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by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
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This used to be my favorite of the series, but now I just find it to be a tad boring. Nothing in particular stands out about it. Alice didn't seem to experience really any growth throughout this book. To be completely honest this installment feels like fluff. Take it or leave it.
This tenth installment in the "Alice" series takes place during the winter of eight grade. Alice really wants her widowed father to marry her gorgeous seventh grade English teacher, Miss Summers. They both seem to be in love, and Alice is overjoyed when Miss Summers spends Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at their house. However, things turn sour when Alice finds out that Miss Summers is spending New Year's Eve with Mr. Sorringer, the Vice-Principal of her school, and Alice wonders if Miss Summers is still in love with him. She does not understand how someone can be in love with two people at the same time until her own love life becomes complicated too. She has been dating Patrick for two years, and really likes him, but then Sam, a boy from her Camera Club, starts to show interest in her, and she is not disinterested in him. In this book, Alice also learns more than she wanted to know about pelvic exams, and her own sexual awakening gets her wondering about the sexual life of adults, all in a very sincere and funny way. Through it all, she can count on her older brother Lester, a college student, to be there for her.
I was not at all familiar with this series before reading this book, and I did not know if I would understand what was going on since I was not familiar with the characters, but the author makes sure that a new reader to the series knows who is who, and gives some quick background explanations when needed, without it seeming artificial. Even though this book is geared more towards middle schoolers, I was actually able to get into the story, and enjoy it quite a bit, thinking back to my own teenage experiences. I found some of the situations and questions Alice asks herself hilarious at times even if it is not the way it seems when you are the one living it at the time. I think what Alice goes through can be very informative for any teenage girl of a similar age, and this book would definitely appeal to girls in middle school, and even early high school (grades 7-9).
i LOVED the alice books growing up! i definitely recommend them to all girls around 9-10 and up, and the good news is that she's still writing them! so the series starts out when alice is in elementary school and now she's in high school!
Thirteen-year-old Alice sets long- and short-term priorities for her life as she experiences the complexities of young love.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.5Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century
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(Spoiler warning) But I was thrilled that Miss Summers is going on a year's journey to teach in England, which means hopefully the next two or three books will give us a break from this particular obsession of Alice's.
Now... aside from that... Alice is her usual sympathetic, likable, occasionally foolish self. Pamela and Elizabeth exhibit their usual endearingly irritating traits. And there are some definite laugh-out-loud moments when Elizabeth has to go to the gynecologist and is instructed to douche. Rather than shying away from subjects like these, Naylor seems to relish them, to hilarious results.
This book also has a brief moment when Alice "gets the hots" as Pamela would say. She makes the first steps beyond pre-teen infatuation to full sexual maturity and the chaotic unpredictable lust that can go with it. ( )