The Revelation of Louisa May


MacColl, Michaela. The Revelation of Louisa May. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2015. 978-1-4521-3357-7. 246p. $16.99. Grades 7 to 10.

All Louisa really wants to do is write her novel. But when her mother leaves for three months to find work in the city, and her philosopher father refuses to find paying work, Louisa finds herself responsible for keeping her household together and taking care of her sickly sister. She also inherits her mother’s duties as part of the Underground Railroad. Louisa meets George, a fugitive slave, and hides him from a dangerous bounty hunter. When the bounty hunter winds up dead under unusual circumstances, Louisa must work fast to clear her father’s name and find the real killer. Is it her dear friend Henry Thoreau? Or her mentor, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson? Or maybe George, the runaway slave? Or is it her newly discovered first love, Fred?

As a lifelong fan of Louisa May Alcott and Little Women,I enjoyed this book tremendously. The book is loosely based on the real-life events of Alcott’s life, with some creative liberties thrown in. Louisa’s father really was a Transcendentalist and close friend of both Thoreau and Emerson. Louisa really did grow up near Walden Pond, and much of Little Women is based on her life. The Revelation of Louisa May is a really fun look at Louisa’s world, and why she became the famous author that we all know and love.

Historical Fiction     Corey Hall, Elizabethtown Area MS/HS

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