Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Little Men

Little Men

Louisa May Alcott
Fiction  Series
For ages 14 and up
Little Brown, 1994   ISBN: 0316031046

Jo March, who once used to have such a hard time keeping out of trouble, is now married to her Professor and she is the mother of two boisterous little boys. Thanks to the kindness and support of others, Jo and Professor Bhaer have been able to create something special at Plumfield, the large old house that Jo inherited from her venerable old aunt. This special young couple has turned Plumfield into a school, a home, and a refuge for boys of all kinds. Jo loves this work for she has always loved being around boys, and she finds caring for her “little men” to be a joy, a challenge, and a lark.

Some of the boys in the Bhaer school are spoilt fellows from wealthy families, while others are poor unfortunate lads who have had a hard time and who need Jo’s love and the Professor’s kind counsel and guidance.

One of the lost souls is Nat, who used to be a street musician and who is now Mother Bhaer’s newest chick. Sick in body, alone in the world, and much in need of some education, poor Nat is quite astonished when he discovers what Plumfield is like. There are rules to be sure, but there are also pillow fights on Saturday nights, little gardens to tend to, a violin to play, lots of boys to play with, and even a couple of little girls to spend time with. Nat cannot help feeling as if he has walked into a lovely dream.

There are lots of wonderful times at Plumfield, and of course there are some not so pleasant times too, which have to be borne. There is a day when little Robby Bhaer gets lost in woods and the time when Tommy’s money is stolen. Then there is wild Dan who gives Jo much cause for concern, but who ends up learning how to calm his wild spirit and to find outlets for his energy and enthusiasms.

In this delightful continuation of the “Little Women” story, readers will see how Jo - though she is now a grown wife and mother - is still able to have all kinds of adventures. Because of her own experiences, she is able to understand the problems of the children she cares for, and with wisdom, love, and good humor she sets about doing her best to help them through the hard times.

Though this story is most certainly ‘old-fashioned,’ it is nevertheless a heartwarming, often amusing tale that will give readers food for thought. Readers will see that old classics can be just as entertaining as the new ones.

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