An Old-Fashioned Girl

Our rating: ****

When Polly Milton comes to stay with her cousin, Fanny Shaw and her wealthy family in the city, they find her old-fashioned ways to be unusual and strange. Polly wonders if she’ll ever be able to fit it, but then wonders which is better. Soon, the Shaws to realize that, even though Polly isn’t up to date on the social aspect of things, her genuine happiness and concern for others set her apart in a special way.

Another good Louisa May Alcott. Oh, and even though I categorized it as a long read, it isn’t a very long read. And it’s almost as if you could separate the book into two, because about halfway through, it skips ahead to six years later. This is definitely a book worth reading.

Little Men

Our rating: ****½

When Jo inherits Plumfield from her gruff Aunt March, she and her husband, Professor Bhaer, set up a school for young boys. The following story is about the various adventures at Plumfield concerning the orphaned Nat, wild Dan, mischievous Tommy, and many others.

As the sequel to Little Women, this book certainly lives up to its expectations. A great book. Plumfield is a happy home where pillow-fighting and banister-sliding is allowed, but when it comes to matters of the heart, genuine love is to be found in all.

Jack and Jill

Our rating: ***

Jack and Jill, two good friends, while sledding, suffer from a severe accident, which breaks Jack’s leg, and more seriously injures Jill’s back. The doctors say that Jack will be up and about again after a few weeks, but they’re afraid that Jill may remain an invalid for the rest of her life. This is the story of what Jack and Jill and their friends did while Jack recovers, and Jill builds hope.

I only rated this one three stars because I’ve read almost all of Louisa May Alcott’s books, and I know she’s done better, but I still enjoyed this one, and would recommend it to all L. M. Alcott fans.

Rose in Bloom

Our rating: ***

This is the sequel to Eight Cousins. Rose is now a young woman, and learning of a whole new set of temptations and desires. Also, Rose is doing her best to encourage her cousins to be upright young men, and she is finding the job easier with some and harder with others. When what seems to be love finds Rose, will she be able to make the right decision?

Find out next time in the thrilling conclusion of . . . ! Oh, excuse me. Okay, as I was going to say, I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as Eight Cousins. (Ah-ha! you say, that explains the rating!) However, that was simply my personal opinion. Rose in Bloom is (listen carefully) a very good book. However, if you are considering reading it aloud, you should be prepared to have over nine different voices handy! It has some great parts, some good parts and a lot of just good old well-written parts. Please read it and enjoy. Although I will warn you, yes, someone dies in this story.

Eight Cousins

Our rating: ****

An orphaned girl, Rose, has been living with her great aunts for a little while, and is now awaiting the arrival of her uncle (who is also to be her guardian) with a little trepidation. Her main worry is her cousins: seven boys. Having lived all her life with a father who was an invalid, she is not sure what to expect. Once she is barely settled in with Uncle Alec, she finds that her uncles’ and aunts’ opinions on bringing up a little girl differ greatly. Will Rose blossom or wither under the change?

I know, I know. That was a bad pun. I apologize. (Lopsided grin of the “I-know-it-was-bad-but-I’m-still-not-going-to-take-it-out” sort). Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. Even though I categorized it under all ages, it might not be as enjoyable for someone, say, eleven years and under. (Of course, tastes and interests vary.) The seven cousins are great! And the aunts! (Laughing) There are six of them, each with different traits. Some of them, like Aunt Myra kept me in stiches through the whole thing. A great book. Excuse the previous pun and enjoy.