Becoming Jo

Publisher: Scholastic

Review

Jo has always wanted to be a writer. She'll happily spend hours squirrelled away working on her masterpieces, but with three sisters to contend with, a new friend who's just moved in to her street and a father who's in Syria working as a humanist minister, there is a lot going on.

Becoming Jo is a marvellous modern retelling of Little Women from Girl, Missing author Sophie McKenzie, which proves how relevant Louisa May Alcott's novel still is today, 150 years after its publication.

McKenzie has expertly captured the personalities of each of the sisters, and fans of the original will enjoy her clever little callbacks – from how Amy destroys Jo's manuscript this time around to the transformation from Laurie to Lateef.

It's a joy to see how she puts a twist on the tale and makes it work in an up-to-date setting (and in the UK, too).

But there's also plenty to enjoy for those new to the Marches, with McKenzie's tale covering themes of identity, making plans for the future, family relationships, romance, bullying and health. Becoming Jo might pack a lot in, but it does it with style.

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