Krull, Kathleen. 2013. LOUISA MAY’S BATTLE: HOW THE CIVIL WAR LEAD TO LITTLE WOMEN. Ill by Carlyn Beccia. New York: Bloomsbury. [Suggested Grade Levels 2-6].
Most readers know Louisa May Alcott through her most-loved novel LITTLE WOMEN but are not aware of the roles she played during the Civil War and how it impacted her writing career. Since as woman, Alcott could not be a soldier, she signed up to nurse soldiers in a Washington, DC hospital. While there she became extremely ill which left her in poor health for the rest of her life. She decided that she would write and an antislavery newspaper published a number of her letters about her nursing experiences and these were later compiled into a book. Her book LITTLE WOMEN was one of the first novels published that was set in the Civil War.
While Alcott’s novels are not as popular as they once were, she was still a remarkable woman. Krull.s picture book biography introduces a new generation to one of the remarkable women from US History in a very readable narrative. Beccia’s illustrations are admirable in her contrasts of light and dark.
This biography could be used as part of an author study unit or as an introduction to the Civil War. In a health class, use it to show how medicine has changed.
Alcott, Louis May. LITTLE WOMEN. ISBN 9780553212754
Other Biographies by Kathleen Krull
WILMA UNLIMITED: HOW WILMA RUDOLPH BECAME THE WORLD’S FASTED WOMAN. ISBN 9780613376877
HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ. ISBN 9780152014377