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Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott
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Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  249 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
When Louisa May Alcott's Little Women was published in 1868 it was an instant success. Louisa drew on her experiences in writing the novel, but there's a lot more to her rags-to-riches story. Louisa came from a family that was poor but freethinking, and she started teaching when she was only seventeen years old. But writing was her passion. This informative biography captu ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
In 5th grade Louisa May Alcott was probably my favorite author. I read every book of hers that I could get my hands on. So it was fun as an adult to go back and read this biographical picture book about her written for 3rd to 5th grade. I found the whole book fascinating. Some of the historical information of the time might be lost on children but would bring up some interesting discussion questions. Fans of Louisa May Alcott will love this picture book.
Sep 13, 2013 Jenne rated it it was amazing
Add this to the list of compelling stories of women in history. The book is beautifully illustrated (check out Andersen's Patience Wright), but the vignette format of Louisa's life were attention grabbing for even my four year old daughter. Louisa is portrayed as a full well rounded, dynamic and multi-faceted person who was full of love and compassion others. My daughter is especially drawn to stories of that sort of person. We are very much looking forward to the time that we will read Little W ...more
Jessica Rawden
This book is not a standard biography. If you are looking for a graphed out biography of Alcott's life, you haven't found it in this book. What you have found is a beautifully illustrated, nicely sculpted story of Alcott's life. Each of the pages tell a new tale of Alcott's life growing up. Each of the stories is true, and each sort of gives hints as to how Alcott became the woman behind Little Women . Tragedies and triumphs in her life are glossed over, and the book focuses on her girlhood. It ...more
Mar 21, 2011 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: 11-12-bluebonnet
I love the folk art style of the paintings.

The biography is told as a story (ie beautifully written but no table of contents or index, which can be helpful to young "researchers"). I enjoyed learning more about her parents and the beliefs they passed on to Louisa.

Additions in the back include quotes, a bit of poetry, a timeline and bibliography, as well as a recipe from the time period.

I can't help but feel like this is one of those books that adults will love. But the picture book/middle grade
Jul 21, 2010 Ofilia rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated book that really explores the ups and downs of Alcott’s life. Her father was really ahead of his time in terms of social justice and education. And details such as the family’s strict vegetarianism and linen clothing were quite interesting. The pace is deliberate and I think this would most likely appeal more to girls. The lovely muted colors are in contrast with the childlike quality of the artwork, but the effect is quite moving. I especially love the illustration whe ...more
Apr 16, 2011 Charlyn rated it really liked it
Recommended to Charlyn by: Texas Bluebonnet Award reading list 2011-12
McDonough reveals the interesting life of Louisa May Alcott, an author with whom most children will be unfamiliar. Louisa's life, from her childhood rescue from drowning to her adult life as an abolitionist, is complemented by the richly colored illustrations by Bethanne Anderson. Accommodating areas in the illustrations allow for the text to be easily read. The biography is an excellent introduction to the author and McDonough adds a bit of Alcott's poetry, quotes, facts, a recipe, and a timeli ...more
Esmeralda Gregg
Apr 26, 2016 Esmeralda Gregg rated it really liked it
This story is a biographical sketch of Louisa May Alcott. Ms. Alcott is a well-known writer known for the the literary classic book, “Little Women.” The picture book of Louisa May life tells of readers how she came from a poor home and how she and her sisters were constantly encouraged by their parents, Bronson and Abigail Alcott, to think freely and independently. Constant encouragement from her family and a desire to make more money for her family led to the start of Louisa May Alcott’s writin ...more
Rosa Cline
Ms McDonough does such a wonderful job with her bios she writes! She does her research and then writes the information as if you were there in that time frame with whomever you are reading about! Wonderfully done. (I have read her Louis Armstrong biography as well and was impressed with it so wanted to read more of what she had written and I'm not disappointed at all!)

