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A Hopeful Heart: Louisa May Alcott Before Little Women

By: Deborah Noyes

How did Little Women— the beloved literary classic and inspiration for Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed feature film adaptation—come to be? This stunning biography explores the unique family and unusual circumstances of literary icon Louisa May Alcott.

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. How did these cherished characters come to be? Louisa May Alcott, the author of one of the most famous "girl" books of all time, was anything but a well-mannered young lady. A tomboy as well as a ravenous reader, Louisa took comfort in fictional characters that were as passionate and willful as she was–and whose wild imaginations were a match for her own. She was often found roaming the woods near her home in Concord, Massachusetts, or exploring the natural world in the company of the great Transcendentalist thinkers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Here is a beautiful portrait of Louisa May Alcott, a woman influenced by her father, a penniless philosopher, her mother, with whom she shared a great connection, and, of course, her three sisters. Featuring unique indigo illustrations, Deborah Noyes unveils how Louisa’s natural spirit, loving family, and unconventional circumstances inspired the timeless masterpiece that is Little Women.

Epilogue. Bibliography. Notes. Index. Indigo photographs and reproductions.

ISBN: 9780525646242

JLG Release: Dec 2020

Sensitive Areas: Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War
Topics: Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) , American women authors , Nineteenth-century US history , Concord, Massachusetts , Family life , Transcendentalism , Radicalism in America

$17.85  Member Price

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Biography Middle Plus

Grades 5-8

14 titles/year


Book Details



First Release

December 2020



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader


Scholastic Reading Counts



Level 1180L


Print Book


Library edition with trade jacket added


Schwartz & Wade

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War


Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), American women authors, Nineteenth-century US history, Concord, Massachusetts, Family life, Transcendentalism, Radicalism in America,

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