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

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  229 ratings  ·  49 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.
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
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
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
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
Charlyn  Trussell
Apr 16, 2011 Charlyn Trussell rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.

This biography of Louisa May Alcott is told so that my second graders rated it 4 stars! A first for a biography.
The illustrations are amazing and done by my friend of life, BethAnne. Don't miss the dedication. :)
4.5 stars for this lovely biography. Probably my favorite of all the Bluebonnet picture books.
This bluebonnet award book is excellent. Great short bio about a wonderful American author.
Very interesting! I like learning how famous people lived.
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
Beautiful illustrations.
I have given this book away to many nieces and family friends
A picture book biography of Louisa May Alcott with richly colored illustrations. The text seemed a little choppy, but since it serves as an introduction to the author, perhaps it achieved its purpose in making me want to know more about her. It includes some quotes and some poetry by Alcott, interesting facts, a recipe for Apple Slump, important dates in the author's life and a brief bibliography of other juvenile titles to refer to for more information. Overall, with the addition of the "back m ...more
Laura Hodgins
Good intro into the life of Louisa May Alcott loved the illustrations.
Victoria .c
I like this book because lousa likes to rite poemes. I li this book becouse is intresting.This book is biography.It is about the life of louisa, her sister dide in march14,1858. louisa dide on march6,1888 wen she dide she was onley55 years old and she haved a dougthter.My schema is she likes to write poemes and I like to write poemes to.I have a question on abut?wen she was about to dide she said she forgot ger sweater?I wonder why.Iwill recomend this book to peaple how like to read biography bo ...more
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I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn and many of my novels take place here. My favorite thing to do in the nice weather is to troll the stoops sales that dot the 'hood. I was educated at Vassar College and Columbia University, where I studied art history. But I started writing fiction in my 20's and never looked back. I am the author of six novels, 23 books for children and am the editor of two essay co ...more
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