100 Best Books for Children ~ Alcott

Next up on The Hundred Best Books for Children found in The Book-Lover by Baldwin is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott — number 83.

Alcott is best known for her classic novel, Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. This heartwarming book written in 1868 is a well-known addition to most homeschool lists.

The story takes place during the time of the Civil War where Mr. March is serving. The mother and her four girls are making ends meet during this time. What makes the book so special are the characters. They are not portrayed as good or bad, but human. We see them address and grow beyond their weaknesses.

It is probable that no other children’s novel has been as dearly loved as this wonderful old classic. The elements of the story are simple enough — a gentle, scholarly, minister-father (away serving as a chaplain in the Civil War during the first half of the book); a warm, strong mother dedicated to her family but also concerned about the needs of others; four teenaged daughters; a wealthy, crotchety neighbor and his handsome, fun-loving grandson. Each girl is very different from the others, with their individual personalities and resultant interaction an important part of the story development. The reader immediately becomes involved with this lively, very human family, and the lessons in character, the compassionate but firm view of life and human failings so clearly expressed by the writer, are just as applicable today as they were more than 100 years ago….

Books Children Love

This would be a favorite on our own family read-aloud list.

Little Men continues the story of the story of the Marches, along with Jo’s Boys. Other favorites include Eight Cousins.

Alcott had a way of expressing a moral without moralizing. Because of the humanness of her characters (their strengths and weaknesses) we learn more about dealing with life and the struggles we all have on some level.

We’ve covered Louisa May Alcott as part of our free history studies. In the link below you’ll find a recommended biography, unit and lesson plans, and free printables, including a simple notebooking download.

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Free eBooks

Additional Resources

Little Women Teacher Notes
A few thoughtful activities to go with the book from Pearson.

Invincible Louisa

Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs
Newbery winner and frequently recommended biography of Louisa May Alcott by the author of The Windy Hill and Swift Rivers among others. A favorite author!

Child’s Book of American Biography {Free eBook}
A short biography of Alcott is included.

Free History Studies: Louisa May Alcott
Part of our free history studies. Unit resources.

A Garland for Girls by Louisa May Alcott ~ Free eBook
Garland for Girls by Alcott includes seven short stories arranged around a flower theme. One of her later works.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

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