Time to wake up everybody!! Let the words "summer reading" fill your hearts with joy, and don't worry about reading responsibly. It would be nice to hear your voices, though. . .
Question for the day: have you read Little Women, and what did you think?
I read it for the first time when I was in about 6th grade. I hated it. But -- that was because (1) my mother told me how much she'd disliked it (the power of suggestion is strong!) and (2) the character who dies [not giving anything away, almost everyone knows this] is Beth, and that is what I was called at that time. I went on to read all of Louisa May Alcott's books, and I loved all the others. Take a look at An Old-Fashioned Girl, Eight Cousins, and Jack and Jill.
Little Women (1868) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) were published not too far apart. When I was a graduate student, teaching freshmen, I taught the two books back-to-back to illustrate how we think about what boys do versus what girls do. My late-20th-century students were fascinated and dismayed. And very uneducated -- one young woman scoffed when we discussed the scene where Jo sells her hair, and asked, in tones of disdain, "Why didn't she just go out and get a job?"