This book is about Louisa May Alcott starts with her birth, follows her throughout her childhood. Teaches us about what type of
The Reading Countess
May 03, 2011 The Reading Countess rated it really liked it
SUPERB biography about the tragic life of author Louisa May Alcott. The interesting facts about her life (abolitionist, father's job choices, raising her niece) only heightened my adoration since girlhood of one of my favorite authors. I remember fondly visiting her home in Concord when I was an impressionable twelve years old. This is a must read for writing teachers to model biographical reading-compelling and unforgettable.
Olivia Lagore
Jan 30, 2015 Olivia Lagore rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eled-412, biography
This picture book biography of Louisa May Alcott, the authoress of the timeless book "Little Women" tells how Louisa drew on her own life experiences, her beliefs, and the beliefs of her family to write little women. Although her life was not easy, the book tells her story tenderly, pairing its beautiful (though advanced) wordage with lovely pictures, soft, modern, and warm.
This was a wonderful read for myself, as I grew up reading little women, but it could also work well in a classroom, perha
Judy Desetti
Feb 14, 2010 Judy Desetti rated it really liked it
Shelves: gr-6-7-8, biography
Good reviews.
I read it to 5th students as a read aloud with discussion about some aspects of story, ie: why her dad was considered strange for thinking chidren should be treated with respect. It was a good lesson and let into biographies well. Alcott books were checked out after lesson as well as biographies on other people.
Oct 11, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
Bluebonnet biography that I read with my 4th grader. I liked it a a lot. My 4th grader (a boy) did as well. He was most interested in the abolitionist views that the Alcott family supported. Very good illustrations and a window into Louisa's life without being too dry. I am now rereading "Little Women."
Rosie Harris
Nov 27, 2012 Rosie Harris rated it really liked it
This was a good biography of a very cool lady. The book talks about her life from birth to death and focuses a great deal of her relationship with her family as well as her career. The ilustrations are beautiful. I would use this book to talk about the Civil War, biographies, or female authors.
Amy Carr
Aug 08, 2011 Amy Carr rated it really liked it
I have always loved Louisa May Alcott and this book was an excellent introduction to her childhood and life! Very well-done illustrations and lots of springboard for discussion about key events, attitudes, and perspectives that prevailed at that time and the power of individual belief.
I love the illustrations—they seem oversized, somehow—and bold and bright and so fitting. I love Louisa May Alcott, too, and I think she's one of my favorite historical figures. Made me want to watch all three versions of Little Women again immediately.
Keri Dodson
Nov 14, 2011 Keri Dodson rated it really liked it
I was brought to tears by this compact story of an amazing woman's life It is nice for young people to have access to a book with information that does not overwhelm them and also adds beautiful pictures
Jul 26, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
Nice, concise biography of Alcott with interesting, creative illustrations. This is a good example of biography for younger readers and is not overly burdened with too much information.
Mrs. Tongate
Beautifully illustrated. A great picture book read aloud for secondary students for Women's History Month, Teen Read Week, and November 29 on Louisa May Alcott's birthday.

Nov 13, 2010 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: bluebonnets
This biography of Louisa May Alcott is told so that my second graders rated it 4 stars! A first for a biography.
May 12, 2012 Louanne rated it it was amazing
The illustrations are amazing and done by my friend of life, BethAnne. Don't miss the dedication. :)
Jan 30, 2012 Stacey rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for this lovely biography. Probably my favorite of all the Bluebonnet picture books.
Aug 06, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
This bluebonnet award book is excellent. Great short bio about a wonderful American author.
Aug 23, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it
Very interesting! I like learning how famous people lived.
Sep 03, 2015 Stan rated it really liked it
I had just finished reading Little Men, which I thoroughly enjoyed, when I stumbled across this book at the library. I couldn't resist borrowing it, and it did not disappoint. Louisa May Alcott's stories are uplifting and encouraging, not because they gloss over difficult issues or put a positive spin on everything, because they face issues head on, but with the attitude that there is a good and positive way to deal with every situation in life and that is the approach we should always take. Her ...more
Jul 18, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Beautiful illustrations.
Whitney Archer
Jul 22, 2016 Whitney Archer rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
A beautifully illustrated children's biography of beloved author Louisa May Alcott.
Javier Campero
Dec 01, 2015 Javier Campero rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book , student will enjoy the life of Louisa Alcott
I have given this book away to many nieces and family friends
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I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn and many of my novels take place here. But my new novel takes place in New Hampshire, and I have woven into it a historical component: the tragic story of Ruth Blay, who in 1768 was the last woman hanged in the state. When I read about Ruth, I was fascinated and horrified in equal measure, and I knew I had to write about her.
I was educated at Vassar College and Col
More about Yona Zeldis McDonough...

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