This charming, old-fashioned children's story begins by mirroring the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill. Fast friends, Jack and Jill find their lives interrupted by a terrible sledding accident which leaves both of them invalids. As they recover and heal, they and their friends learn important lessons about responsibility, giving and friendship. The book is slightly moralistic, in the way that Little Women is; the young people earnestly want to become "good" and to help their friends become "good". Although this style is not in fashion now, it still makes for a sweet, hope-filled story. While Jack and Jill might not rate as one of the best Alcott novels, it is not worth dismissing out of hand for that reason. As usual, she crafted a thought provoking and enlightened book that teaches as it entertains and comforts. Jack and Jill should be an immensely satisfying read for pre-teenagers. The sure Alcott hand with character keeps even the most obvious moral lessons from feeling overly preachy. While the book is ideally suited for younger readers, grown-ups will be interested in the larger issues raised here. Alcott firmly asserts the need for individual growth, gender equality, and personal responsibility. Historical discussions about temperance and higher education for women should additionally make this book a good read for history fans.