Ahh, youth! Do you remember being eleven-twelve and getting into a fight with your friend, or being reprimanded by your teacher, or having your crush smile at you…okay, most of these still get my heart racing in some fashion, but at 11-12 it feels like the whole world is hinged on whether your friend accepts your apology, your teacher will tattle on you during parent-teacher conference night (or whatever they call it where you are), and deciphering your crush’s cryptic smile — was s/he smiling because s/he likes you, OR were they trying to not laugh at the piece of lunch rimming your gums?
Being a adolescence is SO complicated guys!
So in this first story of the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Book 1, The Agony of Alice, introduces readers to 6th grader Alice McKinley. She’s just moved to Silver Springs with her dad and 19-year-old brother, Lester, and she’s ready to make sense of the last year of her elementary years.
Now you’re probably read the first 60ish pages of this story and want to toss the book. I cringed A LOT. I mean A LOT. Alice’s little antics touched home, even though I wasn’t nearly as rude as she is at the beginning. I did stupid things as a kid, but I prided myself on being semi-decent.
Get through those pages and you’re gold — I mean you’ll start to see why I LOVE this book and will totally read it to my future children. The Agony of Alice, at its heart, tells the coming-of-age story of a young girl and sees her through one, teeny stage of her life but in a potent way that resonates with older readers as well.
I didn’t need to be 11-12 again to understand it bites when a person you idolize doesn’t care for you the way you do. Or finding out someone likes you and not being prepared for it, or even doing something embarrassing and making a colossal deal of it…when everyone else has already forgotten your blunder.
I wasn’t bothered by the language either. I really thought that it might affect the way the story was told — The Agony of Alice was published in 1985 — but I could still enjoy the book even if a few things were clearly dated…
If I interested you at all, pick up the first in the Alice series (I do believe the books have been re-vamped by publisher Simon & Schuster)…
So yeah, another reason to pick this series up!