Darlene Foster's Blog

Little Women

Posted on: August 20, 2013

I  am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.
Louisa  May Alcott


A blogging friend of mine from England, Barbara from March House Books, has posted a delightful edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott with charming illustrations.  Check it out here:


One of my all time favourite books is Little Women. I had two copies when I was a young girl, one I bought for myself and one given to me by a favourite aunt. Although well-worn, I still have the copy that was a gift.  I have since purchased another copy that I use when I am tutoring students in English as a Second Language. The students love it as well. The great thing is, I get to read it over and over, which is wonderful as I never tire of it.

What is it that makes this classic so appealing through the generations? For me it the depiction of strong family values during difficult times and the strong character and determination of Jo.

What is one of your favourite books from childhood and why do you love it so?

26 Responses to "Little Women"

One of Paul’s all-time favourites was “The Coral Island” by R M Ballantyne. It has apparently been in print continuously since 1858. My memory of it was simply of the excitement of three young lads marooned on a desert island, and their creative self-sufficiency. How I dreamed of such a life!

Interestingly, years later I found a copy and started reading it to my own boys. I found it highly racist, and so violent in spots that I skipped whole chapters. It had a strong message of the superiority of Christianity – a stance which bothered me equally about my adult reread of Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe.

Interesting both how times have changed since 1858 (or 1958), and how different my focus at various times of my life.

Nevertheless, when, as part of an Outward Bound course years ago, I spent a three-day solo on a desert island in Australia’s Coral Sea, I imagined myself a character in Ballantyne’s novel as, like them, I spent hours trying to fish for my dinner, with ultimate success!

It is interesting how time can change how we feel about a book, but the central theme that intigued us originally doesn’t usually alter. Glad you got to live out your dream Paul.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CSLewis. My sister gave it to me in 1961 and I loved it from page one. The transporting to a magical place seemed so possible

That is another wonderful book. I must admit I din’t read it until I was an adult but I did enjoy it.

Hello Darlene, thank you so much for reblogging my post – I’m truly honoured.
I see that Ruth has already mentioned the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, but I’m going to choose it anyway. I first read it back in the early 50s after being awarded a paperback copy at a school prize giving day. I loved it from the moment I opened the first page and continued to love and read it until it fell apart, and was eventually thrown away by my mum. I have to say the film was a huge disappointment it just didn’t conjure up the magic contained in those fragile pages.

THanks so much for sharing your favourite childhood book Barbara. It is amazing how these books have influenced our lives. Thanks for providing these classics though your website.

Darlene, the pleasure is all mine! It is lovely to have someone to share them with. Thanks again for the mention.

When I was very young around 8 or 9, I visited my favorite aunt. She had a shelf of Bobbsey Twin books that her five children older than me had read. I was in heaven when she boxed them all up and sent me home with them. They were a good start to my reading of chapter books, then Beverly Cleary books especially Henry Huggins had me laughing. I do remember going to the library every Friday afternoon for years and reading a book over the weekend. The March family, all of them and Laurie, next door captivated me.

The Bobbsey Twin series was another favourite of mine and encouraged me to dream of travelling one day.

What a beautiful edition. I’m fairly sure I read this as a youngster, but now that I think about it I’m remembering the film better than the book. I should read it again some time. Two of my favourite books as a child were classics: “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wind in the Willows”. I’d probably still have those two in my top 10 today.

Thanks for sharing your two childhood favourites. If you reread Little Women, make sure you have a tissue nearby.

Enjoyed reading Barbara’s post on Little Women. The updated pictures are very lovely and would help a younger generation. Someone on her blog indicated that the book needed to be rewritten for today’s generation. That is probably so, but there is something sacred about the original. I loved the movies, especially the version with Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder, which is more modern version and not so “quaint.”

As for as my favorite book as a young child, Pippi Longstocking will always stay with me. I couldn’t get enough of her adventures — my hero. Today even remember her cure for warts. Later, I got lost in Anne of Green Gables, still a favorite today.

Anne of Green Gables ties for first place along with Little Women as my favourite childhood books. It is another book I can read over and over.

This is one of my favorites. I grew up near Concord and my nickname is after Meg in Little Women!

How cool to be named after one of the March sisters.

Hi Darelene. Glad to come over to your house. (lol)…I loved Madeline L’Engle’s books.Took me away to different places and I loved he good vs. evil theme. Yay, good wins! Take care

There are so many great children’s classics. I must read more of Madeline L’Engles books. Thanks for the visit Holly.

Little Women is definitely one of my childhood favourites, too. Jo remains one of my favourite characters of all time. The other one that pops into my head is The Swiss Family Robinson. I adored the adventure — and their ability to have a domestic life whilst shipwrecked. It really captured my imagination! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my blog Libby. Seems like Little Women had an effect on many of us. So glad it has stood the test of time. Swiss Family Robinson was a cool adventure that also spoke of family values in difficult times.

The Enchanted Wood and The Magic Faraway Tree (because you have to combine them). My Grade 2 teacher, Mrs. Furnell, read both of these books to us – a little each morning – throughout that year and I’m convinced that was part of the reason I have such an active imagination. I read them to my children now and it is such a nostalgia trip.

I loved it when a teacher would read a story to us a little at a time. It was a teacher that encouraged my imagination as well. Isn’t it fun to read your favourites to your own kids. We are four generations of Little Women fans in our family. Thnaks for stopping bu my blog Dean.

I had too many to pick out a favourite – but I did like ‘Little Women’. This version of Barbara’s is a lovely one. It really is one of those stories that retains its universal appeal despite the passing years (centuries) – a bit like Jane Austen’s books as well..

It is hard to pick a favourite isn’t it. I agree that Little Women stands the test of time just as the Jane Austen stories have.

Little Woman was definitely my first favorite book, also. I read it at least 10 times , from the age of 10-15. Many, many years later, I moved to Concord MA, the home of Louisa May. I lived in her town for ten years, and toured her house (known as the Orchard House) at least a dozen times (a great place to bring guests). I loved the book and the author obviously before I moved to Concord, but after getting to hear her story more intimately, seeing where she lived, how she lived, and who her friends were (like Emerson and Thoreau), I have grown to love and respect her even more…)
Nice to meet you here – found you from Karen Shark blog! 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. I love making new friends and it’s great to meet a friend of Karen Shark and someone who actually lived in Louisa May’s town! I would so love to visit her home one day. I have read the book many times as well.

It’s worth the visit, believe me! And Concord MA has so much history in every corner of the town. Nice to meet you.

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