In the Bookcase


Book Review: An Old-Fashioned Girl

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016

An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott (5 star review)

An Old-Fashioned Girl
written by Louisa May Alcott

352 pages // published in 1870 // vintage children's fiction


Polly Milton, a 14-year-old country girl, visits her cousin Fanny Shaw and her wealthy family in the city for the first time. Poor Polly is overwhelmed by the splendor at the Shaws' and their urbanized, fashionable lifestyles, expensive clothes and other habits she has never been exposed to, and, for the most part, dislikes. Fanny's friends reject her because of her different behavior and simple clothing, and Fan herself can't help considering her unusual sometimes. However, Polly's warmth, support and kindness eventually win the hearts of all the family members, and her old-fashioned ways teach them a lesson.

My Review...

5 Star Rating

Another book by Louisa May Alcott, which showcase strong morals for young girls, similar to and closely rivaling even Little Women (in my humble opinion) for quality. What an impact a quaint book like this can bring.

It's an emotional one, for sure; Polly Milton endures a lot throughout the story, and the reader endures it to right alongside her. In my heart, I truly felt for our young heroine at many climactic points. I guess I must be a little old-fashioned myself, and would like to think that there are many resemblances between me and the sweet, kind (and a little shy) Polly. She's a simple and generous girl, one who looks out for others and always strives to do the best she can.

Oh, and I absolutely adore how Louisa May Alcott prettily tied up all the loose strings in the final pages. If Little Women hadn't already made me fall in love with this talented authoress's writings, An Old-Fashioned Girl would have easily done the trick too. As it happened though, I now love Miss Alcott even more and continue to cherish her books.

If you have enjoyed Little Women, I strongly urge you to read this one too. The stories are not similar in plot, but An Old-Fashioned Girl carries the same heart and emotion (maybe even more so) than its more popular counterpart. Especially recommended for budding little women who are eager to read.

An Old-Fashioned Girl is available on Amazon in paperback format, on Project Gutenberg in ebook format (free!), and on LibriVox in audiobook format (free!).

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Check-up point in LMA challenge + 3 winners revealed!

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016

Dear readers,

Today is a...

Challenge Check-up Point!

Let's gather together and discuss how we're doing in the Louisa May Alcott reading challenge! 10 days left, people! Just 10 days left to read the beautiful writings of Miss Alcott before our annual June challenge comes to a close, yet again.

Okay, so... where am I in reading my books for the challenge?

I originally selected 3 books to challenge myself this month. As you may know already, I finished Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message last week and shared my full review on it. Next up, I'm just about to finish An Old-Fashioned Girl, the only book I'm reading actually written by Miss Alcott. (Tune in later in the week for my review on it.) And for my third selection, I'm listening (as an audiobook) to March by Geraldine Brooks, but still have quite a ways to go with it... so I've got to work on it to squeeze this in by the end of the month.

Since this is our check-up point, let me know in the comments below, or on your own blog, about the progress you've made in the challenge.

On to some EVEN MORE EXCITING NEWS today! We have 3 WINNERS to announce for the big giveaway. Remember these Louisa May Alcott art prints?

Louisa May Alcott 8x10 artwork

Louisa May Alcott 8x10 artwork

Here we go -- The official winners' list!

Check for your name below...


Pamela B.

Christy M.

Darla C.

Winners, please watch for email notifications coming to your inbox later today.

If YOU didn't win, but really want one of these art prints, they're available from my Etsy shop or design website. I personally print and ship my own artwork. You may want to check out some of my other designs too!

*Also, just in case you're wondering about the correct answer to the trivia question entry on the giveaway...

Q: What is the name of the Alcott family home in Concord, MA?

A: Orchard House

Check-up point link-up and comments are below. What have you read so far for the challenge?


Book Review (& News): Louisa May Alcott -- Illuminated by the Message

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016

Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message by Susan Bailey (5 star review)

Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message
written by Susan Bailey

121 pages // published in 2015 // Christian devotional


The Literary Portals to Prayer series is the first truly new resource for personal prayer in years. Designed to be a prayer-starter in the "Lectio Divina" tradition, the portal has a passage from the Bible side-by-side with a selection from an author whose work has stood the test of time. Each turn of the page ties together literature and scripture with an insightful theme.

As a result of her unusual upbringing, Louisa May Alcott learned to see God not in the pulpit or the congregation but in nature and everyday life as an accessible and loving Father and Friend. It was that innate part of her being which poured forth from her pen. In Little Women Alcott writes, Many wise and true sermons are preached us every day by unconscious ministers in street, school, office, or home....

