In today’s episode of the Read-Aloud Revival, you’ll get to know why Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, was such a wonder (and indeed, she was!).

And who could be a better guest for this conversation than Jan Turnquist?

Jan Turnquist

Jan Turnquist is Executive Director of Orchard House, the home where Louisa wrote Little Women, and Co-Executive Producer, Director, and Host of the Emmy-Award Winning documentary, Orchard House.

She’s a true Louisa May Alcott expert, and has wonderful insight into the Alcott family, and why Little Women has endured.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • my own very favorite part of visiting Orchard House (hint: it has to do with drawing on the walls!)
  • the beauty in re-reading Little Women at different life stages
  • little known details about Louisa May Alcott, and the very unique and rather revolutionary Alcott family

I’ll also tackle a listener question about whether it’s worthwhile to have your kids watch movie versions of a book after reading it. (What I say here just might surprise you!)

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Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

2:22Question: Is it worthwhile to watch a movie version of a book?
3:56Why it works (in other words: yes)
6:00Enjoying a story in various forms
9:13Meeting Louisa May Alcott
12:04When a book speaks to you in a new way
15:46A dangerous desk!
17:16Bronson’s educational maxims
18:17An autobiographical novel
19:26A favorite Orchard House room
22:26‘The real person in each of their children’
23:14 Louisa May Alcott, the nurse
28:43An enduring story
33:02Always hope
34:28Thoughts on the newest movie
35:21Extra, extra!
38:35Let the kids speak

Links from this episode:

Quotes to remember:

“I think they were much more interested in the real person of each of their children, than what society might think or what the normal path would be.” – Jan Turnquist

Photos from my trip to Orchard House in Massachusetts:

Orchard House (do you recognize it from the new movie?)
Mr. Alcott’s School of Philosophy
The entrance to Orchard House

Books from this episode:

Episode 146
Heidi (Puffin in Bloom)
Little Women (Puffin in Bloom)
Little Men (Puffin Classics)

More free resources and booklists

Get the best episodes and reources
from the Read-Aloud Revival

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Want to join in our Little Men Mama Book Club?

We’re reading Little Men this spring in RAR Premium for our Mama Book Club, and Jan Turnquist will be back to chat with us about it!

Get RAR Premium to join us.