Question of the Day: 7th Grade Reading
Adapted from Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott (1880)
Margaret, the eldest of the four, was sixteen, and very pretty, being plump and fair, with large eyes, plenty of soft, brown hair, a sweet mouth, and white hands, of which she was rather vain. Fifteen-year-old Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of a colt; for she never seemed to know what to do with her long limbs, which were very much in her way. She had a decided mouth, a comical nose, and sharp, gray eyes, which appeared to see everything, and were by turns fierce, funny, or thoughtful. Her long, thick hair was her one beauty; but it was usually bundled into a net, to be out of her way. Round shoulders had Jo, big hands and feet, a fly-away look to her clothes, and the uncomfortable appearance of a girl who was rapidly shooting up into a woman, and didn't like it. Elizabeth—or Beth, as every one called her—was a rosy, smooth-haired, bright-eyed girl of thirteen, with a shy manner, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression, which was seldom disturbed. Her father called her "Little Tranquillity," and the name suited her excellently; for she seemed to live in a happy world of her own, only venturing out to meet the few whom she trusted and loved. Amy, though the youngest, was a most important person,—in her own opinion at least. A regular snow-maiden, with blue eyes, and yellow hair, curling on her shoulders, pale and slender, and always carrying herself like a young lady mindful of her manners. What the characters of the four sisters were we will leave to be found out.
The clock struck six; and, having swept up the hearth, Beth put a pair of slippers down to warm. Somehow the sight of the old shoes had a good effect upon the girls; for mother was coming, and every one brightened to welcome her. Meg stopped lecturing, and lighted the lamp, Amy got out of the easy-chair without being asked, and Jo forgot how tired she was as she sat up to hold the slippers nearer to the blaze.
"They are quite worn out; Marmee must have a new pair."
"I thought I'd get her some with my dollar," said Beth.
"No, I shall!" cried Amy.
"I'm the oldest," began Meg, but Jo cut in with a decided—
"I'm the man of the family now papa is away, and I shall provide the slippers, for he told me to take special care of mother while he was gone."
"I'll tell you what we'll do," said Beth; "let's each get her something for Christmas, and not get anything for ourselves."
"That's like you, dear! What will we get?" exclaimed Jo.
Every one thought soberly for a minute; then Meg announced, as if the idea was suggested by the sight of her own pretty hands, "I shall give her a nice pair of gloves."
"Army shoes, best to be had," cried Jo.
"Some handkerchiefs, all hemmed," said Beth.
"I'll get a little bottle of cologne; she likes it, and it won't cost much, so I'll have some left to buy my pencils," added Amy.
Why did Beth's father call her "Little Tranquility"?
Beth's father called her "Little Tranquility" because she looked sad.
Beth's father called her "Little Tranquility" because she looked mad.
Beth's father called her "Little Tranquility" because she looked peaceful.
Beth's father called her "Little Tranquility" because she looked happy.