Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Siblings, Civil War Period and Reconstruction, Coming of Age
Little Women is an American classic, adored for Louisa May Alcott's lively and vivid portraits of the endearing March sisters: talented tomboy Jo, pretty Meg, shy Beth, temperamental Amy. Millions have shared in their joys, hardships, and adventures as they grow up in Civil War New England, separated by the war from their father and beloved mother, "Marmee, " blossoming from "little women" into adults.
Jo searches for her writer's voice and finds unexpected love...Meg prepares for marriage and a family...Beth reaches out to the less fortunate, tragically...and Amy travels to Europe to become a painter. Based on Louisa May Alcott's own Yankee childhood, Little Women is a treasure — a story whose enduring values of patience, loyalty, and love have kept this extraordinary family close to the hearts of generation after generation of delighted readers.
First published in 1868, Little Women became an instant bestseller. It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminentmale authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with "woman's work," including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the "girl's book" her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.