LOS ANGELES — Little readers have long embraced “Little Women” and found inspiration in the character of Jo March, a headstrong young writer out to conquer the world.

Maya Hawke counts herself among the latest generation of fans of Louisa May Alcott’s 19th-century novel. But the lucky Hawke takes it one step further: She stars as Jo in a new version of “Little Women,” airing consecutive Sundays, May 13 and 20, on PBS’ “Masterpiece” showcase (check local listings for times).

The 19-year-old plays Jo with a coltish vibrancy that suits the role, and with an easy confidence that belies her resume: The drama is her first screen credit, with a part in the next season of “Stranger Things” following close behind.

“Little Women” held such appeal for Hawke that she left New York’s Juilliard School for it, a move that runs in the family: Her parents, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, both interrupted their studies when the professional world beckoned.

“This story spoke to me. … I love novels, and the script was really well-written because the book is well-written, and I wanted to get to speak those words,” Maya Hawke said.

The project was a draw for another reason. Jo’s literary passion helped Hawke in her struggle with dyslexia.

“Her drive and her love of language and storytelling really sparked my interest, and really inspired me to overcome the obstacles that were in my way … and follow my dreams and pursue what I love,” Hawke said.