Books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

NOW I'LL TELL YOU EVERYTHING by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: Oct. 15, 2013

"Still, as a steady, dependable guide through the perils of adolescence, Alice is unexcelled, and her legions of fans will be pleased to see her so well rewarded. (Fiction. 12-16, adult)"
The 28th and last novel in this essential series is addressed to fans who want to know what happens to Alice. Read full book review >
EMILY AND JACKSON HIDING OUT by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: Aug. 7, 2012

"Spunky! (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
Emily and Jackson try to escape the baddies in this never-too-serious comedy-drama. Read full book review >
ALICE ON BOARD by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 22, 2012

"Readers who have been along with Alice on her journey from the start will enjoy this latest installment in a reliable series as it begins to wind down. (Fiction. 13-15)"
Alice and her friends take summer jobs aboard a cruise ship on the Chesapeake Bay following graduation. Read full book review >
INCREDIBLY ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 10, 2011

"The author leaves Alice and friends posing for graduation pictures and looking forward to pre-college summer jobs aboard a cruise ship that will frame the next few volumes in this richly entertaining, reliable and informative guide to growing up. (Fiction. 13-15)"
The newest entry in a series that sits proudly in second place on the ALA's list of Most Banned/Challenged titles of the 21st century (behind Harry) takes its insecure but sensible 17-year-old narrator through her final semester of high school. Read full book review >
EMILY’S FORTUNE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ADVENTURE
Released: June 8, 2010

"Great fun. (Historical fiction. 7-10)"
Naylor takes readers on a rollicking ride to the Wild West in this comedy-adventure starring a tiny, extremely shy eight-year-old orphan, Emily, her pet turtle, Rufus, and a wild boy named Jackson who comes to her rescue. Read full book review >
FAITH, HOPE, AND IVY JUNE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: June 9, 2009

"Highly recommended. (Fiction. 9-14)"
Ivy June worries that all Lexington girls are rich, arrogant snobs. Read full book review >
CRICKET MAN by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 30, 2008

"Issues such as student privacy, depression and teen pregnancy are addressed, and while this is not one of Naylor's major works, it is still engaging, pertinent and a good choice for reluctant readers. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
Kenny Sykes is new to the neighborhood. Read full book review >
PATCHES AND SCRATCHES by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2007

"The universal appeal of Sarah and her friend's kindhearted compassion, combined with her dogged determination to resolve dilemmas, will keep readers anticipating further adventures of the ever-resourceful Sarah. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Sarah—the "Idea Girl"—Simpson uses her trademark ingenuity to solve a tricky problem for a friend in this third installment of the series. Read full book review >
SIMPLY SARAH by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2006

"Ink-and-wash drawings add visual appeal. (Fiction. 7-9)"
Naylor continues her series featuring "Idea Girl" Sarah Simpson in a pigeon disaster that takes place outside her Chicago apartment window. Read full book review >
ROXIE AND THE HOOLIGANS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2006

"Jolly fun. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Nine-year-old Roxie Warbler knows a lot about dangers and pitfalls and how to overcome them; she is the niece of Uncle Dangerfoot, the sidekick of Lord Thistlebottom, the world-famous adventurer and author. Read full book review >
ALICE ON HER WAY by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: June 1, 2005

"The 17th installment in the series, and more than twice as long as the first, this will be most satisfying to readers already familiar with the cast of characters and involved in Alice's ups and downs, which echo the lives of many teenage girls. (Fiction. 13+)"
Alice has come a long ways since The Agony of Alice (1985) introduced her as a sixth-grader. Read full book review >
ANYONE CAN EAT SQUID by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2005

"The shelves might be full of similar series, but Sarah should find her fans with a little help. (Fiction 7-10)"
Eight-year-old Sara Simpson wants to do something extra-ordinary, but she thinks she's the most normal girl on the planet. Read full book review >
BERNIE MAGRUDER AND THE BATS IN THE BELFRY by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2003

"Another winner from this versatile veteran, replete with ingenious twists and capped by a wild Halloween night climax. (Fiction. 10-12)"
The game's afoot once again around the Bessledorf Hotel, whose quirky residents are joined by a secretive stranger, while anonymous warnings of poisonous bats, along with new church bells that play the same melody every 15 minutes, send all Middleburg into a tizzy. Read full book review >
BLIZZARD’S WAKE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"A nice addition to this Newbery winner's body of work. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Kate Sterling is alone in her house as the great blizzard of 1941 rages around her. Read full book review >
THE GIRLS TAKE OVER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 10, 2002

