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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Little Women (original 1868; edition 1868)

by Louisa May Alcott

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English (321)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (334)
Showing 1-5 of 321 (next | show all)
I can't remember how I felt about this book last time I read it, but listening to the audiobook with my kids this time while we reheated leftovers for lunch, or worked puzzles and built with Legos on the kitchen floor, or drove through the snowy Massachusetts countryside, I oscillated between loving it and just feeling bored with the book.

Part I of the book is definitely better than the second half and contains my favorite chapter of the book, where Marmee confesses to having a constant battle with her temper and counsels Jo about how to manage her own reactionary anger. As someone who can be a bit feisty, I always find that part hopeful. Maybe one day my kids will say, "We can tell you're angry, Mother, when you press your lips together and leave the room."

In general, though, the March women are too good to be true, particularly in the second half, and the book's a lot longer than it could be. There's a lot that could be cut, including the entire last chapter. I didn't care for the lengthy epilogue and think the book should have ended with Jo walking into her happiness. (I hope that's not a spoiler. Can there even be spoilers when talking about classic literature?)

Kate Reading did an excellent job as narrator, and I would seek out other audiobooks she's voiced. I do wonder about the accents, though. What's the evolution of the Massachusetts accent, and how would it have sounded during the second half of the nineteenth century? I didn't really hear any trace of it here except in the twins' toddler-speak (tacking R sounds at the end of words that would normally end with an "a", like "mama" and "papa"), but I would think it would have to be there in some way. Given the March family's "wealthy people fallen on hard times" story, mightn't they have had the aristocratic version of the Boston accent?

Maybe once my kids grow up, I'll do a study of the likely accents of characters in classic literature. Or if someone's already done such a study, I'll make the time to read their book.
  ImperfectCJ | Mar 26, 2015 |
Summary:
Four sisters live in a small house with their family. They each imagine and dream how their lives will be. Meg who is the oldest marries a man who isn't rich, but they live comfortably. However, Meg can't help but envy those who are wealthy. Jo, is an excellent writer. She writes little things here and there, mainly for the local paper. After her sister Beth dies,she channels her pain into her writing and becomes more successful with her writing. Beth isn't much of a dreamer. She's perfectly content wit staying home with her parents and playing the piano. Then Amy, the youngest, dreams of marrying someone wealthy and intends to marry them based on wealth alone. She ends up marrying an old family friend who was once their neighbor, Laurie, who spent a lot of time with the sisters. In the end, they all learn that money is nothing compared to the love that their family has for each other.

Personal Reaction:
I'm not sure what age group this is intended for, but I remember first reading it when I was in elementary school. Having sisters, it is somewhat easy to relate to.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
-Students are put into groups and given acts to act out.
-Students write a poem about their favorite character, or any character they choose.
  Megan_Livsey | Mar 25, 2015 |
Many know the story line to this book. Many have watched the movie based upon this book (I know I have several times). The movies I have watched stayed very true to the book. This is my first time reading the story. It is a story of a family who endure hardships and joy, and through it all their love for each other grows stronger and stronger.

The March family consists of father, mother and 4 "little women". Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy get along very well as 4 sisters, even though at times they have their little "spats". The mother is a very wise and endearing person who knows when to speak and give counsel and when to let go and let her girls learn through experience. All 4 girls will grow up and all will have different desires and paths their life will lead them to. But through it all I enjoyed the strong bond and love they always have for each other. It was an uplifting story for me. ( )
  judyg54 | Mar 16, 2015 |
This story follows four sisters, who were once rich until their father lost all of his money. The girls must learn to live poorly and must be creative when it comes to new toys, dresses, and their lifestyle. THis would be a good book to read allowed to a group interested.
  harleybrenton | Mar 12, 2015 |
Unsurpassed and probably unsurpassable. "Little Women" is quite simply THE young sisters-becoming-women classic. 19th century Concord, Mass., left us the transcendentalists and "Little Women." You can have the transcendentalists--Harvard Divinity School, Walden Pond, Self-Reliance and the whole bit. I'll take "Little Women." For me, Alcott's masterpiece is the only truly "transcendent" written work of that whole time and place, aside from Hawthorne. ( )
  JMlibrarian | Mar 3, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (126 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louisa May Alcottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
AlmineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danziger, PaulaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elberts, G.W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, ShirleyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jambor, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May Lamberton Beckersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merlington, LauralNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merrill, Frank T.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sumpter, RachellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Stockum, HildaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vielhomme-Callais, PauletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Go then, my little Book, and show all that entertain, and bid thee welcome shall, what thou dost keep close shut up in thy breast; and wish that thou dost show them may be blest to them for good, may make them choose to be pilgrims better, by far, than thee or me.
Tell them of Mercy; she is one who early hath her pilgrimage begun. Yea, let young damsels learn of her to prize the world which is to come, and so be wise; for little tripping maids may follow God along the ways which saintly feet have trod. - adapted from John Bunyan
Dedication
First words
“Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
Quotations
...for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride. (p75)
You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long; even if it is, the consciousness of possessing and using it well should satisfy one, and the great charm of all power is modesty. (p82)
Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people, by being modest as well as pretty. (p110)
Money is a needful and precious thing, - and, when well used, a noble thing, - but I never want you to think it is the first and only prize to strive for. (p111)
Between Meg and Marmee:

"He's away all day, and at night when I want to see him, he is continually going over to the Scotts'. It isn't fair that I should have the hardest work, and never any amusement. Men are very selfish, even the best of them."
"So are women. Don't blame John till you see where you are wrong yourself." (Chapter 38, Gutenberg.org edition)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, omnibus containing additional works, etc.
ISBN 1613823444 is a Simon and Brown edition of Little Women.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
This is a heart-warming story about the four lively March sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. It tells of their adventures and struggles while growing up in the 19th century civil war era. This is a story of love, heart-ache, triumph and family. Although the four girls have very different personalities, they help each other grow as they experience life's challenges.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451529308, Mass Market Paperback)

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:17 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 54 descriptions

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Audible.com

44 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143105019, 0141321083, 0141331747, 0451532082, 0143106651

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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