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An Old-Fashioned Girl

By Louisa May Alcott

“The emerging woman … will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied … strength and beauty must go together.”

– Louisa May Alcott

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Book Summary


Juvenile Literature


Vice and Virtue, Morality, Coming of Age, Influence, Womanhood, Good Deeds, Poverty, and Contentment.


10 years +


Young country girl Polly embarks on a journey to the city to visit her modern and trendy cousins. Polly’s old-fashioned ideals and virtue collide with the day’s immodest and self-centered city attitudes. Despite Polly witnessing the simple truth that wealth cannot buy happiness, she still struggles to fit in, remain content, and stay true to her convictions.
Years later, as Polly returns to city life, she settles into hard work, rejoices in the company of virtuous friends, and flourishes under the guidance of her selfless role model Miss Mills.

Once again, Polly’s sunshiney presence amongst the Shaw family impacts them greatly, and as the family enters some challenging times, Polly’s steadfast loyalty and friendship provide hope and joy amidst it all.

This is a timeless story about finding inspiration and contentment to cultivate a life of purpose. As the ‘Old Fashioned Girl’, Polly breathes new life into the self-absorbed ‘modern’ Shaw family, helping them to become more others-focused and virtuous. This book briefly but richly explores women’s roles and traditional (Christ-honouring) feminism. It presents readers with an old-fashioned and remarkably likeable heroine in Polly, who may inspire young readers as they journey into womanhood.

Content Warning:

Attempted Suicide: A poor and neglected young girl attempts to take her life while feeling utterly hopeless. She makes a full recovery, and compassion towards her encourages Fanny and the other wealthy ‘city’ girls to take compassion on the poor and needy.

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