"Nonetheless, it's good-humored fun and should be ambrosia to its fans. (Fiction. 9-12)"
The battle of the sexes is once again on in the fictional town of Buckman, West Virginia, as two families of modern-day child Hatfields and McCoys—the four Hatford brothers and three Malloy sisters—fight for supremacy in the latest installment of Naylor's (The Boys Return, 2001, etc.) lightly amusing series. Read full book review >
STARTING WITH ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Nevertheless, this cheerful addition will find a ready audience among the younger siblings of Alice fans as well as the devoted older fans themselves, to whom Alice feels like a friend. (Fiction. 8-11)"
Alice is back again, but this time she's younger. Read full book review >
PLEASE DO FEED THE BEARS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2002

"Naylor's wry tale reveals to readers both the shenanigans and solutions that are the result of ingenious thinking. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A family outing to the beach nearly ends in calamity when the youngest member decides to bring along his treasured bears. Read full book review >
ALICE ALONE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 1, 2001

"Her fans will welcome her back while new readers are in for a treat. (Fiction. 11-14)"
In this 13th book about Alice (The Grooming of Alice, 2000, etc.), her romance with Patrick hits rocky ground, depicted in the gently realistic, often humorous, style that characterizes the series. Read full book review >
SIMPLY ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 1, 2001

"They may not be pleased, however, with the cover photograph of a too-young-looking girl that isn't likely to match the image of Alice they've created for themselves over the years. (Fiction. 11-15)"
The 14th in a series finds Alice (Alice Alone, 2001, etc.) almost overwhelmed by the busy second half of ninth grade. Read full book review >
CARLOTTA’S KITTENS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A disappointing effort from a usually dependable author. (Fiction. 9-11)"
In this third of a series, Marco, Polo, and the other feline members of the Club of Mysteries take it upon themselves to protect the much-loved Carlotta's five kittens from the dangers posed by both four-legged and two-legged predators, and to teach the kittens the skills they will need to survive in the cold, cruel world. Read full book review >
A SPY AMONG THE GIRLS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"All in all, a terrific sequel to a long list of winners. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Nine-year-old Caroline Malloy is green with envy; her ten-year-old sister, Beth, is in love. Read full book review >
THE GROOMING OF ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 1, 2000

"Sailing through her 12th "Alice" with nary a sign of series fatigue, Naylor, as usual, masterfully imparts physical, social, and emotional information while bringing readers to tears and laughter. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Alice continues to model safe, commonsensical ways of navigating the foggy shoals of adolescence, as the summer before high school brings crises, comedy, beginnings, endings, and new life skills. Read full book review >
ALICE ON THE OUTSIDE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: June 1, 1999

"Sail on, Alice. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Still alertly navigating the shoals of early adolescence, Alice turns 14 in the 11th installment of her often hilarious, always perceptive odyssey. Read full book review >
SWEET STRAWBERRIES by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1999

"Kaye's expressive characters and textured landscape paintings enhance the charm of this entertaining tale. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Life is a whole lot easier for the considerate and patient, according to Naylor's tale of tolerance. Read full book review >
SANG SPELL by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"Thoughtful readers will empathize with Josh's dilemma; while the ending is predictable, Naylor raises haunting questions. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Naylor (Achingly Alice, p. 741, etc.) explores the role synchronicity plays in life, and the mental and emotional restraints people place upon themselves. Read full book review >
ACHINGLY ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: June 1, 1998

