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What do you think is a good age to read aloud Little Women?

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That is, how old were your kids when you first read it aloud to them?

 

Obviously, this is an all-time favorite, but it's been a long time since I've actually read the novel myself. I'm trying to decide where to put it on our long-term read aloud list. Thanks for any input! 

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Many, many moms have their kids read Little Women at a young age and many children enjoy the story. However, I prefer to wait until high school. My reasoning for this is that the story is about their lives as they grow from childhood all the way into adulthood. There is romance and courting and marriage and babies. While I don't think these are bad things for children to read about, I also don't think they get nearly as much from the story as they will when they can identify a bit more with the main characters throughout the book. My daughter is 13 and I will probably have her read it when she is about 15.

 

 

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I couldn't talk DH into reading it to the girls, so I handed it to my 10 year old earlier this year and she loved it.  I would have my ODD read it too, but she is such a slow reader, it would take her forever.

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I think it matters what other books are planned. This is a book that can be used to plug up a hole, because it is at least acceptable for a wide range of ages.

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Little Women was my mom's favorite book. I tried reading it at 10 and found it to be the most boring book ever. I read it again as an adult and loved it. I really agree with SeekingHim, that this book is about transitions to adulthood and can be appreciated much more by older children and teens. There is nothing so difficult in it that any child who can sit still for a read aloud shouldn't be exposed to the book, so any age is acceptable. But the older they are, the more they will get it.

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I had my daughter read it in 7th grade. She thought it was moralistic, sappy and predictable. I'm thinking if I had had her read it in 3rd or 4th grade she wouldn't have been so cynical and sarcastic about the whole thing.

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What about the sequel little men? Our family thoroughly enjoyed the TV series in Netflix and I loved the book as it is filled with lovely picures of education. I was thinking of reading it aloud soon.

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We listened to it on audio when they were mid-elementary sometime, and they loved it, until the second book started (when Meg gets married).  They weren't interested at that age in what happened to the girls when they got boyfriends/married.  I let them stop listening.

 

I had them read the whole thing themselves when they were in about 7th grade, I think?

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My suggestion is just read/have them read Book 1.  That's the first 23 chapters, and it covers their "girlhood" up to the point of Meg's marriage.  I think it's more engaging and relatable for girls today than the 2nd half. Plus, you get to skip the major tearjerker of Beth's death.

 

I read it aloud when Shannon was in 5th grade, I think? Just part 1.  It was fine, but not engaging enough that she wanted to read on, which made perfect sense given her age. I read Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, and Jack & Jill as a kid.  Repeatedly, I think.  I now find them very preachy and moralistic, but I must have enjoyed them at the time.

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DS read Little Women about six months ago at age nine. He liked it enough to go on and read Little Men and Jo's Boys. I don't know if I could have waited much longer and had him still interested in it.

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A word of warning: it makes for a very long read aloud. 

 

We read it as a family, bc I was pretty sure that was the only way younger dd and dh would ever read it. It's been a favorite of mine since childhood, but I was heartily sick of it by the time we finished reading it aloud, lol. 

 

It's a tough book to assign an age to - some kids won't be into the coming of age parts when they are younger, some kids won't have patience for the preachiness when they are older.

 

It can be a hard read but it's certainly not great literature. Students should know who LMA is and be aware of Little Women, but it's definitely not a book I would require. 

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We're listening to a dramatized audio of LW right now. My little ones are loving it, but I can barely tolerate the preachy tone. Its a nice story, but I'd never require anyone to read it.

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This thread inspired me to try another Alcott book-Eight Cousins. Anyone read this? I tried the first couple of chapters and really enjoyed them. The main character is 13 when the story starts. I'm curious as to how old she is at the end of the book?

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This thread inspired me to try another Alcott book-Eight Cousins. Anyone read this? I tried the first couple of chapters and really enjoyed them. The main character is 13 when the story starts. I'm curious as to how old she is at the end of the book?

 

The only other thing I've read by LMA is Transcendental Wild Oats.  I really like the first book of LW (listening to it with my kids, I found myself wanting to be like Marmee - she rocks), but the second book I do find preachy, and I've never felt any need to read any of the sequels.

 

Transcendental Wild Oats is a fictionalized account of the almost-year the Alcotts joined a utopian commune at Fruitlands. It's hilarious.  And makes me think even more highly of LMA's mother - she was the only sane person on that commune (how she put up with Bronson, I'll never know). 

 

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I find Marmee very inspiring as well. :-)

 

Now you have me wanting to read Transcendental Wild Oats! Off to search for it in in the kindle store.............

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This thread inspired me to try another Alcott book-Eight Cousins. Anyone read this? I tried the first couple of chapters and really enjoyed them. The main character is 13 when the story starts. I'm curious as to how old she is at the end of the book?

It has been 20 - 30 years since I've read it. I think Eight Cousins covers about a year. Then Rose In Bloom is when she is ready to marry.
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I'm reading it aloud to my 10 year old right now.  I think that is the perfect age for her.  We just finished the entire Little House series and were looking for something similar, she loved the Little House books so much.  I read about a chapter a day, but we are in no rush. I read it at bedtime, which, for us, is actually the best time to read classics like that.

 

I absolutely loved Little Women as a kid.  I read all of the Louisa May Alcott books I could get my hands on.  

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My dd and ds just read it for themselves. They both really enjoyed it. They've been pleading with me to download the librivox version for them.

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I won't be reading that one aloud.  I'd ugly cry at that sad part (not going to spoil it).  That is a book I'll probably assign in 5th grade... probably.

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I read it at 10 and LOVED it. I had already powered through An Old-Fashioned Girl and was hooked on LMA. I wish she had written *that* one into a series. 

 

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I read it on my own at age 8 and loved it.  I read it repeatedly throughout my childhood.  My dd read it somewhere around age 10, I think, and loved it as well.

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