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ALICE IN TIME by Penelope Bush


by Penelope Bush

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2329-3
Publisher: Holiday House

Alice is aware that everything has been going downhill since her younger brother was born, her mother suffered from severe postpartum depression, her grandmother died and her father left. Truculent and unhappy, the victim of the school queen bee’s contempt, and too frequently charged with caring for her 7-year-old brother, Alice is saved by a time loop just in time. She escapes a perfect storm of bad feeling—caught in lies to her mother and best friend, overhearing that the boy she likes probably only wants to “get into her pants”—when a twirl on a merry-go-round tosses her back into her 7-year-old self. As a child with the consciousness of a 14-year-old, Alice begins to untangle the threads of her future unhappiness, sorting out what she really wants for herself and for those she loves, learning that letting go—in this case, of her grandmother, whose cancer is already claiming her life—is part of living. She finds with the somewhat abrupt return to her 14-year-old self that her changed decisions have transformed much of what was wrong in the beginning. Bush’s first novel offers the message that we choose our futures, sometimes unwittingly, and subtly hints at some control over the mistakes of the past. Immensely satisfying for readers just realizing the power to make their own choices. (Fantasy. 12-15)