"Naylor continues to usher Alice, and readers, toward adolescence with this well-knit, frequently hilarious story, cemented with buckets full of information, reassurance, and common sense. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Readers who have, with Alice, been waiting impatiently for her widowed father and favorite teacher, Miss Summers, to pick a date will have to wait some more; the Alice series (Outrageously Alice, 1997, etc.) continues to feature comic twists, comfortably familiar characters who still have surprises to reveal, and a plot that includes some serious issues. Read full book review >
``I CAN'T TAKE YOU ANYWHERE!'' by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Kaminsky's characters—with their outsized heads, great doe eyes, and bad hair—have an immediate appeal, although Amy Audrey is the only one who, by her small stature, really stands out from the pack. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Amy Audrey Perkins, the pint-sized protagonist of this picture book from Naylor (Saving Shiloh, p. 1114, etc.), is a fumble-fist. Read full book review >
SAVING SHILOH by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"Subplots and extraneous incidents loosen the story's weave, but Naylor's use of present tense adds immediacy to events, and Marty's path to reconciliation with Judd, and to a parallel truce with his pesky little sister Dara Lynn, will go straight to readers' hearts. (Fiction. 10-12)"
In this story of a boy and his dog, and the brutal, angry man who finds the road to redemption at last, Naylor rounds off a trilogy that began with Shiloh (1991). Read full book review >
OUTRAGEOUSLY ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 1, 1997

"As usual, her story is told with grace and economy, liberally laced with humor, and brimming with serious feelings as well. (Fiction. 9-13)"
At 13, Alice thinks her life deserves a prize for "most boring"; she can't see anything special or interesting about herself. Read full book review >
DUCKS DISAPPEARING by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"1053, etc.) that, though not her strongest work, makes some nice points about paying attention and getting help when it's essential. (Picture book. 5-8)"
In the courtyard of the motel where Willie and his mother are staying, a mother duck and eleven ducklings are poking around. Read full book review >
SHILOH SEASON by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Still, readers will find Marty's anxiety, and his love for Shiloh, engrossingly genuine. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Seeing Judd Travers illegally shoot a deer gave Marty Preston the leverage he needed to win ownership of an abused dog in Naylor's Shiloh (1991); now Judd has taken to drink and become even more trigger-happy than before, and Marty frets that the man will declare open season on Shiloh out of spite. Read full book review >
ALICE IN LACE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: March 1, 1996

"Pleasure and purpose are seamlessly combined in this comic, expertly crafted episode. (Fiction. 10-13)"
An eighth-grade health class assignment gets Alice McKinley and friends thinking about choices and consequences in this eighth installment of one of the best series running. Read full book review >
BEING DANNY'S DOG by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"473, etc.) gives middle graders a useful, pleasant read. (Fiction. 8-12)"
After a move from familiar Chicago to a rural development, T.R. starts to worry about his older brother, Danny. Read full book review >
ICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"The most believable people in this book are the ordinary souls—Gram with her homely ways, new friend Thad, with his boy-next-door wholesomeness, and Chrissa, whom readers will come to admire as she takes control of her life. (Fiction. 10-14)"
When she was ten, Chrissa's father disappeared. Read full book review >
ALICE THE BRAVE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 1, 1995

"Fans of the series or those undergoing their own suburban teen angst will not be disappointed; others will find Alice unchallenging. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Following Naylor's six earlier books about this heroine (Alice In Between, 1994, etc.), this installment finds Alice and friends Pamela and Elizabeth on the eve of eighth grade, and smoothly chronicles their twelfth summer. Read full book review >
BOYS AGAINST GIRLS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"483, etc., The Fear Place, below). (Fiction. 8-12)"
The West Virginian Hatford boys still can't get along with their new neighbors, the Malloy girls. Read full book review >
THE FEAR PLACE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"483, etc.; Boys Against Girls, see above). (Fiction. 8-12)"
Doug Grillo is spending three weeks camping in Colorado with his geologist parents and his older brother, Gordon. Read full book review >
ALICE IN-BETWEEN by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: March 1, 1994

"Still, a casual but unexpectedly warm kiss from old friend Patrick at book's end suggests that the new teenager — as thoughtful and lively as ever — will soon be on to the next stage. (Fiction. 10-14)"
The fifth book about Alice slips comfortably into formula, but fans of the motherless preteen(now completing seventh grade) won't object. Read full book review >
THE GIRLS GET EVEN by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"The versatile Naylor seems to be treading water with this aimless series. (Fiction. 11- 13)"
In the rivalry that began with The Boys Start the War (1992), the Hatford boys once again square off against their neighbors, the Malloy sisters, when both agree that the winner of the school Halloween costume contest can exact a month's "slavery" from the losers. Read full book review >
THE FACE IN THE BESSLEDORF FUNERAL PARLOR by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1993

