Monday, October 27, 2008

Alcott Overview

I've had some girls interested in reading Little Women lately, but even though they are strong readers, they couldn't get into it. Instead, they've had some success with Eight Cousins, which is probably my favorite. It's slightly shorter, and Rose, the main character, has a little more spunk. Orphaned and left in the care of an uncle who travels, Rose must live with several aunts and a cadre of all-male cousins. Her aunts want to dress her up like a doll; her uncle wants her to romp and be healthy. It's an interesting view of life in the 1860s, and I remember loving Rose's moral tribulations-- she wants to get her ears pierced, but should she? Rose in Bloom is the Sequel, and girls who finish the first often go on to the second. I find it hard to recommend Little Men to readers, since I was so disappointed in it myself.
Another good title is An Old-Fashioned Girl, even though Polly is slightly priggish. The girls have fun considering what was "old-fashioned" 150 years ago! Jack and Jill is okay, although the thought of two children being bed-ridden for an entire winter after a sledding accident strains the bounds of credulity. I never could finish Under the Lilacs, so don't have a copy in the library. The Inheritance, which was published fairly recently, goes over well with readers new to Alcott, but is rather different in style (more of a thriller), and I didn't care for it.

Some of these titles are difficult to find if you need to replace one in your library. The covers are uniformly blah, but I have to say, who on earth designed THIS one? Possibly the worst cover ever.

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