Spinning-Wheel Stories

Some time ago I smooth-read Spinning-Wheel Stories, by Louisa May Alcott. What a fun book to read! I enjoy Alcott’s story-telling style, and her ability to inject small morals into stories without being too preachy most of the time. She has occasional lapses, as most authors do, but in general she is able to capture and hold my interest. This particular book is a collection of short stories, recited to amuse children who are visiting their grandmother over the Christmas holidays. The children are kept indoors by severe winter weather, and are slowly going stir-crazy. In an effort to amuse the children, Grandmother and Aunt Elinore tell them stories each evening.

One of my favorite little stories in this book is the incident where the children are romping in the attic, and they discover the old spinning wheel. Almost everything else in the attic is dusty and obviously has not been touched for a long time. But the spinning wheel is clean and there is still flax on the distaff. The children lug the spinning wheel down to where Grandmother is sitting next to the fire, and the girls ask her to teach them how to spin.

Grandma's Story

Grandma’s Story

A thrilling tale ensues, as the wheel goes round and round while Grandmother begins her story. There are wolves, a race, and much excitement in this story! And best of all, it’s a true tale of Grandmother’s life.

If I still had young children, I would love to read this book with them. The stories told here recount events from days long gone by: spinning wheels, big-wheel bicycles, young girls learning to cook, heroic Native Americans, and many others. I think youngsters today would probably enjoy the stories, given an opportunity to read them.

4 Responses to Spinning-Wheel Stories

  1. I always like your reviews, GenKnit, and this one is a gem. I downloaded one of the funny books from your previous one and have enjoyed it. I’m tempted to have a look at this, even though I’m (technically) all grown up now.

  2. genknit says:

    Thanks, slaterkristen! you’d enjoy this book, despite being all grown up. The stories are great!

  3. Bel says:

    Great post. I want to read this now, although it will have to wait. There are just too many other unread and/or half-read books I’d better finish first. 😀

  4. genknit says:

    Well, the nice thing about Project Gutenberg is, the books will be there for a very long time, so whenever you’re ready, feel free to download and read this one. It’s worth it.

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