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Penguin Classics Little Women [Hardcover]

Louisa May Alcott
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 26 2010 Penguin Classics
Part of "Penguin's" beautiful hardback "Clothbound Classics" series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth - four "little women" enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England. The charming story of the March sisters, "Little Women" has been adored by generations. Readers have rooted for Laurie in his pursuit of Jo's hand, cried over little Beth's death, and dreamed of traveling through Europe with old Aunt March and Amy. Future writers have found inspiration in Jo's devotion to her writing. In this simple, enthralling tale, both parts of which are included here, Louisa May Alcott has created four of American literature's most beloved women.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-12-Louisa May Alcott's story about the four March sisters who learn the hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

How would one describe this latest recording of the classic story from Alcott (Little Men, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/15/96)? The answer must be, clear, competent, and unexciting. Laura Grafton is a precise reader, but her voice lacks expressiveness, and she makes little attempt to vocally differentiate (and/or animate) the characters. The result is an inoffensive and slightly dull rendering. There's nothing wrong; the tapes just won't grab the attention of the casual listener. The producer has made a praiseworthy attempt to reduce costs by having each cassette side carry double text. At $22.95, this tape set is an excellent value. Unfortunately, this double-track format requires a stereo cassette player with a fully functioning balance control. Most portable cassette players and some car stereo systems do not have this feature. Since, at least anecdotally, a large percentage of recreational audiocassette library borrowers are commuters or exercisers, one should consider whether this format would be used by patrons. Libraries purchasing this format might also consider purchasing (and lending) the associated headphone adaptor plugs. Recommended for libraries with limited audiobook budgets and/or appropriate user populations.AI. Pour-El, Iowa State Univ., Ames
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American Classic Aug. 24 2010
By Dave_42 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott has been undervalued for most of its history. This book is a true American Classic. Published originally in October of 1868, it is a story set during the Civil War, but Alcott does not deal with the specifics of the war. Instead, it serves as the pretext for the absence of Robin March, the father of the four "Little Women", for a large portion of the first book. The novel today actually consists of two books, the original "Little Women" from 1868, and the sequel "Good Wives" which was published the following year in April of 1869. The two volumes started being treated as one in 1880.

The first book deals with the growing maturity of the four sisters, and in particularly of Jo and Meg as they have to learn to help their mother out more and do with less during the war, and while their father is away. Meg is the eldest at 16 when the story begins, and Jo (who clearly represents the author) is 15. There is then a gap of a couple years with Beth being just 13 and Amy 12. Their lives transition from that of young girls to young women, and each sister has her own unique traits. Margaret "Meg" with her beauty is following the traditional path in entering society and heading towards marriage. Josephine "Jo" is attracted by intellectual pursuits, in particular reading and writing. Elizabeth "Beth" is very shy and demure. She is also a peacemaker between the sisters, and enjoys helping others. Sadly, she also falls sick and never fully recovers from scarlet fever. Amy is the baby, and likes to tag along with others. She is also used to getting her own way.

The first book is masterful in its simplicity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review Feb. 21 2013
By Henna
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book for Childrens Literature. However it is really cheap to buy at a bookstore. Came on time and was brand new.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Having not read Little Women in many decades, I was drawn back to the book by my love of visiting the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts. I plan to re-visit that wonderful home and want to refresh my recollections of Little Women before doing so. By the way, if you have a chance to visit Orchard House, I strongly recommend that you do. Your sense of Little Women will expand.

As I re-read these delightful pages, I found myself comparing Little Women to Pride and Prejudice, that outstanding work that captures human psychology so well. The comparison made me see new depths in Little Women that convince me that Little Women is by far the stronger work.

But my biggest reaction was how modern the views in the book are. Women should have education, access to opportunities to develop their interests and marriage to men who will complement them. People should be concerned about each other and help one another, lest any person's life be harmed or feelings hurt in the process.

I also noticed how complete a community of loving women can be within the same family.

The writing style is beautifully spare. The key point of a chapter may turn on two or three words. And then, everything changes in the twinkling of an eye.

Being a long book, Ms. Alcott has plenty of chances to develop her characters and she does so beautifully . . . allowing Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Laurie to grow and change as they age.

I also came to appreciate more the scope of the book, taking the young women from teenage years through the first few years of marriage. It's a time period that few books consider. Usually, it's all over when the marriage happens. I like this approach better.

Should you read Little Women?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 20 2012
By webbkat
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is a good length and has lots of ups and downs. It follows the lives of four sisters from childhood to adulthood.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Writing Nov. 25 2003
Format:Hardcover
This book is fantastic. I first read it in fifth grade and it still brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face every time I read it. It stars the March sisters; Jo a tom boy writer who scribbles away and is a strong willed free spirit, while Beth is a sweet girl who never says a mean word to anyone, Meg is the motherly oldest and Amy is the childish youngest who must be surrounded by pretty things. It is a very touching story where four young girls become young ladies and their interactions with eachother and society. It is an utterly splendid story :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novels for girls Aug. 14 2003
Format:Hardcover
How can you not love this tale of 4 sisters struggling to have a normal life despite a father away fighting in the Civil War and diminished means because of his absence? Jo is a feminist of whom Susan B. Anthony would be proud. Poor Beth is so good and easy to love that her illness is heart-breaking. Meg is strong and practical. And Amy, well, you have to love her despite her vanity and selfishness. Of course, Marmee is the tie that binds this family together. So many wonderful movie adaptations of this beloved novel have been produced, including the very faithful one starring Winona Ryder, but, really, one should read this novel to totally immerse themselves in the lives of the March girls. If you love the movie, do yourself the favor of reading this book. Read it to your young daughter, or buy your 4th, 5th, or 6th grader her very own copy to treasure.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars memories
I remember this book as a child, It brings back good feelings and memories. I wish my children saw the value in such classic works.
Published on Nov. 13 2011 by readingrocks
5.0 out of 5 stars little women
this was a very good book and a very good and smart purchase on my part. i liked it alot and i would recommend it. good shipping and customer service as well
Published on Nov. 8 2011 by Zannate21
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
Decided to buy my favourite childhood book for my niece. This book is a classic and the hard cover copy is one that will be enjoyed for years to come.
Published on Feb. 25 2011 by kel
5.0 out of 5 stars From little women to good wives
Louisa May Alcott wrote many books, from her "blood and thunder" tales to heartwarming novels about teens growing up. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2009 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Little women, good wives
Louisa May Alcott wrote many books, from her "blood and thunder" tales to heartwarming novels about teens growing up. Read more
Published on April 9 2008 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars A Treat For All!
As the father of a teenage daughter who was about to see the screen play based on this book, I am probably an atypical reader of "Little Women", but I enjoyed it none the less. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2006 by James Gallen
5.0 out of 5 stars The little women
Louisa May Alcott wrote many books, but "Little Women" retains a special place in the heart of American literature. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2004 by E. A Solinas
3.0 out of 5 stars An Overlong Soap Opera!!!
An adorable book that may seem long at times.
The story is about a family with four daughters,Meg,Jo,Beth and Amy. The book opens when the father is away at war. Read more
Published on July 18 2004 by L. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars I Wish The Jamie Lee Curtis Audiobook was Unabridged!
I regret that I never read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women when I was a kid and I still haven't read the book yet but I just finished listening to this audiobook read by Jamie Lee... Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Thebookwoman
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