"Jacket art depicting a "corpse" viewing the frightened kids from within the viewing window is a sure draw—though it hints at the outcome. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Another mystery/farce involving the idiosyncratic Magruder family (The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel, 1986, etc.). Read full book review >
ALICE IN APRIL by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: April 30, 1993

"Next installment impatiently awaited. (Fiction. 9-13)"
Building on her earlier books about the motherless, independent-minded Alice, Naylor flawlessly weaves concerns prompted by two birthdays—Alice's 13th, which prompts the girl to experiment with the role of "homemaker"; and Dad's 50th, which gives her a chance to try out new skills with a surprise party—into another delightful chronicle, as perceptive as it is hilarious. Read full book review >
THE GRAND ESCAPE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ADVENTURE
Released: April 30, 1993

"An unusually engaging animal adventure, with plenty of sharply observed, action-filled illustrations. (Fiction. 8-12)"
They've always been indoor cats, but a taste of freedom sets Marco (indolent but smart—he can read) to scheming; he and Polo (livelier, with a penchant for eating stringy things like spaghetti and ribbon) sneak out of the Neals' comfortable house to make new friends and perform, with spunk and ingenuity, the initiation tasks imposed by the tom who presides over the garbage back of the fast-food place. Read full book review >
THE BOYS START THE WAR by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1993

"Not here—a sequel is promised. (Fiction. 10-12)"
It's not the Hatfields vs. the McCoys, but a feud nonetheless when the four Harfield brothers square off against their new neighbors, the Malloy sisters. Read full book review >
JOSIE'S TROUBLES by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

"Readers are sure to enjoy the antics. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Lovingly, Naylor spoofs the domino effect of a fourth- grader's difficulties. Read full book review >
THE WITCH RETURNS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"This last story contains a complex weave of flashbacks to the earlier books as well as new horrors: gratifying for old fans, an irresistible lure for new ones. (Fiction. 8-12)"
The sixth in a popular series brings an end to witchy Mrs. Tuggle after a yearlong struggle by Lynn Morley and her friend Mouse. Read full book review >
ALL BUT ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: April 30, 1992

"Fans can rejoice: Naylor plans to take Alice "to her eighteenth year. (Fiction. 9-13)"
Naylor is a versatile, prolific author whose achievements have just been crowned with a Newbery; her books about Alice (this is the fourth) are many readers' favorites, with good reason: laugh-aloud funny, they also explore real concerns with unusual frankness and compassion. Read full book review >
SEND NO BLESSINGS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Delectable storytelling; notably generous in spirit."
A realistic chronicle of a 15-year-old West Virginian's dreams and aspirations. Read full book review >
KING OF THE PLAYGROUND by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Entertaining and salutory. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Each day Kevin presents himself at the playground, only to be ousted by Sammy's threats ("...he'll dig a hole so deep I'll never get out"); each day Dad mildly points out that Sammy's fierce notions are impractical ("And what would you be doing while Sammy was tying you up? Read full book review >
SHILOH by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Meanwhile, young readers will rejoice that Shiloh and Marty end up together. (Fiction. 8-12)"
A gripping account of a mountain boy's love for a dog he's hiding from its owner. Read full book review >
WITCH WEED by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Once again, readers will shiver through the rousing finale and look forward to yet another sequel. (Fiction. 10+)"
In the fifth installment of this reliably chilling series, Lynn continues to fight the evil Mrs. Tuggle, who is now embodied in a pernicious plant. Read full book review >
RELUCTANTLY ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: March 29, 1991

In this third book about the heroine of The Agony of Alice (1985), Alice is hoping to make seventh grade the year that everybody likes her—a tall order when she begins by getting on the wrong side of Denise, an awe-inspiring bully. Read full book review >
BERNIE AND THE BESSLEDORF GHOST by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1990

"No real surprises and more chuckles than belly laughs, but Naylor tells her story with a practiced dexterity that should keep readers entertained."
A third comic adventure at the hotel last visited in The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel (1986). Read full book review >
KEEPING A CHRISTMAS SECRET by Lena Shiffman
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1989

"Naylor's excellent ear for dialogue makes this just right as a read-aloud or a young reader; Shiffman's realistic, full-color illustrations, enlivened by white outlining, give the characters real individuality."
The family present for Dad is a wonderful big sled, and Michael, four, has promised not to tell. Read full book review >
ALICE IN RAPTURE, SORT OF by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: March 1, 1989

