The Library

A Garland for Girls by Louisia May Alcott {Free eBook}

A Garland for Girls by Louisia May Alcott {Free eBook}Every once in a while you come across a lesser-known gem.  Many have enjoyed the exploits of the Little Women.  Several enjoy An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving each year.  A Garland for Girls by Louisa May Alcott is a fabulous addition to the list and a new favorite!

This series of seven short stories aimed at young ladies are arranged around a flower theme.

These stories were written for my own amusement during a period of enforced seclusion.  The flowers which were my solace and pleasure suggested titles for the tales and gave an interest to the work.

If my girls find a little beauty or sunshine in these common blossoms, their old friend will not have made her Garland in vain.

Louisa May Alcott, A Garland for Girls

The author seems to have had a twofold purpose:  One, to write stories that teach through example the different ways in which young ladies can positively impact the lives of those around them.

And two, to recommend other stories and authors that they can turn to when looking for quality grist for the mind.  As such, there are works and authors’ names scattered throughout that can be found in the public domain, providing an enriched reading list.

I’m glad to hear you say so, for I have an old-fashioned fancy that I’d rather read about people as they were, for that is history, or as they might and should be, for that helps us in our own efforts; not as they are, for that we know, and are all sufficiently commonplace ourselves, to be the better for a nobler and wider view of life and men than any we are apt to get, so busy are we earning daily bread, or running after fortune, honor or some other bubble.

The tales are a bit different than some of her other works, written in a simpler, sweeter style suitable to the audience at which they are aimed.

Some of the tales include themes such as:

  • A group of girls deciding to secretly perform kind acts for others, and as they choose their ways, one finds her best work right under her nose.
  • Three young ladies learn from a wise widow that they are what they read!
  • Closer perhaps to some of Alcott’s other tales, a young lady takes care of her grandfather and brother by serving the rich young people that visit her lighthouse island.
  • A contrast between a young lady who always finds ways to serve others, and a young lady whose sole aim in life is to serve self, and the lessons she learns by the contact!
  • The heart of a little child ends a long-standing feud between neighbors.
  • A rich young girl finds a new luxury and health in helping others.

A perfect book for a young girl to enjoy and take a lesson or two from during the summer months.

The world began to look brighter after that little touch of kindness, as it always does when genuine sympathy makes sunshine in shady places.

Free eBook

 

Suggestions
  • It is probably best not to make this one too schooly.  A simple oral narration after each tale would provide an opportunity to bring more out of the book.
  • For those looking for more, create a notebooking page featuring the flower and copy or narrate a favorite passage from each tale.
  • Learn about the featured flower.  How does it fit the tale?

 

Additional Resources

Free History Studies: Louisa May Alcott
Learn more about the author in this section of our free history studies.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Room at the top for a flower and lines below for copywork or narrations for creating a notebooking page for each tale.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}Author Notebooking Pages
Simple pages that include room for copywork, narrations, an illustration and dates of birth/death of the author, and books by the author.

6 Free Summer Reading Titles for Young Ladies
Ready for more ideas?