An Old-Fashioned Girl

An Old-Fashioned Girl

by Louisa May Alcott
4.4 92

Paperback(Abridged Edition)

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An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

Another coming-of-age novel from the author of beloved favorite Little Women

Polly Milton never questions the way she is—until she goes to visit her cousins in the city. Her cousin Fanny looks too glamorous to be Polly’s age, and wouldn’t be caught dead playing in the snow. Will Polly ever learn to be like the other girls? And does she even want to? Sometimes being old-fashioned is right in style. A timeless story by the author of Little Women.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140374490
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 10/07/2004
Series: Puffin Classics Series
Edition description: Abridged Edition
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 455,969
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. When she was almost 2 years old, Louisa's family moved to Massachusetts, the state where she lived the bulk of her life. The family moved many times over the years, usually back and forth between Boston and Concord (Mass.). Some notable places Louisa lived were "Fruitlands" in Harvard, Massachusetts; "Hillside" in Concord; and "Orchard House," also in Concord. "Fruitlands" was the site of her father's attempt at Utopian living, which she wrote about in Transcendental Wild Oats, thirty years later in 1873. Louisa's childhood at "Hillside" (later renamed "Wayside" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, when he lived there) served as the basis for the action in her most popular novel, Little Women, which she wrote as an adult living in "Orchard House." Interestingly, these latter two houses were located next door to each other, with a walking path through the woods between. They are both still standing and open for tours in Concord.

Louisa May Alcott's father, Amos Bronson Alcott, was an important—though controversial—man in his times and in his community. He is perhaps best known for being a philosopher and an education reformer, but he was also a leader in the Transcendentalist movement as well as a teacher, school superintendent, and an author. He established both the Temple School, in Boston, and the Concord School of Philosophy. Although he was a loving father, he was not very responsible or practical, so Louisa's mother, Abigail May Alcott, filled the role of "head of household". Just like Jo, the protagonist in her Little Women, Louisa had three sisters—one older (Anna Bronson Alcott) and two younger (Elizabeth "Lizzie" Sewall Alcott and Abba May Alcott). And, much like Jo's sister Beth, Lizzie died at age 22 from complications of scarlet fever. But, unlike Jo, Louisa also had a little brother, who died as an infant.

Louisa May Alcott was a versatile writer who started at an early age. At the encouragement of her father, she kept a diary as a child—which probably helped her to discover her love and talent for writing and surely provided ideas later for her various plots and characters. As a teenager, Louisa wrote several plays, poems, and short stories. She achieved publication for the first time at age nineteen, with a poem entitled "Sunlight" (1851), which she wrote under the pseudonym, "Flora Fairfield." The title of Ms. Alcott's first published short story was The Rival Painters: A Tale of Rome (1852), and her first published book was Flower Fables (1854), a collection of short fairy-tale stories and poems which she had originally created to entertain Ralph Waldo Emerson's daughter Ellen. Louisa May Alcott wrote her first novel, The Inheritance, at age seventeen, but it went unpublished for nearly 150 years until 1997, after two researchers (Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy) stumbled across the handwritten manuscript in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Of course, Ms. Alcott is best known for a different novel, Little Women, which she wrote in two parts. The first volume, alternately titled Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, was published in 1868, and the second volume, Good Wives, was published in 1869. Like Jo in Little Women, Louisa also wrote many "blood and thunder" tales, which were published in popular periodicals of the day. She did not openly claim authorship for many of these Gothic thriller stories, however: for some, she used the pseudonym, "A. M. Barnard"; for others, she chose to remain completely anonymous.

Louisa May Alcott's career was not restricted to writing. Beginning in her late teens, she worked as a teacher for several years and off-and-on as a seamstress. In December of 1862, at age 30, she traveled to Washington, DC, to serve as a Civil War nurse at the Union Hotel Hospital in Georgetown. The following year, she re-wrote her letters detailing that experience, to form Hospital Sketches, which was published first serially and then as a book. And, in the winter of 1867/68, Ms. Alcott became the editor of Merry's Museum, a children's magazine. Louisa Alcott also was an avid social reformer. Abolition, temperance, and educational reform were among her chosen causes. But being a feminist at heart, she especially fought for women's rights, including suffrage. In fact, she was the first woman to register to vote in Concord. Unlike Jo in her Little Women, Louisa May Alcott never married. She died at age 55 on March 6, 1888, (two days after her father) and is buried on "Authors' Ridge" in Concord's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, with her family. Nearby are the graves of her friends and mentors Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau.