"A lively, authentic story, with refreshingly pleasant characters—one that may help readers to realize (as Alice does at summer's end) that adapting to everyone else's prescriptions is less important than being oneself."
A wide-ranging author—who has proved herself adept at fantasy, the teen-age novel, humor, and historical fiction—writes a funny, perceptive story about the summer before junior high: 12-year-old Alice's Dad calls it "The Summer of the First Boyfriend." Read full book review >
ONE OF THE THIRD GRADE THONKERS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1988

"It may take a booktalk to get fifth graders past the title here, but they'll love the book."
Jimmy Novak's daredevil prank coincides with a towboat accident on the Mississippi that almost claims his father's life—in a suspense-filled story that should make readers ponder the value of the macho image. Read full book review >
MAUDIE IN THE MIDDLE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1988

"Although not outstanding, the attention to period detail and Maudie's fierce strength of character give the story some merit."
A slight but vivid account of life in rural Iowa in the early 1900's, written by a prolific author and her mother. Read full book review >
BEETLES, LIGHTLY TOASTED by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: Sept. 1, 1987

"This should be popular."
Out to win the annual essay prize (subject: conservation), Andy devises three protein-rich recipes with unusual ingredients. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF THE GOPHER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1987

"But Naylor weaves all into a thoughtful, well-balanced story, sure to hold readers' attention as much by realistic characters and circumstances as by the plot's more arresting turns."
A skilled author explores the family pressures that impel a talented 17-year-old to opt for time at a low-status job before considering college. Read full book review >
THE BODIES IN THE BESSLEDORF HOTEL by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: Sept. 1, 1986

"Though the writing is occasionally forced, most readers should like this a lot."
Another hectic, slapstick, often charming mystery about Bernie Magruder. Read full book review >
THE KEEPER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1986

"Instead she focuses on the unwelcome and painful choices a boy must make for a father who can no longer function."
Nick Karpinski finds he must cope at home with his father's sudden plunge into mental illness while pretending that nothing is wrong. Read full book review >
THE SOLOMON SYSTEM by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 9, 1983

"But the teen-sibling angle on divorce comes across forcibly."
Ted and Nory Solomon's parents decide to split up, and harrowingly can't agree which of them should move out—while, less convincingly, the close, mutually supportive relationship between Ted and Nory, 13 and 16, also seems to Ted to be crumbling. Read full book review >
A STRING OF CHANCES by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 10, 1982

"There's a lot of worthiness, in short, but the fluent, low-key storytelling, plus the vivid presence of baby Josh, will probably prevent readers from recognizing the underlying manipulation."
The prospective fictional pitfalls are many: 16-year-old Evie Hutchins, a backwoods-Maryland preacher's daughter, is spending the summer in the "godless household" of cousin Donna lean and her husband Tom—where, inevitably, her faith will waver and her own home, locked into ritual and good works, will lose something of its luster. Read full book review >
THE BOY WITH THE HELIUM HEAD by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 10, 1982

"Naylor's writing isn't as buoyant as her hero, but kids will connect with the fantasy."
You are sure to draw some giggles with this story of seven-year-old Jonathan's strange adventure on flu-shot day. Dr. Mack is giving out a helium balloon with every shot, but Jonathan's little brother Sam makes such a fuss over his shot that the doctor rushes through Jonathan's just to get rid of the family. Read full book review >
FOOTPRINTS AT THE WINDOW by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Sept. 9, 1981

In the two earlier volumes of Naylor's York Trilogy, American teenager Dan Roberts becomes involved with a gypsy family he meets while visiting in York, England, and later with different incarnations of that same family as tribespeople in Roman England and, back home, as migrant gypsies near his Grandmother's farm on the Susquehanna. Read full book review >
ALL BECAUSE I'M OLDER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: April 17, 1981

"The story is little more than a string of small incidents, but they gather momentum once the shopping trip is under way, and they are loaded with chuckles of sympathetic recognition."
This is mostly eight-year-old John's complaint about all the dumb things brother Peter, three years younger, makes him do. Read full book review >
FACES IN THE WATER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: March 16, 1981

