Invincible Lousia *****
by Cornelia Meigs
Overview: This is a biography of the life of Lousia May Alcott. I was curious about how much of Little Women was based on her life. I also learned a lot about life at the time of the Civil War, the effects of transcendentalism on society, new ideas about education, and the powerful love of family.
Themes: overcoming obstacles, family
Positive elements: The book is full of positive messages of working hard and not giving up even when things are hard. At one point, the father decides to stick with his family instead of leaving to pursue his own desires. The book talks the whole time of the importance of sacrificing for your family and how much delight and fulfillment comes from a devoted family.
Negative elements: young death of a sister, death and sickness due to war
Conclusion: I enjoyed learning more about the life of Lousia May Alcott and her family. I wouldn't recommend it to my daughters or young readers just because it is a little slow. There is also a lot of discussion on difficult subjects like transcendentalism. Her father was a philosopher and that greatly shaped her family for good and bad. I think it would be hard for an elementary aged child to follow all of those ideas.