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Jack and Jill

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,365 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
When best friends, Jack and Jill, tumble off their sled, their injuries cause them to be bedridden for many months. Their parents fill their days with the joys of Christmas preparations, a theatrical production and many other imaginative events.
Paperback, 292 pages
Published April 1999 by Little, Brown and Co. (first published 1880)
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis StevensonTreasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Best Books Of The Decade: 1880s
43rd out of 200 books — 212 voters
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonaldHeidi by Johanna SpyriTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Best Children's Books, 1850-1900
22nd out of 61 books — 17 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Valerie
Rereading books you loved as a child can make you see both; all of the wonderful things in them, and all of the flaws. I think the parts about Temperance passed me by as a kid, maybe I didn't realize the secret society was about forbearing to drink.

And no one ever accused Louisa of being light handed with the morals. But the strange thing is, her sense of right and wrong is not far off the mark. We would be better people if we learned to protect and care for those around us, if our mother's pri
...more
Manybooks
Although this Louisa May Alcott novel is in many ways incredibly preachy and moralising, certainly much more so than Little Women, and although I always cry my eyes out at one particular part (even more so than when Beth dies in Little Women), I keep rereading and enjoying Jack and Jill. I am well aware and appreciative of the fact that many of the messages presented are outdated, that there is gender inequality and rather obvious social stratification, but that has not stopped me from calling J ...more
Carly
Aug 05, 2011 Carly marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
What is up with people criticizing the morals that Louisa May Alcott had in her books, saying it's a good story "except" for the moral talk? Louisa May Alcott was a Christian! Morals are a GOOD thing (gasp) for humans to learn, whatever religion or creed, and I wish there were more authors like her today.

I read books by women like Louisa May Alcott because I wish the world were more like the way she painted it, not this depraved rock we currently live on. I'm putting this one on my to-read list
...more
Jessica
Jun 22, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I loved this. I read Louisa May Alcott when I was very young but didn't remember much of her books. This was so lively and whimsical with its great cast of characters. People are just not that gracious and loving towards each other anymore so it was nice to visit that time. I loved the ending and how it wrapped up all of the young people's futures.
Laura Peters
Jan 25, 2014 Laura Peters rated it liked it
When I was thirteen years old, and read and reread this book a hundred times, I'd have given it five stars. The fact that it remains a three star book into adulthood is no small accomplishment for an author from another age.

Louisa May Alcott's style is very openly didactic and so grates a little on modern ears. We're used to having our literary sermons served up in more sneaky ways.

The story presented characters that quickly became real and multifaceted to me. I sympathized with their plights a
...more
Josiah
Sep 27, 2015 Josiah rated it really liked it
When reading the books of Louisa May Alcott, one must remember that her career was at its zenith a fair while ago. Her creative merits should be viewed in the context of contemporary literature for young readers as it stood when she was active, and that puts a different slant on how her works are to be regarded nowadays. Viewed through that prism, I think that Jack and Jill is a remarkably progressive novel, one that likely stood head and shoulders over nearly any other juvenile stories offered ...more
Sara
Dec 01, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
Old-fashioned? Sure. Out of date? Not at all. Despite being written more than a century ago, this charming and sweet book has some very important themes and messages for today. In classic LMA fashion, this book is meant to be morally inspiring for Tweens and teens who already accept the moral premise of classic conservative Christian values. To evaluate a LMA book outside of that bent is to essentially judge a fish's ability to climb a tree. In my opinion, this book is highly entertaining and in ...more
Gehayi
I read an abridged version of this when I was little, which, if I recall, ended with Chapter 18--May Baskets, with the bit about Ed from Chapter 20 being moved to an earlier chapter. So this was the first time that I heard about Frank and Jack Minot's temperance activities, or Pebbly Beach, or the kids taking a break from school for years on the insistence of Mrs. Minot (!), or the ultimate fates of Jill Pecq, Merry Grant, and Molly Loo. Those last six chapters were completely new to me, and the ...more
Rachel
Jul 01, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it
This is just the sort of story my mother would have read to us growing up. Like Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and many other wonderful stories for both girls AND boys, this book shares many interesting tales filled with wonderful lessons to be learned. The stories feel real, as if the boys and girls actually lived, and the lessons learned are those young ones can glean from and even laugh at, bringing comfort and encouragement for those tumultuous growing up years. Jack and ...more
Anastacia
I remember reading this book as a kid - probably pre-teen - and I LOVED it. I had a bunch of classic books (probably abridged) that I devoured in those years, and I remember reading this in one sitting and really enjoying it.

