Scribbles, Sorrows, and Russet Leather Boots: The Life of Louisa May Alcott by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Diana Sudyka


Scribbles, Sorrows, and Russet Leather Boots: The Life of Louisa May Alcott by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Diana Sudyka. Candlewick Press, 2021. 9780763694357 

Rating: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Biography

What did you like about the book? This well-researched text is a must have for any fans of Louisa May Alcott as it goes into minute details of her life from infancy to her death. The author does a thorough job of describing Louisa’s youth and the lack of money that impacts her and her sisters in numerous ways throughout her life. The impact of prominent contemporary authors and notable celebrities on her writing and life may surprise fans. Details from her literary works and quotes from friends and family help the reader get to know Louisa on a personal level as do her thoughts as she created characters for her stories.  Readers experience her highs and lows as she goes through depravations, such as lack of food, and her joy as her first works were published.  Packed with information, this work is a must have for fans of the author.

Anything you didn’t like about it? As in her real life, her father takes up a good part of the story, understandably; however, this takes away from Louis’a story.  Not a criticism, but the text is very detailed, which may be a deterrent for struggling readers.   

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers in grades 5 and up, who enjoy learning about ALcott would love this title.  

Who should buy this book? Upper middle and high schools as well as public libraries would benefit from having this title on their shelves.

Where would you shelve it? Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: November 1, 2021

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