Emily Dickinson is probably the most appealing United States poet, and the myths and legends about her make her a tremendously sympathetic character. This would be a good introduction both to the poet's life and to her work. I know that when I was in middle school, I purchased a volume of her poems. They are short, and accessible to younger readers, which might be why they continue to be so popular. Even without the connection to the poet, this is a gentle adventure that reads a lot like the moral tales that were written at the time Dickinson lived. Perhaps readers of this can be encouraged to pick up Alcott afterwards!