Little Men is the sequel to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. It follows the story of Jo (nee March), her husband (Professor Bhaer), and her brood of young men. Mr. and Mrs. Bhaer have opened a school for boys at Plumfield, hoping to give these young men a leg-up in the world and to teach them right. There are many students at Plumfield: Nat Blake (The new kid), Dan Keen (A rough teenager from the streets), Demi Brooke (Meg and John’s Son), Daisy Brooke (Demi’s twin sister), Tommy Banks (A bit of a class clown), Nan Harding (A bit of a wild-child), Rob Bhaer (The Bhaer’s young son), Teddy Bhaer (The Bhaer’s toddler son), Emil Hoffman (Mr. Bhaer’s nephew), Franz Hoffman (Emil’s older brother), Ned Barker (The klutz), Jack Ford (A misguided trouble-maker), Stuffy Cole (The one who really likes food), Dick Brown (A young boy with a crooked spine), Billy Ward (A mentally challenged boy), and Dolly Pettingil (A young boy with a stutter). And a host of other, minor characters, and yes, I had to look up some of these listed names to remember them.
The stories are full of both adventure and morality, making the book a great read for younger folks.
It took me a bit longer to get through this book than it did Little Women, but it was not for lack of entertainment. I downloaded an audiobook version of this novel from Librivox.org and the readers were hit and miss in terms of their quality, so that slowed me down a bit. Also, I simply didn’t have as much opportunity to enjoying an audiobook. All that to say, don’t take my taking almost three months to finish this book as a bad sign. It was merely circumstances, not the story, that slowed me down.