Sunday, December 12, 2010

Little Women -Book Report

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is the perfect book for this time of year. The story is about  the  four March  sisters, Meg, Jo Beth and Amy, and the joys and struggles they have while growing up. The book is set in Massachusetts during the 1800's and Christmas is the focus several times. Miss Alcott describes Christmas from this time period, sharing food and traditions. It is very loosely based on Miss Alcott's life, she did have three sisters but life was very difficult for her.  I have to admit my daughters enjoyed the book a lot more than my son. It is a book I try to read every couple  of years and is a true Classic.

Miss Alcott had a very interesting life, she and her family were friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. She began writing to help support her family and received money and fame in her lifetime.  I recommend reading a biography to help you to understand her motivation for writing. The Louisa May Alcott Cookbook written by Gretchen Anderson has several recipes from Little Women and Little Men. The recipes are how the Alcott's would have prepared them during the 1800's. It includes recipes such as Molasses Candy, Plum Pudding and Buckwheat Cakes. The cookbook can be purchased used from 

There are several movies to watch starting with the 1933  version with Katharine Hepburn as Jo,
1949 with June Allyson as Jo, Elizabeth Taylor as Amy and Janet Leigh as Meg and
1994 with Winona Ryder as Jo, Claire Danes as Beth and Susan Sarandan as Marmee. All three are good and worth the watch. 

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. Louisa May Alcott

In the book sister Jo March spent her time writing plays and having her sisters help to perform them for thier own amusement. A play could be written and performed in front of family, a homeschool group or even at a nursing home. Miss Alcott also wrote several plays, I haven't read any but they would be worth investigating. You can also find plays already written for you online. 

Community Service:
Acts of Kindness are performed several times in the book. Meals can be taken to a homebound person or family. Can food can be donated or donate you time to a Salvation Army. Select a child from an Angel Tree and purchase items for that child.  My family and I participate in community service projects on a regular basis, they are very rewarding and  a wonderful learning experience.

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo,  Little Women

Learning Events:
Visit Miss Alcott's home in Massachusetts

I found this blog about having a Little Women picnic, great idea.

Miss Alcott's wrote several books and short stores some that I have read and liked are  A Long Fatal Love Chase, Little Men, Jo's Boys and Part 2nd of Little Women also known as Good Wives.

I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship. Louisa May Alcott
Miss Alcotts's obituary from the New York Times, March 6th, 1888:

This will be posted to Gold Star Wednesday's


  1. Hi
    Betty Crocker is great. And I love Little Women. My granddaughter is nine and just finished a school version of Little Women. She was reading the book to me. She made a book report and wrote about ice skating on the pond and received an A for the report. Thanks for visiting My Cozy Corner.

  2. Thanks for posting this to Gold Star Wednesday!

  3. Excellent post! This is a really comprehensive review and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love Little Women - it is one of my favourite books ever!

  4. Great Post. I love that book and the movie with K. Hepburn is my fav!