I love Louisa May Alcott, and I love this book. I have read every published piece of Alcott that I can find, and I am always awed by her literacy, fluency in storytelling, and purity of the characters portrayed in her writing. I love following Rose as she begins to grow up, and watching her struggle to maintain the high standards and principles that her wholesome upbringing has given her. While the grown-up world of Alcott is still pretty pure by today's standards, the essential elements are there: avarice, insincerity, and superficiality. This is a book I read and enjoyed when I was 10, and still love at 25. There are lessons to be learned about being true to oneself, and an illustration that life's ephemeral pleasures need not become lifetime distractions. If you don't give this to your child to read for all the reasons above, give it to him or her knowing that it may make them curious about some wonderful authors of the Enlightenment period - such as Emerson and Thoreau. When I was ten, I wanted to read Emerson's essays, like Heroism and Love, because Alcott introduced me to the literature in a way that piqued my curiousity. That in itself, is a wonderful reason to read this worthy book.