Written after the civil war in 1868, this book although not a literary masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination had a strong influence on people of his day and therefore worth the read. It is supposed to be the boy's version of Little Women, however Little Women is much more eloquently written with complex characters. Complex characterization is lacking in this book. He does add literal allusion to the Bible, Shakespeare, Longfellow and others. I am not sure which book this is in, this book includes the first and third book in a series. The second is Fame and Fortune and can read online. It influenced people to improve themselves, to be industrious, to have faith that all will turn out good despite desperate circumstances if you are true and honest.