'As they sat together in the twilight, talking over their small plans, the future always grew so beautiful and bright'
Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy have grown up together in Orchard House with their friend Laurie next door, and now it's time for them to go out and find their places in the big wide world, to do the great and marvellous things they've dreamed of and discover their 'castles in the air'. They each find themselves tested, and fall in love, but when tragedy strikes they find their best comfort is in each other, and home.
BACKSTORY: Learn more about the unusual author and have a go at making jam!
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Six generations of readers have found in the story of the March family universal truths about girls, families and growing up - Guardian
Deals with life's big questions - love and death, war and peace, and ambition versus family responsibility - in a way that is inspiring and realistic. Use a hankie as a bookmark - tears are guaranteed - Marie Claire
Good Wives is a glorious weep-a-minute...a more complex narrative that follows each of the girls' journeys, real or metaphorical, away from the parental home - Independent
So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics! - National Association for the Teaching of English
Louisa May Alcott was born on 29 November 1832 in Pennsylvania, and she grew up with plenty of books to read but seldom enough to eat. Louisa went to work when she was very young as a paid companion and teacher, but she loved writing most of all, and like Jo March she started selling sensational stories in order to help provide financial support for her family. She worked as a nurse during the American Civil War but the experience made her extremely ill. Little Women was published in 1868 and was based on her life growing up with her three sisters. She followed it with three sequels, Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886) and she also wrote other books for both children and adults. Louisa was also a campaigner for women's rights and the abolition of the slave trade. She died on 6 March 1888.