I was really disappointed in re-reading this as an adult.

The plot / story line is just so dull & slow moving. There are parts that are terrific, and parts that are terrible, but all in all, the plot would have been better served as a long short story, and not as a novell
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Jenne
Oct 09, 2007 Jenne rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I just read an article about this novel ("Missionary Positions: Taming the Savage Girl in Louisa May Alcott's Jack and Jill" by M. Hines), so I wanted to reread the book.

It was definitely more full of those glurgey Victorianisms (wholesome and pure!) than I remember, but when I was younger I just read these books pretty much at face value and didn't really think about the imperialist subtext and what have you.

I still can't quite tell if she's being serious with some of the moralizing. I want to
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Teri-k
I've always really liked this book, but haven't read it in decades. Still I found I enjoyed it a lot upon rereading. It's not a didactic as some of Alcott's work, but full of fun and sentiment. The plot revolves around two young neighbors and good friends who get seriously injured in a sledding accident. It follows them and their families and friends through the winter and spring while they recover. There's fun and laughs and also some trouble and sadness. I think what I like best about this boo ...more
Tove Ford
Jun 22, 2016 Tove Ford rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who like Victorian minutiae and L.M. Alcott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
emma grace
Jun 17, 2014 emma grace rated it it was amazing
February 2010 review:

Jack and Jill are two friends who are always together, hence the nicknames Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill really do fall down a hill, but not from fetching a pail of water. They are on a sledding expedition with lots of other children. Jill persuades Jack to go down a steep and dangerous part of the hill, because a boy called Joe told her she couldn't do it. Jack consents reluctantly to go down three times with her. The first two go well enough, but the third has disastrous e
...more
Summer
May 30, 2014 Summer rated it it was amazing
Allot of people said that this book was a little bit 'old fashion', WELL DUH! This book was written along time ago, and takes place a long time ago!!! I would like to add this, which is a book review that I am working on:Jack and Jill went up a hill
To coast with fun and laughter;
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Jack and Jill is a fiction book written by Louisa May Alcott. Jill is considered a wild child, but by the end of the book she is more of a proper lady, Jack
...more
Beverly
Jan 31, 2016 Beverly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cover-to-cover
With all due respect to Louisa May Alcott, I had a horrible time getting through this book. I was reading this for a book discussion group later in the month and I am having a difficult time deciding why she picked this book. Embarrassingly enough, I've never read Little Women--although I've seen the movie--and so, had no familiarity with Alcott's writing. It's certainly well written but in my humble opinion, just way too tedious. The interesting thing is that it was actually written as a childr ...more
Laura
Jul 08, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
I recently discovered that iTunes offers many classics for free, perfect for a summer reading trip. Since Louisa May Alcott is a favorite author whose work I haven't (re)read in decades, I immediately downloaded the offerings. This was the first of her books I read because I'd never read it before.

I was disappointed by the characters. It was just a bit too idealistic. The kids were so "gently guided" that I found them unrealistic. I realize that it was a different time but, really, these childre
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Denise
Mar 10, 2015 Denise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
Just finished something that demanded maximum concentration, hadn't been to the library yet, had this in the Complete Works on kindle...

Gets only two stars because I know I read this as a child and I didn't remember it at all. Reading it as an adult, I mainly notice how Alcott recycles people or incidents from her own past as characters or situations in the books. So here we have the invalid girl (combined here with the tomboy girl), the invalid boy, the too studious boy, the would-be artist, th
...more
Lisa
Jan 03, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
I read this when I was 12 or 13 and loved it, though it was quite old-fashion by my friends' reading standards. But I was an old-fashion girl with whom the modern mores never set quite easily.
Kathy Nealen
Aug 25, 2016 Kathy Nealen rated it really liked it
A pleasant, enjoyable read. Although it featured very well defined gender boundaries, it was probably considered quite liberal in its time.
Gale
Sep 04, 2015 Gale rated it liked it
“Recipes for Young Folks’ Success”

