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Eight Cousins
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"Eight Cousins" (1875) is a happy story about a sad girl, thirteen-year-old Rose Campbell. Orphaned and weak, Rose is on the verge of tears in the book's first glimpse. She is a "low-spirited butterfly," as author Louisa May Alcott describes her. But Rose has big surprises coming -- for one, the appearance of her seven boy cousins of "all ages, all sizes." Another is the supposed boy-hater's discovery of how much she likes this "flock of tall lads," and even their bagpipes. The arrival of Rose's unconventional guardian, Uncle Alec, sets the stage for a summer of fun and learning. Alcott hides the book's lessons is a whirl of big-family commotion, but she is ever the moralist. "Eight Cousins" teaches Rose (and Alcott's readers) to eat right, exercise, and be ready to sacrifice for the sake of friendship. Rose's birthday signals a new beginning for the once-pensive little girl -- and one more surprise: that Rose might feel more than friendship for one boy in particular. "Rose in Bloom" is Alcott's sequel to "Eight Cousins."
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Gr 6 Up-At the age of 13, Rose finds herself orphaned and living with two elderly aunts on "Aunt Hill" where she is treated as delicately as the flower for which she is named. But Rose soon finds her quiet world turned upside down with the arrival of her seven boisterous boy cousins followed by her Uncle Alec, a doctor and a world traveler. Upon meeting Rose, Uncle Alec quickly prescribes fresh air and much activity to help with the girl's poor constitution. Uncle Alec's diagnosis turns out to be an accurate one and Rose, with the help of her cousins, finds herself in the middle of much hijinx and merriment. Veteran stage actress Barbara Caruso brilliantly breaths life into each and every one of Louisa May Alcott's delightful characters. With just the slightest change of inflection she is able to capture the essence of each character from the oldest to the very youngest. This audiobook would be an asset to any collection.-Veronica Schwartz, Des Plaines Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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