but now needs to continue reading from another complete copy of Little Women. The publisher did the same thing with Heidi. In their version Clara never makes it up to Grandpa's and that should have tipped me off about Little Women.
readingissexy23 More than 1 year ago
I absolutley loved this book. It gave you everything you could ask for in a novel. Drama, thrill, compasion, love. The ups and downs in this book really kept me interested. I laughed and I cried. I know that sounds cheesy; but its true. This is definitely one of my favorite books and one to keep on my shelf in my collection!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was quite young when i first read this book, and till today no other book fascinates me like this one. When ever i'm frustrated or feeling low, this book helps me to regain my lost spirit..because it is the story of a family which faces the challenges of life, without letting go of faith in God, and their love for each other to come out triumphant.
Bookjunkie40 More than 1 year ago
Years ago, my aunt gave me this book as a gift. Of course then I didn't have my love for reading as I do now. Finally, I read it and loved it! I love everything about it, the story line, lessons, the characters, the way it was written. Granted I read this book years ago, I still remember the story line vividly. There is no question in my mind why this book is a classic. I will even go so far as to say the movie does it justice. this book is great for school, book clubs, rainy days, well actually any time. The story will suck you in and you wouldn't be able to put it down!
legallynik More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I finish and want to go back to page one and start reading all over again. Each of the March sisters is special and interesting in her own way, and even now my friends and I go back and forth about who is who among the sisters...Most of us want to be Jo, the headstrong, independent sister, who is the fictional version of the writer herself, Louisa May Alcott. Alcott wrote a couple sequels, and a serial about the Marches, but Little Women is the one that has endeared itself to so many...Although a work of fiction, Little Women has many biographical qualities...Louisa herself had three sisters: her elder sister, Anna is Meg in the book, Elizabeth is Elizabeth (Although I believe she was called Betty, not Beth), Abby May (usually just called May) is Amy...sadly, there was no real Laurie...But many of the situations that the sisters find them in were situations similar to those they really experienced--including the loss of Beth who never fully recovered from Scarlett Fever...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly the orginal was the best. Don't buy this one it's not the real Little Women
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved this book for years! I actually own it in print, but it was pre-loaded on my nook when I bought it, so that's just a plus! Wonderful, wonderful book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book four times and cried and laughed and gasped through the well done classic story i read every year since 3rd grade and adored it all times!!!!!!!!!!!!
GordonF More than 1 year ago
Little Women often includes the second book, Good Wives, as Part II of the same story. It's not, it's two different books in one. both are charming, sweet, sad, and quiet lessons in kindness. A true classic of literature. The characters are fit for any time period. Though the details may be in the 19th century, the attitudes are of women who are not simply subjective to society. Each character has their own traits, faults, and virtues.
RACHELLE Bertholf More than 1 year ago
This is a great read if 1,u like classic stories 2,fallowing the characters as they get older 3,the 1800s I highly recomend this book to women of all ages and i garenty that u will get something out of it (this book helped me have more pacience and control with my sister who has adhd)
teacherjess More than 1 year ago
Little Women is one of those books that can be read multiple times. Women and girls can relate to at least one of the personalities of these sisters or at least to the fighting between the sisters! A great novel that will be recommended to my girls when they are old enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An inspiring, epic novel that reminds us of the most valuable things in life: not money or station, but humiliy and love. A well-written and easy-to-read, classic that all young women should read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loisa may alcott is the best auther of all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a teenager, i enjiyed this book. I love reading the classics and to me it is absolutly beautifully written. I laughed and cried and will definatly not leave book sitting on the shelf for too long.
ShadrachAnki More than 1 year ago
Little Women is a classic of American literature, and worth reading, even 150 years after its publication. However, readers do need to accept the fact that the pacing is a bit uneven and there are frequent narrative asides pointing out exactly "what we should learn from this anecdote," usually occurring just as the pace starts to pick up. Still, it's a good look at another time and place. The Barnes & Noble Classics ebook edition of Little Women is, for the most part, quite good. It comes with quite a bit of supplementary material in the form of a biography of the author; historical background of both when the book was written and the time period in which it was set; and approximately twenty pages of endnotes and footnotes, all hyper-linked within the book itself. I would have preferred to see the information about the author and her history placed at the end of the text rather than the beginning. Ditto with the introduction, which, like most such introductions, assumes the reader is already familiar with the text. The proofreading of the ebook text is...spotty. As far as I can tell it was typeset by scanning an existing print copy of the book, using OCR technology to render the text. On the whole, this works quite well, but there are a number of places where words are split oddly (e.g. "beg inning" instead of "beginning"), or specific letters were not translated correctly, leading to spelling errors (e.g. "tor" instead of "for").
sandra le pine More than 1 year ago
it was very heartwarming story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love classics like gone with the wind and promise of the wolves... but is this a love story?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beth does not die and Amy and Laurie does not get married!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a guy and thought this book was great. It is a classic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book everyone can read!Well not EVERYONE can read it,but anyone who can read should read it.Who would not liike this book? Most likely my 7 year old brother would not like thisbook(IF he could read.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book. I have and this book is awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read many classics....but this one is the best!! It truley is an outstanding book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just started reading this book and i can not put it down!!!!!!! Such an amazing classic!!!!! A must read!!! ;-)