We had our friends Erma and Lance over last night for a belated Chinese New Year dinner, and Erma asked how I came up with the name for my blog, since I don't seem to ever write about books written for girls. The name was taken from a Camera Obscura song that I like a lot, but given the blog's name it's not surprising that I get a lot of hits looking for...wait for it...books written for girls. So I've decided to start a regular feature on my favorite books for girls, and we'll start with one of the classics - Louisa May Alcott.
Back in September I wrote about our visit to Boston and Concord, where we toured Orchard House. I won't go into Louisa May's history since there are so many great resources online and elsewhere; let's just get to the good stuff. Keep in mind I'm going off of my memory here, so if I've remembered something incorrectly feel free to politely remind me. (Marmee wouldn't have it any other way!)
Little Women is probably the best-known of all Alcott's works, and was based on her own upbringing in Concord. Set during the Civil War, it tells the story of the four March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy) and their many adventures. They often get into scrapes in their daily lives, but usually learn a valuable lesson from them, and also through advice given by their mother Marmee and the guidebooks she gives them(most likely Pilgrim's Progress). There's also a handsome neighbor boy, Laurie that I think every girl who reads the book falls for at some point. A true classic.
Little Men is the follow-up to Little Women. It tells the story of Jo and her husband, Professor Bhaer (who she marries at the end of Little Women), and the school for boys that they open together. Again, the students learn to correct their faults and become productive members of society, after having their fair share of struggles. Not quite as fun as the first book, but still highly satisfying since the characters from Little Women all drop in.
I have to admit that I don't remember reading Jo's Boys, so technically I shouldn't include it in my favorites. It's considered the final book in the Little Women trilogy, though, so if you're looking for a great birthday gift why not get all three?
There are three more Alcott books that I'd like to include, but I think they need their own post - I have a lot to say about Miss Polly Milton.