My mother passed on her worn copy of Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, Rose in Bloom, Eight Cousins, Jack and Jill, and Old-Fashioned Girl to me. I read them to shreds! I cried and laughed while I learned lessons about virtue and kindness. Of course, I didn't realize I was learning those lessons, but I did.
This books are part of my heritage and they filled many hours of my girlhood with warmth and happy thoughts. I loved nurturing Meg, kind Polly, gentle Rose, strong willed Jo, and loving Beth. They stood for me as definitions of what it meant to be a "good girl."
Yes, these books are old-fashioned. They will take you and your daughters back to a time of good manners, virtue, and kindness when parents were respected and people went to church.
You will laugh and cry as you get involved in their adventures.
I recommend these lovely books to young women ages 8 to 88 because the stories are timeless, classic in the true sense of the word. Louisa introduces us to well-rounded characters who grow, learn, and change. Family and home are places where life happens. You will related to the heroines and their friends and family. Because after all, times may change, but the longings in our hearts stay the same.
These books are all in our home library. Little Women is the most popular of her books, but I recommend starting younger girls with Jack and Jill. I have listed all 7 books my mother passed to me below with links to buy them on Amazon. You can also find these books at used book stores.
Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys are a trilogy about the March family. Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom introduce you to Rose Campbell. Jack and Jill and Old Fashioned Girl stand alone.
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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 150 Anniversary Edition
Louisa May Alcott wrote her classic Little Women in the mid-1800s, but it is just as beloved today as it was over 100 years ago. Timeless themes such as family, sister love, Daddy off at war, romance, poverty, and coming-of-age are handled with humor, purity, and a sense of fun. Marmee, Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy, and Laurie will find their way into your heart permantently. I love this book and women of all ages will love it, too. This beautiful unabridged copy of Little Women contains 200 original illustrations and was published to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Louisa May Alcott's classic story's debut. This is a book any girl will treasure!
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott 150 Anniversary Edition
Little Men continues to family story where we meet the children of the four little women. Jo and her husband have a school called Plumfield and the antics are delightful. This beautiful unabridged copy original illustrations and was published to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Little Men's debut.
Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott 150 Anniversary Edition
Jo's Boys is the sequel to Little Men and is another delightful book about the family of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy of Little Women. We learn how the Plumfield Boys turn out as adults facing real life troubles. This publisher version is my favorite with original illustrations.
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott introduces us to fourteen-year-old Polly Milton who visits the Shaw family in the big city. Polly's virtue and kindness impact the whole family. Six years later she returns, as she's making her way in the world and finds herself in the middle of a romantic dilemma. This is such a sweet story.
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
When Rose's beloved father dies, Rose is cared for by her overprotective aunts. What's even worse is the eight boisterous boy cousins, who of course end up bringing joy into her life. You will love Rose and her adventures in Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott.
Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott is the sequel to Eight Cousins. After two years of traveling around the world, Rose is back, but she has grown up. Now, men are interested in marrying her. Or are they just interested in her money? Another lovely story.
Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott
Jack and Jill is the book I recommend as the first Louisa May Alcott book to read. It is a bit of an easier read and is about younger children. This delightful story starts with Jack and Jill tumbling down the hill--a sledding accident. Yes, I know--the nursery rhyme. You will love this story!
Free Reading Lists for All Ages
We love reading classics and living books in our house and I am on a mission to promote reading classic literature to homeschool moms. We have free reading lists for all ages here. You can download them or just bookmark the page.
One of the best things parents can do is to read aloud to their children. Choose beautifully, illustrated, well-written picture books that capture the interest of your little ones. Reading aloud gets children ready to read and helps readers to be stronger readers. We have reading lists for reading aloud here.
After children learn to sound out words, they need to read lots and lots of fun, easy-to-understand books. The more they read, the more their reading will improve. If they like a series, like the Boxcar Children, let them read all the books in the series. Children are often drawn to a book because of a character. Your goal now is to increase reading skills: fluency, speed, comprehension. We have reading lists for new readers here.
Once children can read, it’s time to read classic books that are well-written and share a timeless message. Don’t bog children down with writing book reports. Let them read, read, read! Reading builds vocabulary and learning skills. We have reading lists for children here.
We also have reading lists for pre-teens, teens, and adults. You can download them here.
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!