This sentimental LMA novel might well be entitled, LITTLE MEN AND LITTLE WOMEN and reflects the author’s maturity re motherhood and children’s education. In the fictitious hamlet of Harmony Village (hints of Utopia) we meet seven young people whose lives intertwine over the course of a year. Impetuous Jane (known as Jill because she is usually in the company of her older protector, Jack) insists on making one last, daring downhill sledding run on a dangerous c
...more
Laura V.
No me gusta calificar libros "viejos" porque la mayoría han sido escritos respondiendo al contexto de su época, pero en este caso es especial, porque el libro me hizo sudar lágrimas de sangre.
Todo lo que contaba la historia me sonaba a sermón.
Y todo lo que pasaba de malo a Jill debía de servirle de lección y aprender de sus errores, y ser mejor persona; Y que sus esfuerzos se vería recompensados con bondad..
y tantas, tantas lecciones de conducta..
Que las niñas debía de ocuparse de la casa, de ma
...more
Catherine
Sep 01, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic-novels
Jack and Jill is a charming, lesser-known story by Louisa May Alcott, and it is absolutely full of her wisdom and philosophies about education, parenting, and character. After good-natured Jack and spirited Jill are injured in a sledding accident, their devoted mothers and schoolmates come up with gentle, creative, wonderful ways to keep the two involved and engaged while they are bedridden.

Once Jack and Jill are recovered enough, they spend a summer full of quiet play and wild adventures at th
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Anna
Jul 14, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anna by: Emma Marx
LOVED!! It was one of those books that you don't want to put down!! I was a little dull at times, but overall a great children's book.

Jack and Jill is about two children that have an accident on a sled and their recovery. It is not what it seems, only very loosely based on the nursery rhyme and not in the LEAST childish.

Jill is an impulsive, tom-boy like girl who sleds down a hill on a dare, with her friend Jack. In the process they both fall off and Jack "breaks his crown" and Jill gets an in
...more
Jasonlylescampbell
May 31, 2012 Jasonlylescampbell rated it really liked it
In her title Jack and Jill, Louisa May Alcott describes it as a "village story." This is what this book felt like. It is written for kids between 12-18 and it ultimately is a very sweet story. My friend who gave me this book told me that this was one of the books that if she were to die early in life she would want her kids to have these to read them when they reach the right ages.

It did feel like a story that showed how it was possible to speak kindly and to love one another and through the co
...more
Jo Oehrlein
Jun 06, 2016 Jo Oehrlein rated it really liked it
If you like the traditional Louisa May Alcott Books (Little Women/Little Men/Jo's Boys/Eight Cousins/Rose in Bloom/Old Fashioned Girl) you'll probably like this. There are similarities between her other stories and this. It's clear again that she feels like countryside and fresh air are healing, although this time they head to the seashore, not the mountains. There's another theme of fixing yourself and being a good influence on those around you, as well as one of patient obedience.
Sue
A nice enough story about some teenagers in the USA, written 130 years ago and, given its age, surprisingly up-to-date in some ways. Jack and Jill are close friends despite vastly different social circumstances, and early in the book have a nasty accident while sledging. The book follows them and their friends over the next year, as they convalesce.

Subtitled 'a village story', it's mostly gentle, with a fair amount of authorial intrusion, some of it rather preachy, at least to modern ears, and
...more
Caroline
Feb 15, 2013 Caroline rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Two friends have an accident which causes them both to endure a long recovery, during which time they grow in character—this is Louisa May Alcott, after all, and there are passages like this:
Jill's Speller...was seldom looked at, and Jack shirked his Latin shamefully...both were rather the worse for so much idleness, since daily duties and studies are the wholesome bread which feeds the mind better than the dyspeptic plum-cake of sensational reading, or the unsubstantial bon-bons of frivolous a
...more
Karen Willis
I had a hard time figuring out how old all of the characters were! At the beginning they were called children, so I assumed they were probably younger than 10? Not until about 2/3 of the way through or more does it really tell you they are about 15-17! That is NOT children! So confusing!!
Kitty
Sep 24, 2015 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a refreshing book that was pure joy to read. If all Louisa May Alcott's books are really like this, I'll read them all! This book made me think happier and made me want to be like Jill, even as an adult! In all, this book made me very, very, happy.
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1315
As A. M. Barnard:
Behind a Mask, or a Woman's Power (1866)
The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation (1867)
A Long Fatal Love Chase (1866 – first published 1995)
First published anonymously:
A Modern Mephistopheles (1877)

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She and her three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and May were educated by their father, philosopher/ t
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“Our actions are in our own hands, but the consequences of them are not. Remember that, my dear, and think twice before you do anything.” 19 likes
“One of the sweet things about pain and sorrow is that they show us how well we are loved, how much kindness there is in the world, and how easily we can make others happy in the same way when they need help and sympathy.” 17 likes
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