Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Story of Louisa May Alcott

The Story of Louisa May AlcottThe Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is for middle readers, and though it was published in the 50's, any child who enjoyed Louisa May Alcott's books (e.g. Little Women and Little Men) would enjoy reading about the author's life. This book does a fine job of depicting Alcott's early life, and draws parallels between her and her character Jo March. Alcott was clearly a tomboy, and took much pride in the fact. We see the influence her own childhood had on the characters in her stories, with she and her sisters putting on plays, writing a 'newspaper', etc. We also learn that the Alcotts were almost always quite poor, often depending on the charity of their friends. Because of this, they had to move frequently. Even though Alcott is depicted as something of a heroine as in her own books, the book does not avoid mentioning the hard times and illnesses that the family suffered.

I learned quite a bit about Alcott that I didn't know: her father was a pioneer in the philosophy of Transcendentalism (not transcendental meditation), and her family was friends with Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorn.

I would recommend this to any young reader who is a fan of Alcott's work.

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