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ALICE ON THE OUTSIDE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


From the Alice McKinley series, volume 14

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: June 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-689-80359-1
Publisher: Atheneum

Still alertly navigating the shoals of early adolescence, Alice turns 14 in the 11th installment of her often hilarious, always perceptive odyssey. Before her birthday, however, she gains some insight into the nature of prejudice from a week-long consciousness-raising exercise at school; watches friend Pamela flirt with a wilder lifestyle; observes her brother Lester’s anything-but-tranquil love life; and gracefully fields a pass from a female classmate. Although the various continuing plot lines of the series don’t hurtle along, they’re not ignored, either, and Naylor again demonstrates her gift for embedding savvy advice and frank specifics about sex and growing up seamlessly into common situations. By the end, Alice’s own romantic situation is looking decidedly bright; although her boyfriend Patrick comes down with mononucleosis, leaving her solo at the eighth-grade dance, he also shows endearing awkwardness in the kissing department and melts her utterly with a front yard serenade on the night of her birthday. Fans will leap aboard enthusiastically, but readers new to the series will have to catch earlier books first for some background. Sail on, Alice. (Fiction. 11-14)