"Meanwhile we have some smooth and fairly complex interweaving of the characters' various manifestations; some spooky effects that are effective until, once more, they pile up ludicrously; some fairly shallow musings on time and time-travel; and a general gloss of grade-B melodramatic writing."
Two seemingly unrelated terrors gripped teenage Dan on a family trip to York, England, in Shadows on the Wall (1980), the first volume of Naylor's projected "York Trilogy": the possibility of his father, and if so Dan too, developing the hereditary Huntington's disease; and the unexplained seizure of dread that came to be associated with ghosts of Roman soldiers. Read full book review >
SHADOWS ON THE WALL by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 10, 1980

"On the other hand, there is too little substance and texture to make it a promising beginning."
On a trip to York, England, with his parents, Dan is seized with terror at certain spots along the river that surrounds the town. Read full book review >
EDDIE, INCORPORATED by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1980

"The story reads smoothly enough, but it's unoriginal in outline, and not bright enough in its particulars to function as anything but a time filler for junior-achievement types."
With his father in the produce business, his mother selling homemade goodies, his oldest brother already assistant manager of a shoe store, and his high school brother already working toward a banking career, Eddie too wants a business: "He wanted a desk with a phone on it. . . . Read full book review >
HOW LAZY CAN YOU GET? by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Sept. 10, 1979

"There's not an inert, uninflected moment—but only Naylor's bravura style separates most of this from sitcom TV."
Stylized hysteria of the aren't-kids-comical sort—which kids seem to divide on as firmly as adults. Read full book review >
THE WITCH HERSELF by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 9, 1978

"Formula shivers—but followers of the series won't be disappointed."
Is Mrs. Tuggle's witchcraft all in Lynn's head, as Mother had suggested in The Witch's Sister (1975), or is the old woman really on the way to capturing Mother for her coven? Read full book review >
HOW I CAME TO BE A WRITER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
NONFICTION
Released: March 10, 1978

"Book publication by a respectable house seems the ultimate goal; reading this, one wonders how she ever got that far."
Would-be writers should be spared this shallow autobiographical account, which comes with family-album photos of the author from angelic tyke to coiffured success. Read full book review >
WITCH WATER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 9, 1977

"Readers who doubted the circumstantial evidence of the earlier book will have a hard time explaining this one."
Lynn Morley's older sister Judith seems to have recovered from her brush with black magic (Witch's Sister, 1975), but now old Mrs. Tuggle is out to get Lynn's suggestible friend "Mouse" Beasley into her power. Read full book review >
WALKING THROUGH THE DARK by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: March 15, 1976

"And those who can empathize with her seemingly invincible sense of security at the beginning will be carried along despite Naylor's affectless management of the supporting cast."
In her preoccupation with the high school social life and college career to come, Ruth Wheeler is the epitome of self-centered adolescence. Read full book review >
WITCH'S SISTER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 12, 1975

"An underhanded way perhaps to work a trick ending the author herself would reject into a story that had to have one, but it does get the point across to Lynn — and to readers who will at times be half convinced that she's right."
Lynn is sure that her sister Judith, who spends a mysterious lot of time taking sewing lessons from morbid old Mrs. Tuggle on the hill, is a witch, and when the girls' parents take a weekend trip, calling in Mrs. Tuggle as resident sitter, on just the night that witches are said to take the blood of infants for their spells, Lynn is terrified for her little brother Stevie. Read full book review >
AN AMISH FAMILY by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: March 1, 1975

"This unromanticized family shows both the narrowness and inconsistencies of the Amish tradition, and the survival of a stable, supportive community life that most of us can only imagine."
Stripping away all preconceptions about the picturesque Amish, Naylor introduces the Stolzfus family of Intercourse, Pennsylvania which perseveres in its plain life against the pressures of what the Amish call the "gay" world. Read full book review >
MAKING IT HAPPEN by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1970

"It's a matter of taste: bad."
Ultimately hoist by its own petard, the story starts out knocking revolution for revolution's sake. Read full book review >
MEET MURDOCK by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: May 1, 1969

"Fey-tally."
In one of those city houses where every floor has a family of a different origin the basement is occupied by building superintendent Murdock, one of those old salts who're never washed up in juveniles. Read full book review >
TO SHAKE A SHADOW by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: Aug. 1, 1967

"Transparently obvious—a page torn from a caseworker's notebook, the characters immaterial and almost irrelevant."
Dad is indicted for income tax evasion and ninth grader Brad Willson, always from the right side of the river, becomes an instant outsider. Read full book review >