Agony of Alice (Alice, #1), The

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Alice McKinley is about to become a teenager, but she doesn't know how. Her mother has been dead for years, and what do her father and her nineteen-year-old brother, Lester, know about being a teenage girl? If only she had a role model, like the beautiful sixth-grade teacher Miss Cole. But instead Alice gets assigned to plain, pear-shaped Mrs. Plotkin's class. Is Alice doomed to a life of one embarrassment after another?

Reviews

Reviewed: 2017-01-29
Behind this absolutely adorable cover lies an equally adorable story about an adolescent girl named Alice who is very anxious about growing up and going through the agony of sixth grade. If you’re wondering how something so cute and endearing could end up on the American Library Association’s most challenged books list consistently over the past two decades, it’s probably because it talks about periods (no, not the “comma without the tail” kind) and kissing. While those are admittedly very big and real obstacles faced when growing up that Phyllis Reynolds Naylor treats with utmost respect, she places more emphasis on the everyday embarrassments that afflict Alice as she searches for a female role model in the absence of her mother, who died when Alice was very young. There are the cringe-worthy types of embarrassments, like the moment where Alice disrupts a school play when she acts on her feelings of jealousy towards her sometimes-rival, sometimes-friend, leading to a lot of tears of shame later on. There are also the quiet, happy embarrassments, like when Mrs. Plotkin, Alice’s teacher, treats Alice with a special kindness even after Alice shows contempt towards Mrs. Plotkin in front of the class. Personally, I’m embarrassed that I never read The Agony of Alice when I was younger, but I look forward to delving further into the series even as an adult.

Originally written for Scribd.
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