"November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year," said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden.
"That's the reason I was born in it," observed Jo pensively, quite unconscious of the blot on her nose.
"If something very pleasant should happen now, we should think it a delightful month," said Beth, who took a hopeful view of everything, even November.
from Chapter 15: Little Women, by Lousia May Alcott.
November becomes a delight for students this week as we join in celebrating the birthdays of two favorite American novelists ~
Madeleine L’Engle Camp and Louisa May Alcott both born on November 29th
Madeleine L’Engle writes in her Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech, “in boarding school I grabbed Invincible Louisa the moment it came into the library because Louisa May Alcott had the same birthday I have, and the same ambitions.”
This lesson invites students to reconfigure Meg’s journey into a board game where, as in the novel itself, Meg’s progress is either thwarted or advanced by aspects of her emotional responses to situations, her changing sense of self, and her physical and intellectual experiences.
Beyond its mystical aspects, A Wrinkle in Time, can be read as the archetypal journey of a young hero undergoing coming-of-age trials. On her quest, Meg gains insight into what it means to be a friend, a sister, a daughter and a young adult involved in the difficult work required to become a fully realized human being. To complete her mission and return home, Meg must forge her character and offer herself up as a sacrifice to save others she loves from harm.
“Little Woman,” NEH Humanities magazine article: HUMANITIES, November/December 2009 Volume 30, Number 6
In this article, John Matteson writes of the “devilish duitiful daughter” as “an irrepressible tomboy in her youth, Louisa had “never liked girls or [known]many” other than her three siblings: her older sister, Anna, and her younger sisters, Lizzie and May. She saw only a faint possibility that the “plays and experiences” that the four of them had shared would interest a popular audience.” Fortunately for us, Louisa ended up penning these family escapades into her classic, Little Women.
The NEH-funded award winning documentary Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women broadcast on EDSITEment reviewed Amercian Masters contains much background material on the author and her life. Teachers can find a lesson plan for secondary teachers to accompany the documentary at the film's website. More insight can be gleaned listening to NPR interview with Alcott scholar, Harriet Reisen, who speaks on Alcott: 'Not The Little Woman You Thought She Was.' Treat students to Secrets & Surprises about Louisa May ~ Did you know....