Reviews for Little Women

Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
The first volume of Alcott's classic novel, in its unrevised, unabridged 1868 form, is given a documentary treatment, with copious supplemental information such as maps, photographs, and historical sidebars printed in the margins alongside the text. Often interesting, but not always of great relevance, the information is likely to prove distracting to readers attempting to focus on the story. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

School Library Journal Reviews 1997 December
Gr 4-7 An entry in a series whose aim is to give readers a clearer picture of the time and place in which classic stories take place. This version of Little Women is augmented with text and illustrations that explain some of the period social customs, clothes, entertainments, etc. Also included are some bits of information about Louisa May Alcott's life. This approach seems best suited to children already familiar with the story; they may find the historical perspective interesting. First-time readers will most likely be distracted by the margin notes that pull attention from the narrative. While they can be helpful, as when they illustrate an unfamiliar piece of clothing, they are often distracting and can even be confusing in their placement. For instance, a note mentioning the Laurences is placed two pages before those characters are introduced. This format may also discourage readers from independent research a process that can be rewarding in its own right. One other caveat as explained in an endnote, Little Women was originally written in two parts, and this volume only contains part one, which ends with Mr. March's return. Readers familiar with the more common two-part version may find this title incomplete; children new to this classic will be better off with any one of the unembellished versions available. Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews