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Jack and Jill is a children's historical fiction novel, written by Louisa May Alcott, and published in 1880.

The story takes place in a small New England town after the American Civil War. Jack Minot and Janey Pecq are best friends who live next door to each other. They are always seen together, so Janey gets the nickname of Jill, to mimic the old rhyme. The two do go up a hill one winter day— and then suffer a terrible accident. Seriously injured in a sledding accident, they recover from their physical injuries, while learning life lessons along with their many friends.

Reader's Reviews


Louisa May Alcott never fails to give her books plenty of wisdom and morality, all the while being charming romances and fun adventures. All of her children's books are a treat to brighten any day and make life seem more worthwhile. This specific one focused on the lives of Jack, Jill, and their nearest friends and family, and how they grew. Starting with a similar accident to the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill, the characters cope with their injuries and are helped by their good mothers and supportive friends. The book goes through a whole year of winter frolicking, springtime school work, summer vacation, and finally fall. The author even gives the audience a glimpse of some of the futures of the characters. Her endings always make me wish there was more to the story.


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Parental Guidance

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The only real concern this book has is the mention of the saloon with gambling, drinking, and smoking. These are put in a bad light, to where characters are punished for being seen near there or they get reformed from having those habits. These are not described greatly and have no other significance except when characters smoke because it was more acceptable in that time. Other than that, the book is clean. There was one death, but the author admits that sometimes children need it to see the good that can come from it, while not lingering on it too long.


  • Harmony Village
    • Coasting Ground
    • Bemis House
    • Grant's House
      • Cellar
      • Dining Room
      • Kitchen
      • Merry's Room
      • Parlor
    • Minot's House
      • Ward No. 1 (Jack's Room)
      • Frank's Room
      • "Boy's Den"
      • The Holly Tree Inn
    • Morse's Greenhouse
    • Pecq's House
      • Ward No. 2 (Jill's Room)
    • Saloon
    • Schoolhouse
    • Temperance Lodge
  • Hill District
    • Skinner's House
  • Pebbly Beach
    • The Willows
    • Rafe's Chasm
    • Norman's Woe
    • Goodwin's Rocks


Bemis Family and Miss Bat

  • Maria Louisa Bemis (A. K. A. Molly Loo)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte Bemis (A. K. A. Boo)
  • Miss Bathsheba Dawes (A. K. A. Miss Bat)
  • Mr. Bemis
  • Mrs. Bemis (currently deceased)


  • Mr. Burton
  • Mrs. Burton
  • Gus Burton (A. K. A. Admiral)
  • Laura Burton
  • Lotty Burton
  • Gus's Uncle Fred


  • Ralph Evans
  • Ralph Evans's Grandma
  • Ralph Evans's cousin, Maria


  • Grandma Grant (currently deceased)
  • Mr. Grant
  • Mrs. Grant
  • Harry Grant
  • Dick Grant
  • Tom Grant
  • Merry Grant
  • Roxy


  • Mr. Minot (currently deceased)
  • Mrs. Anna Minot
  • Frank Minot
  • Jack Minot (formally called John by some adults)
  • Minot's Cook
  • Minot's Maid, Mary


  • Mr. Jean Pecq (currently deceased)
  • Mrs. Pecq
  • Janey Pecq (A.K.A. Jill)


  • Mr. Acton
  • Annette
  • Bacon
  • Bill (an engineer)
  • Mrs. Channing
  • Mr. Chauncey
  • Johnny Cooper
  • Mrs. Cox, Mamie Cox, and Ben Cox
  • Miss Delano
  • Ed Devlin
  • Emma
  • Ralph Evans
  • David German
  • Mrs. Grey
  • Mrs. Hammond and Harry Hammond
  • Jackson
  • Joe Flint (Joseph P. Flint)
  • Miss Hopkins
  • Juliet
  • Judge Kemble
  • Mrs. Lennox
  • Mabel
  • little sick Irish girl
  • Lizzie (Mrs. Minot's Sister)
  • Mr. Munson
  • Nelly
  • Mrs. Piper
  • Jerry Shannon
  • Captain Skinner
  • Lucinda Snow
  • Gerty Somebody, Wally, and their mother
  • Susan (and several variants of her name are used as nicknames: Sue, etc..)
  • Mrs. Tucker
  • Robert O. Walker (Bob)
  • Dr. Whiting


  • Snowball
  • Several Rabbits, notably a grey one named Bun
  • Graciosa

Molly's Cats

  • Granny
  • Tobias
  • Mortification
  • Molasses
  • Toddlekins
  • Miss Muffet
  • Beauty
  • Ragbag
  • Scamp
  • three unnamed kits


Places and Things

  • Bay of Naples
  • Fiji
  • Halifax
  • Liverpool
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Sacred Heart in Montreal
  • Siam
  • Sparta
  • Stock Exchange
  • Ten Commandments
  • Various Stamps and Countries
  • Vesuvius

People and Organizations

  • Michael Angelo
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Caesar
  • Columbus
  • Cornwallis
  • Daughters of Liberty
  • George Washington (and several parts of his life, including the cherry tree, crossing the delaware, other parts of the Revolutionary War, and his death)
  • Henry the Eighth
  • Hercules
  • Herodotus
  • Jesus
  • King Arthur
  • Kosciusko (Revolutionary War)
  • Lafayette (Revolutionary War)
  • Maria Louisa
  • Martha Washington
  • Raleigh
  • The Red Cross
  • Rochambeau (Revolutionary War)
  • Samuel
  • Shakespeare
  • Solomon
  • St. Nicholas (Santa Claus)
  • Various People and Their Famous Speeches are Mentioned

Literature (Nursery Rhymes, Poems, Stories, Songs, Plays)

  • America (national anthem)
  • Auld Lang Syne (song)
  • Banbury Cross (lady with bells on her toes and rings on her fingers) (nursery rhyme)
  • Bobby Shafto's Gone to Sea (nursery rhyme)
  • Bo Peep (nursery rhyme)
  • Casabianca (poem)
  • Hark! Hark! (beggars are coming to town) (nursery rhyme)
  • Ivanhoe (book)
  • Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (nursery rhyme)
  • Little Boy Blue (nursery rhyme)
  • Little Jack Horner (nursery rhyme)
  • Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary (nursery rhyme)
  • Miss Muffet (nursery rhyme)
  • Mother Goose (nursery rhyme figure)
  • Nelly's Silver Mine (book)
  • Old King Cole (nursery rhyme)
  • Pinafore (play)
  • Simple Simon (nursery rhyme)
  • Sing A Song of Sixpence (nursery rhyme)
  • Sleeping Beauty (nursery rhyme)
  • When (When I was a bachelor/ bring my wife home in a wheelbarrow) (nursery rhyme)

If you like this you might like

  • Louisa May Alcott's other books.
  • The Penderwicks series. The author herself admired Alcott's work and took some ideas from Alcott's novels.

External Links