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SIMPLY ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


From the Alice McKinley series, volume 17

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-82635-4
Publisher: Atheneum

The 14th in a series finds Alice (Alice Alone, 2001, etc.) almost overwhelmed by the busy second half of ninth grade. She’s writing for the school newspaper and working behind the scenes on a school musical. A secret admirer e-mails her and finally introduces himself, and a mild romance begins. Meanwhile, her two best friends resent her success and her lack of time for them. Add to this her older brother’s troubled romance with a professor, her father’s upcoming wedding, Alice’s attack of appendicitis, and a harassment incident at school, and the novel feels as overcrowded as Alice’s life. The recurring theme—that you have to change to grow but it isn’t always easy—doesn’t succeed in unifying the jumble of elements. Still, fans of the series will want to know what happens next because Alice is such an attractive combination of likable and imperfect. 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)