Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott

Jo’s Boys: the final book of Louisa May Alcott’s precious series, beginning with the famous Little Women. 

Jo’s Boys is a fast-forward of ten years after the events that take place in Little Men, and is, once again, just as lovely as its previous two installments. It features all of the characters that were at the forefront of Little Men and takes the reader through what everyone’s life looks like ten years later. Jo is now a successful children’s writer, and the children are now all grown up. 

Just like the other books, Jo’s Boys never fails in showing the beautiful relationship between the parents of the story and their children, and showing the differences in wisdom and in youth, and the lessons and beauty that can be derived from each.  I enjoyed Jo’s character in this book more than ever, as she is such a wonderful mother and incredibly loving, wise, and warm as a character. 

Her advice that she gives throughout the book to these young individuals is always one that is heart-warming and insightful as she helps the young men and women of Plumfield navigate the beginning of a new chapter of life. And with the beginning of this new chapter, this gentle entrance into adulthood, the book closes the chapter on childhood and instead focuses on growing up, navigating through life’s difficulties, and staying true to your morals and beliefs. 

Unfortunately, despite this being such a wonderful book and the last of the trilogy, I did not find myself enjoying the last few pages as much as I thought I would have, but, nevertheless, this series now owns a new spot on my list of favorites, due to the beauty in this simplistic series. The wonderfully life-like characters, the writing style, the moral lessons, the descriptions of different aspects of life, and the passing of time all make up this book as well as the other two, and it is for these reasons that I have enjoyed them so much.

One thing I enjoyed quite a bit was how this book made certain references, often in conversation, to events that happened in the first book. This made the books feel like a continuous stream of life, like an inside look at the March family, rather than just a fictional set of stories. I also enjoyed seeing how each of the Plumfield pupils turned out later in life, both in terms of career path and character. All in all, I would recommend Jo’s Boys, and the entire series, for that matter, to anyone from any season of life.

-Aisha E.

Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Anticipating the Next “Fantastic Beasts” Film

Mid-November, an article was released on Pottermore titled “Everything we know about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald so far.” The article revealed a lot about what we could expect from the next film.

Firstly, the film takes place in 1927, just a few months after the events that occurred in the first movie. It follows the story of Newt Scamander to Europe (specifically Paris and London), so we are traveling closer to Dumbledore’s home in Goodric’s Hollow and Hogwarts. Based on the title (The Crimes of Grindelwald), it may be assumed that this film will follow Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) and elaborate on his story. We know from the books that Grindelwald and Dumbledore have a history, and it appears as if it will be expanded upon in this movie. Based on the first Fantastic Beasts movie, it seems as if Dumbledore also had some sort of relationship with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), as we know he argued against his expulsion from Hogwarts.

It is inevitable that Grindelwald will escape from MACUSA (the U.S.’s version of the Ministry of Magic). Looking back at the books, we know that Grindelwald’s rise was not unlike that of Voldemort. It was a dark time for muggles and wizards alike. Grindelwald’s intention was also aligned with Voldemort’s: they both believed that pure-bloods were superior, and that anyone who did not fit into this category did not deserve the right to use magic. We also know that Grindelwald is in possession of the Elder Wand (because of a picture of the cast that was released along with the article), which Dumbledore later acquires as he has it throughout the Harry Potter films. The picture also depicts the mysterious Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) mentioned in the previous film sitting with Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) — Newt’s brother. Another important note — Credence (Ezra Miller) is alive! At the end of the first movie, it seemed as if he was killed after transforming into his Obscurus form. However, he appeared in the picture with everyone else, so he must’ve survived… right?

Although we already know quite a bit about the movie, there are still bound to be surprises and plot twists. I’m extremely excited to see this movie, and am glad that the characters from the first movie will be returning, along with many new faces. J. K. Rowling herself has written the screenplay, and David Yates is directing the film. It will be released in the U.S. on November 16th, 2018.

I loved the first movie and I know I’ll love this one too! It’s really intriguing to hear everyone’s backstories and how it shaped them into who they are in the Harry Potter books and movies. I can’t wait for this movie!!!

-Elina T.