Katy by Jacqueline Wilson and Becoming Jo by Sophie McKenzie
Classic children's books have long been a passion of mine, and to the disgust of several of my friends I list Little Women/Good Wives as two of my favourite books of all time.
I agree that after almost 150 years that these possibly aren't as up-to-date and modern as they were originally. Enter these two new retellings of What Katy Did and Little Women.
Katy sticks very firmly to the original novel for the first half, right up until Katy is injured I could have been reading the original and not a new version. However after this point I think that Jacqueline Wilson makes a good attempt at rewriting the story with modern medical advances and sensibilities. The original novel is very dated now and this was a clever way to make it more relevant but I question why an entirely new novel couldn't have been published (and why not by a disabled person when we come to that) rather than a reworking of book that has a terrible message for people, both disabled and non disabled.
Becoming Jo did a better job of updating a classic novel, although I did internally wince as it opened using exactly the same words as the original. Alcott's original story worked well as a frame work for a modern story and the girls' aspirations for the future definitely were more inclusive and modern. I was surprised how much I liked this book, tampering with my favourites usually doesn't go well! I'm also looking forward to sharing this one with one of my most anti-Little Women friends to see what she makes of it.