Monday, January 28, 2008

The Agony of Alice

I just finished reading my first book for Caribou's Mom's Themed Reading Challenge, a reread for me. I read most of the Alice books when I was between 10 and 12, though never completing the series. I think I just grew out of the books, though now that my career is in children's literature, I have the perfect excuse to reread all of my favorites!

The Agony of Alice, written by the infamous Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, is the first book in a long line of novels featuring the clumsy, insecure, normal heroine. In this first installment, Alice moves to a new town with her father and older brother, her mother having passed away years before. Becoming a teenager in a house of only men is no easy task and Alice experiences many embarrassing moments, simply from lack of knowledge about being a woman. While trying to find out how to make friends in a new school, Alice is also trying to figure out just how to buy her first bra. She believes that if only she had Miss Cole, the beautiful, young teacher to be her adopted mother, she could learn everything their is to being a woman very easily. Unfortunately, Alice is paired with Mrs. Plotkin, definitely not the glamorous mother type. As the school year progresses, Alice slowly learns different aspects about being a teenager and becoming a woman, and though she embarrasses herself plenty of times along the way, also becomes quite close with Mrs. Plotkin.

When I was rereading this book I was reminded of another little girl in a more recent story, who also just happens to constantly be embarrassing herself. Yes, Alice reminds me of an older Clementine. The books have the same humorous flair and real-to-life characters. Since I love Clementine so much I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the Alice books. :-) Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of the old Alice covers, but the new ones are kinda cute too.

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