When announcing a book called Little Women, boys and even some of the less girly girls may protest. They are probably thinking that Alcott's book will be treacle sweet and frilly. The truth is quite different: Mrs. Alcott herself was no sheltered literary rosebud. She used her considerable talent writing "trashy novels" because her family needed the money, and her frustration can be read in Jo's experiences publishing in this genre to afford a last vacation for the terminally ill Beth. That seaside visit is priceless, though Alcott reminds us it is purchased at the price of mortified feelings. Poor Jo repents her trashy stories when she sees her beloved professor's disgust with frothy gothic tales, but Jo's earnings buy her and Beth a few lovely last days on the beach. Alcott is well aware of the limitations and contradictions of life—the things we stoop to because the alternative is worse—and these are certainly not "girly-girl" problems. The March women deal with some gritty realities and tough choices that we think your students can relate to—guy or girl.
And as far as the boy/girl ratio goes, Jo seems to think she is a boy for much of the book, and Laurie practically makes himself one of the family, bringing the brother/sister ratio to a very reasonable two to three.