ALICE ON BOARD

From the Alice McKinley series , Vol. 27

Readers who have been along with Alice on her journey from the start will enjoy this latest installment in a reliable series...

Alice and her friends take summer jobs aboard a cruise ship on the Chesapeake Bay following graduation.

Thrilled with the nearly two-to-one ratio of guys to girls that makes up for the low pay and drudgery of galley duty, Alice makes the most of her summer before college. She's torn between missing Patrick, who's in Barcelona, and enjoying flirtatious outings with Mitch, a 20-ish crew member who's taking the summer off from trapping muskrats in the Maryland marshes. Dramatic episodes large and small fill the weeks on the refurbished Seascape. A passenger accuses Alice of stealing her watch; another gets his kicks exposing himself when she comes to clean his room. A bee sting lands Liz in the hospital; Gwen breaks up with Austin and has her own shipboard romance. Pamela's needy, troubled mother arrives during the same week that her father and his girlfriend are on board. A rather old-fashioned plot with a tone of comfortable familiarity mixes with a smattering of innuendo and scatological humor. Alice observes it all from her place on the verge of adulthood, pondering what the future holds for her as she looks back over her life so far.

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)

Pub Date: May 22, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4588-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

INCREDIBLY ALICE

From the Alice McKinley series , Vol. 26

The author leaves Alice and friends posing for graduation pictures and looking forward to pre-college summer jobs aboard a...

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.

Alice navigates past such fixed points as Senior Prom, Prank Day and graduation as well as more personal triumphs and tribulations, from getting one of those flat business envelopes from her first-choice college to finding out that her boyfriend Patrick will be spending the next year in Spain. As ever, Naylor-as-Alice fills the interstices with teachable moments including (but not limited to) the short-lived appearance of a “Restricted Reading” shelf in the school library, watching an older co-worker and her loving husband with their new baby, coping with stress-related insomnia, attending a pregnant classmate’s baby shower and wedding and reacting to a friend’s admission that she’s saving up for a labiaplasty. It's all embedded in a milieu of quotidian detail, familiar characters and memories from previous episodes that add both continuity and a matter-of-fact credibility to the advice and insight.

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)

Pub Date: May 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7553-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

ALSO KNOWN AS ROWAN POHI

Lightweight fluff in the Chris Lynch/Chris Crutcher mode, if that's possible

Fraud pays.

“Pohi” seems like a great last name for a fictional high-school applicant invented in an International House of Pancakes: IHOP, Pohi, see? It's a a lark for Bobby and his friends, sitting there surrounded by all those privileged Whitestone Prep kids, to fill out a Whitestone application for "Rowan Pohi," Boy Scout, National Honor Society inductee, soup-kitchen volunteer and football player. But when "Rowan" gets accepted to Whitestone, Bobby takes a good hard look at his wrong-side-of-the-tracks life and realizes this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. Whitestone's teachers and facilities are miles away from those of Bobby's crappy public high school, and of course there's the girls. Bobby almost immediately falls for Heather, "a study in whiteness: white T-shirt, white shorts, white teeth, blonde hair. And long legs." Bobby has antagonists both in and out of school, but his ultimate success at Whitestone seems undeserved; the class inequities of the system are less important to the Whitestone decision-makers than the fact that Bobby’s a nice guy with a tragic back story. A recurring evocation of faux–Native American stories, culminating in a 5-year-old's assertion that "[b]eing Spider-Man is way cooler than being an Indian," will insult Native (and other) readers.

Lightweight fluff in the Chris Lynch/Chris Crutcher mode, if that's possible . (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-57208-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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