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Little Women: A Retelling

Authored by Laura Wood/Louisa May Alcott
Published by Barrington Stoke

Little Women: A Retelling: Laura Wood’s charming retelling of Little Women makes Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel accessible to a wide range of younger readers.

It is a daunting task to take a much-loved, classic children’s novel and write a version that makes it accessible to younger readers. Laura Wood triumphs in her retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, maintaining the emotional essence of the story. She embraces the story’s core values of the strength of the family without losing the individual identities of the March sisters and their associates. She is able to recreate the wonderful sense of time and place that lovers of this book will remember. Laura Wood cleverly focuses on key elements of the story, such as visiting the poor family on Christmas morning or the kind gift of a piano from Mr. Lawrence to Beth. She ensures that the reader has enough information to imagine the locations of the story, such as the home of the March family, the areas where they play and walk, the grand houses and the homes of those less fortunate. Once again, the reader will fall in love with Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, experience their zest for life, sibling rivalry and strong loyalty to each other.

Barrington Stoke publications are very pleasurable to read. The print is accessible, and the pages are tinted yellow with high-quality paper. These are books that are designed with the reader in mind and are especially suited to readers with dyslexic tendencies. This book is suitable for readers of about 8 onwards. The story is complete and very accurate to the original. However, Laura Wood ends the story with the father’s happy return after he and Beth recover from serious illness. This is where the original book ended. Lovers of the series do know what happens in later books, but this version is life-affirming and very charming. It is certainly an excellent introduction to Alcott’s iconic characters, and it is possible that a sequel will follow.