Parents' Guide to

Little Women

By Stephanie Dunnewind, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Classic still charms despite outdated gender roles.

Little Women Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 8+

I would suggest it to anyone who has the reading level.

This is my favorite book. I believe that everyone should read this at least once in their lives. Even if your younger than 8, if you can read it, you can read it! I strongly suggest it anyone and everyone. The characters are absolutely wonderful. Jo and Beth were my favorite characters. Jo was a perfect role model. This book got me into writing. Have fun reading. Good luck!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

My favorite childhood novel!

I first read this novel around the age of 8 and 9. Then I reread it every 3-4 years. It was my favorite classic children’s novel. Yes it is also an adult story, but if parents can help their children understand book/part two, then mature children should definitely love and appreciate it as I did. Keep in mind a child doesn’t need to know every advanced word or adult theme to love classic literature. The way it reads is reason enough with LMA’s charm and message about family. All the March sisters are incredible role models and truly forward thinking for their time due to transcendentalism philosophy. Thus, it is still so relevant today. If only, Alcott had been able to end it as she originally wished and kept Jo a successful writer/spinster... just as she was herself.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (57 ):

The enduring appeal of this novel is its vivid depiction of its 19th-century time period. The Little House books apealr to generation after generation for the same reason. Though the writing style in Little Women can be didactic, even contemporary girls who can't imagine wearing silk dresses or being too ladylike to run will identify with the March sisters' strong bonds and earnest efforts to overcome their faults. Today's reader will especially appreciate Jo, who romps with her best friend (a boy) and cuts her hair short and defies the era's gender conventions.

At nearly 800 pages (for some editions), the book might work better as a read-aloud so parents can skip the occasionally lengthy, boring passages of description, long letters, or the girls' plays. Young readers may struggle with the sometimes archaic language and unfamiliar references.

Book Details

  • Author: Louisa May Alcott
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • Publication date: September 30, 1868
  • Number of pages: 798
  • Last updated: January 15, 2019

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