Louisa May Alcott was a 19th-century American novelist best known for her novel, Little Women, as well as its well-loved sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women is renowned as one of the very first classics of children's literature, and remains a popular masterpiece today. Lynn Messina grew up on Long Island and studied English at Washington University in St. Louis. She has worked at The Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media), TV Guide, In Style, Rolling Stone, Fitness, Self and a bunch of wonderful magazines that have long since disappeared. She mourns the death of print journalism in New York City, where she lives with her husband and two sons. She is author of five novels, including the best-selling Fashionistas, which has been translated into 15 languages and is in development as a feature film. She loves traveling and watching TV.
Gr 6 Up-For fans of vampire literature, this book can be fun. It is a retelling of the Alcott classic with the March family as "humanitarian" vampires-they will not ingest the blood of humans. Set as the original is during the Civil War, the story follows the traditional plot. The family must survive without Mr. March, who is off at war, bolstered by his abolitionist views. Marmee is home with her four lovely daughters. They are not interested in furthering their numbers. Jo refuses to mate with Laurie, even though he desperately wants to be a vampire, too. The Marches are not shunned from society and intermingle with some ordinary humans, though there are those who would do them harm. Although vampires are supposed to live forever, a strange illness has threatened Mr. March, and Beth does eventually succumb. Thus the role of the vampire defenders becomes important, and Jo is passionate about joining their ranks. Messina has cleverly interspersed footnotes in the text to explain some past vampire accomplishment or event. The serious, scholarly tone with which they are written makes them quite humorous. The author's prose style is sharp, and her imprint on these characters is distinct. There is certainly an audience for this selection, and it may introduce readers to a classic.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.