My Review...

5 Star Rating

I love it when someone comes along, takes the writings of one of my favorite authors of old, and freshens things up and gives new life to words penned long ago. This is the case for the Literary Portals to Prayer series, but namely this book about Louisa May Alcott.

Susan Bailey (author and blogger at Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion) knows and understand Louisa well, and was able to pick beautiful snippets from Miss Alcott's writings and pair them with meaningful verses along the same topics.

I personally enjoyed this little book greatly, reading a few pages each day for some spiritual encouragement. Plus, it helped to whet my literary appetite when I got into reading snippets from some of Miss Alcott's writings that I've never read yet. It makes me want to read more from Louisa May Alcott!

Religious notes: The scriptures used are taken from The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition. Not being Catholic myself, I didn't really find any differences in what I believe and what was laid down as Biblical truth in this book. I recommend it for any Christian who is interested. The Message is so easy to understand, because it feels like it has (and it was) written in modern times, and so brings things out in verses differently than how I remember in other versions of the Bible.

"...and led by her mother's hand, she had drawn nearer to the Friend who always welcomes every child with a love stronger than that of any father, tenderer than that of any mother."
(Little Women)

But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
not easily angered, immense in love,
and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,
give your servant the strength to go on,
save your dear, dear child!

(Psalm 86:15-16)

Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message is available on Amazon in paperback format.

Don't miss Susan Bailey's first Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion PODCAST. It's about 25 minutes long. I enjoyed it! (especially after receiving a shout-out in it! Thanks, Susan! So if you can listen in to the podcast, I'd recommend it. Can't wait for the next one in July!

Readers, don't forget to enter my giveaway! It ends this Sunday night.

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Sharing some tidbits on one of my favorite authors, Miss Alcott

"'Stay' is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary."
- Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016

I have a fun little post planned for today. First I wish to share some recipes I found online from a blog called 36 Eggs. What happens to be so interesting about these recipes is blogger Miko has recreated literary recipes -- from Little Women! I thought it was fun to read her recipes and see what she was able to accomplish with these literary-inspired dishes.

Jo’s Lobster Salad - Little Women recipe
Jo’s Lobster Salad

Hannah’s Bread - Little Women recipe
Hannah’s Bread

Jo’s Boiled Asparagus & Potatoes - Little Women recipe
Jo’s Boiled Asparagus & Potatoes

Next up on today's list? >> I leave you with this article found at Writing Gooder, entitled.... The Six: Six Things You Didn’t Know About Louisa May Alcott. There's some really good stuff to be found on this page, which Alcott fans will adore.

Enjoy!!! ... Oh, and I hope you're reading those Alcott books for the reading challenge. I'm nearing the end of one of my selections for the challenge -- and will be sharing shortly about it!

What book(s) are you reading for the LMA challenge this June?

* Remember, it can be any book or story penned by the hand of Miss Alcott, or written about her.

Not sure what to read for the challenge? Check out my [List of published titles by Louisa May Alcott] for some literary inspiration this June.


Would you like to meet Joy?

Joy is a little girl that I'd like to introduce my blog readers to.

Please donate towards Joy's medical funds

She was diagnosed with Juvenile Polyarticular Arthritis earlier this year, and she's only 2 years old. Imagine suffering from the affects of arthritis at such a young age; but she doesn't know anything different in life. Little Miss Joy also experiences everything else a toddler should, and her whole life is not about medical issues. She's learning to walk, talk and sing. And, from what I've gathered, is seemingly a huge Frozen fan. (Well, what little girl isn't?)

Joy has just started immune suppressant therapy as the next step in her medical treatment. At the same time, this family is awaiting their CPS case to close, which I believe will happen in August; please pray that the case will go well in favor of the Gravel family.

The full story behind Joy is a lot more complicated than what I can put into my own words, but if you're interested in hearing more about it, check out the GoFundMe page where Emmaline Gravel has bravely shared the whole story, and you may also be interested in Emmaline's blog updates too.

Please donate towards Joy's medical funds

Joy's family needs 2 things right now, and you are welcome to help with both.

Prayers are definitely something that this girl and her family needs in their life. It's a simple thing and can help in good and even unexpected ways.

Secondly, this family needs assistance with Joy's medical bills. A donation page is up via GoFundMe, so that you can make your own secure donation online (see link below).

Also, you can share online about Joy's story. It doesn't cost a thing to you, but it certainly helps get the word out to a wider audience. Easy buttons to share on Facebook or Twitter are available on the GoFundMe page. Go on -- share!