Little Women [NOOK Book]

Overview

Little women, or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. By Louisa May Alcott, with illustrations by May Alcott. Comprised of the adventures of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they grow into young womanhood in mid-nineteenth century New England. Written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts. The novel follows the lives of four sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March-and is loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. ...
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Little Women

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Overview

Little women, or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. By Louisa May Alcott, with illustrations by May Alcott. Comprised of the adventures of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they grow into young womanhood in mid-nineteenth century New England. Written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts. The novel follows the lives of four sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March-and is loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. Reproduction of 1868 First Edition.

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.

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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.”
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Kate Reading breathes new life into Louisa May Alcott's classic coming-of-age tale about the March sisters growing up in New England during the Civil War. The emotional and physical changes that all of the characters experience are skillfully presented in a narration that draws listeners into the world Alcott created. On just a few occasions the voicing is not entirely distinct and the story momentum slows, but for the most part, the narration is very well done. This version is sure to inspire a new generation of listeners.—Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY
From Barnes & Noble
Meet the March sisters: the talented and tomboyish Jo, the beautiful Meg, the frail Beth, and the spoiled Amy, as they pass through the years between girlhood and womanhood. A lively portrait of growing up in the 19th century with lasting vitality and enduring charm.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307758408
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Series: A Stepping Stone Book(TM)
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 109,400
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832 in Pennsylvania and grew up in Concord, Massachusetts. She is best known for her books for children. The daughter of philosopher and reformer Amons Bronson Alcott, she was also a supporter of women's rights and an abolitionist. Family debts led her to write the autobiographical novel Little Women (1868). The book was a huge success, followed by Little Men, An Old-Fashioned Girl, and several other novels.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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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.


From the Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

Introduction vii
Suggestions for Further Reading xxix
A Note on the Text xxxi
Little Women
Preface xxxv
Part I1
Part II236
Notes 493
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First Chapter

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 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 andkettle-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're 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 practice 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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Reading Group Guide

1. In the first two chapters, the girls use John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress as a model for their own journey to becoming "little women." What was Alcott trying to say by using such a strongly philosophical piece of literature as the girls' model?

2. What purpose does Beth's death serve? Was Alcott simply making a sentimental novel even more so, or was this a play on morality and philosophy? Do you think Beth was intended to be a Christ figure?

3. Consider the fact that Beth will never reach sexual maturity or marry. What do you think this says about the institution of marriage and, more important, about womanhood?

4. Consider Jo's writing: While we are treated to citations from "The Pickwick Portfolio" and the family's letters to one another, we are never presented with an excerpt from Jo's many literary works, though the text tells us they are quite successful. Why is this?

5. Do you find it surprising that once Laurie is rejected by Jo, he falls in love with Amy? Do you feel his characterization is complete and he is acting within the "norm" of the personality Alcott has created for him, or does Alcott simply dispose of him once our heroine rejects him?

6. Some critics argue that the characters are masochistic. Meg is the perfect little wife, Amy is the social gold digger, and Beth is the eternally loving and patient woman. Do you believe these characterizations are masochistic? If so, do you think Alcott could have characterized them any other way while maintaining the realism of the society she lived in? And if this is true, what of Jo's character?

7. The last two chapters find Jo setting aside her buddingliterary career to run a school with her husband. Why do you think Alcott made her strongest feminine figure sacrifice her own life plans for her husband's?

8. Alcott was a student of transcendentalism. How and where does this philosophy affect Alcott's writing, plot, and characterization?

9. Do you believe this is a feminine or a feminist piece of work?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Great read

    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)

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Best of the best

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2011

    good

    it was very heartwarming story

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    I love love little women

    I love like women it one of the best novel i read i really rackmaned this to all age men and women a like most read little women

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    AMAZING

    Unles your broke or a boy BYE THIS BOOK!!!!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Great

    Great read for ages 9-whatever
    Love love love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Guthix

    ^_^ your welcome!

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Recommend!

    Two thumbs up

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    GREAT READ!!!!!!!

    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.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Read this book! I advise you to read it.

    Read this book. I have and this book is awesome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Hey

    I love this book so much

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Krysten

    Hey...

    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Anyn

    Your bf is the amazing one.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Sorry

    Jdidjjf

    1 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted February 23, 2014

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    Posted January 28, 2011

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    Posted February 22, 2012

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    Posted January 29, 2011

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    Posted September 11, 2011

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