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An Old-Fashioned Girl 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not simply about a girl of the 19th century not fitting in with the upper class society. It is a story of one who chooses a higher path. It is a story about us today those of us who chose to live with the true values that withstand time--the values rooted in God and maintained by faith. There were no 'good old days'. No matter when in history a person lived, he or she was going against the grain if they chose wholesome faith over riotous living. Modern times only give people a new way to manifest the principle of living above the foolishness of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. If more books had the moral like this than the world would be better. Louisa May Alcott is my favorite author and has been since the 2 grade
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a lovely book!! I like the little bit of romance, but the characters are what makes this story enjoyable. They're so lifelike, and think exactly the way real people think, not like some other books where people are constantly good or happy, etc. I especially liked the Shaw's grandmother, because she was nice to Polly and because she was so wise. This isn't my MOST favorite Louisa book, but definitely A favorite.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book first when I was a young girl. For some reason it has always been special to me. Every now and then when I'm cleaning or re-organizing I'll find in on the shelf, sit down and read it again. At age 51 it's just as special and beautiful as it was years ago!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was completely worth getting. I wish there were more books like this. It was a classic tale of young girl standing up for what she believes that was beautifully written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book after reading Little Women, another graet Alcott classic. But An Old Fashioned Girl is my all time favorite! Very sweet,but not to sugary, like Little Women can be sometimes and I liked the touch of romance. Just perfect. The other graet thing about this book is that all the carcaters are very'real'. None are to sweet, to mean or to clever. Beautiful story. Perfect ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that lots of people could benefit from reading this book. It has a very good moral about being wealthy. I liked it a lot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book.I first read 'Little Women' and loved that.So I tried this book and loved it also.The romance between Polly and Tom is so wonderful!I encourage everyone to read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book for those who like love stories but do not want to be reading ones that are unreal and are not true. It also reminds you that it does not matter that you wear skirts when every one else is wearing pants . Its good to be old fashioned sometimes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl from the country going to live with her fashionable city friends for a while. While she's there she tries to keep her old-fashioned lifestyle, knowing that fashionable isn't always best. This book has a touch of many things in it including comedy, romance, and lessons in good morals. I give it a 5 star rating because it kept me entertained and wanting to read more, it made me think, and it had nothing bad in it (which is a problem with many books.) I recomend thos book to adults and kids alike of all ages. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really love the story- almost couldn't put it down. The only bad thing is the terrible spelling and misprints; they must've done it on purpose cause I don't see how anyone could be so ridiculous. But the story is very heartwarming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great story. A must read. I will read again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An Old Fashioned Girl has always been one of my favorite books and though i havent yet read this copy of it, thestory is worth your time. A young common girl is intrduced to the "high society" life of her cousins and is forced to decide if she will allow the scandal comforts and intruiges of that life to change her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very true story up to this day
Elinor_D_Ferrars More than 1 year ago
An Old Fashioned Girl is an uplifting little story, that puts virtue and purity in a most agreeable light, unlike so many modern novels. I have read it several times, and each time, I enjoy it as much as the first.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finally got this book from the library after a lot of waiting. That night I stayed up till 1 am because I couldn't put the book down. The moral was very impotant and the romance added spice to the book. I've read it 3 times and is definitely my absolute favorite (Beleive me I've read alot) So for any girl from 10 to 100 this is a MUST !!!!!!
BlueDurham More than 1 year ago
It's not "Little Women" but it has the same simple feel-good story. For me, it's a reminder of my youth when I read all the books my mother could remember reading. Definitely a book for girls -- and perhaps for grandmas to read to the children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written book that was truly enjoyable! More books today should be this well written with such good character development.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This bookwas so amazing, so gripping, so extraordinary to read!! It was also writen by one of the best authors ever - besides JKR... I was so sad when it ended but now Im wondering: why do you keep reading my stupid review? You should be reading this book!!!! :) thanks for reading! Btw....this book is for all ages...incase you were wondering
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is soooo good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's Louisa May Alcott what's bad about it? You will laugh a lot and be right with them at moments. Overall great book. A must read for anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it. It is amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definetly a must read from Alcott's collection! Simple but very to the heart and sweet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favotites from childhood...a great read.
victoria wiseman More than 1 year ago
The scan to digital was too distracting with various and sundry characters out of place or in the wrong place.