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Little Women

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,383 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1613820513
ISBN-10: 1613820518
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7. An entry in a series whose aim is to give readers a clearer picture of the time and place in which classic stories take place. This version of Little Women is augmented with text and illustrations that explain some of the period social customs, clothes, entertainments, etc. Also included are some bits of information about Louisa May Alcott's life. This approach seems best suited to children already familiar with the story; they may find the historical perspective interesting. First-time readers will most likely be distracted by the margin notes that pull attention from the narrative. While they can be helpful, as when they illustrate an unfamiliar piece of clothing, they are often distracting and can even be confusing in their placement. For instance, a note mentioning the Laurences is placed two pages before those characters are introduced. This format may also discourage readers from independent research?a process that can be rewarding in its own right. One other caveat?as explained in an endnote, Little Women was originally written in two parts, and this volume only contains part one, which ends with Mr. March's return. Readers familiar with the more common two-part version may find this title incomplete; children new to this classic will be better off with any one of the unembellished versions available.?Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Playing Pilgrims


"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,"grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

"It's so dreadful to be poor!"sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have lots of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

"We've got father and mother, and each other, anyhow,"said Beth, contentedly, from her corner.

The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly?

"We haven't got father, and shall not have him for a long time." She didn't say "perhaps never,"but each silently added it, thinking of father far away, where the fighting was.

Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, "You know the reason mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas, was because it's going to be a hard winter for every one; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can't do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don't;"and Megshook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.

"But I don't think the little we should spend would do any good. We've each got a dollar, and the army wouldn't be much helped by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintram for myself; I've wanted it so long,'said Jo, who was a bookworm.

"I planned to spend mine in new music,"said Beth, with a little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth-brush and kettle-holder.

"I shall get a nice box of Faber's drawing pencils; I really need them," said Amy, decidedly.

"Mother didn't say anything about our money, and she won't wish us to give up everything. Let's each buy what we want, and have a little fun; I'm sure we grub hard enough to earn it,"cried Jo, examining the heels of her
boots in a gentlemanly manner.

"I know I do, teaching those dreadful children nearly all day, when I'm longing to enjoy myself at home," began Meg, in the complaining tone again.

"You don't have half such a hard time as I do," said Jo. "How would you like to be shut up for hours with a nervous, fussy old lady, who keeps you trotting, is never satisfied, and worries you till you''e ready to fly out of the window or box her ears?"

"It's naughty to fret, but I do think washing dishes and keeping things tidy is the worst work in the world. It makes me cross; and my hands get so stiff, I can't practise good a bit." And Beth looked at her rough hands with a sigh that any one could hear that time.

"I don't believe any of you suffer as I do," cried Amy; "for you don't have to go to school with impertinent girls, who plague you if you don't know your lessons, and laugh at your dresses, and label your father if he isn't rich, and insult you when your nose isn't nice."

"If you mean libel I'd say so, and not talk about labels, as if pa was a pickle-bottle," advised Jo, laughing.


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 1300 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 564 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613820518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613820513
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,701,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Like the previous reviewer, I was surprised to find that he book I had been occasionally rereading for over 50 years was NOT the original novel. My own copy, much loved and well thumbed, has been with me since I was a ten year old. I bought the Kindle version just to have it in my portable library, since I thought I knew it almost by heart. To my surprise, when I started looking it over, I found that the book was not the same at all. My original copy must have been "modernized" at some point. All of the familiar passages were there, but there was a great deal that I didn't remember reading before. Some of that was a specifically Victorian kind of moralizing, but there was also some expansion of the story.. I'm not sure that I would have appreciated it all when I was younger, but I found it a delight to read now, as an example of a book of its times. Now I'm going to download the rest of the Alcott catalogue and see how it compares to the books I thought were the originals when I read them many years ago. This was still an exemplary book. It will always be one of the classics.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so, so looking forward to reading "Little Women" to my daughter, so she could be caught up in it as I was at an early age. I particularly chose the "Whole Story" edition because of its broad margins, easy-to-scan pages, and charming illustrations and margin notes that add historical texture to the story.

Imagine my shock to discover that at the end of THIS edition, Jo has not written a book, Amy has not gone off to Europe, Professor Baer has not made an appearance of any kind and....you'll never believe this....Beth is still carrying on a conversation (I'm trying not to spoil the plot of the real thing here).

That's because, apparently, "Little Women" was initially published in two parts ("Little Women" and "Good Wives"), which are generally published as the same book. Whole Story has chosen to stop at the half-way point, so much of the story you remember, loved, cried, and laughed over is just not here.

Imagine getting only the first half of Tom Sawyer...leave him stranded on the island forever!

I feel completely conned. It's a five-star story - make that maybe even a seven-star story - but it's a one-star edition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a 14-year-old girl and just got around to reading Little Women about a year ago. It is a great American classic written by Louisa May Alcott. It is about the four March sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. They live in New England during the Civil War. They are poor, but they try to make the best of it as they grow and learn. We follow them through good times and bad as they, with help from Marmee and Laurie (their next-door neighbor), bear their own unique burdens. Meg's is poverty, Jo's is her temper, Beth's burden is not being able to play on a piano, and Amy's is her unaristocratic nose. (as funny as that sounds) You'll fall in love with Jo's oddities just as much as with Beth's gentil manners. It is a great book that everyone should read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Please don't misunderstand me...I am NOT disparaging the original story of Little Women. The one star rating is for this particular edition of the book. I have loved this book all my life and having worn out my childhood copy, was hoping to get a new one. An UNABRIDGED copy!! This is not the original...words and whole phrases have been changed and added to this copy! If you, like I was, are looking for an original, untouched, UNABRIDGED copy of Little Women then bypass this edition!! I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed I was!! I will be returning this copy and continue my search for a REAL copy of Little Women that hasn't had words changed, modernized, or "dumbed down"!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must have read Little Women 10-20 times as a child and cried every time I read it. The relationship between the sisters is so touching. It wasn't until much later that I made the connection with the Civil War, and reading it as an adult made the story even richer. This book is a wonderful read aloud to middle school and high school students studying the Civil War time period. I highly recommend reading the book before watching the movie. The movie is great, but cannot begin to touch the emotions portrayed in the book! The other works of Alcott as also as touching. I loved Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom almost as much as Little Women!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this perennial favorite to add to my barely-started collection of these tiny Collector's Library books (sadly, B&N discontinued publication of these). I love that it's small and hardcover- perfect for traveling- especially for long hours on the plane or whatnot.
I was a bit disappointed to find that this book contains only part I of Little Women, ending with Chapter 23 ("Aunt March Settles the Question"). It does not have Good Wives (aka part 2 of Little Women). Luckily, I have what I call my "home copy" of the book which has both parts...so I don't feel like I've made a mistake in purchasing this one. But I thought I'd let you know this book only features part I so that you know what to expect!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This edition was a wonderful value, containing many of the well loved classics like Little Women and others of that series. But it also contained other of the author's less well known works that I just fell in love with. I will say that the editing could have been a little better, there were some words where the I was an o or viseversa but overall a wonderful read and and a great bargain at the price.
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