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Incredibly Alice Hardcover – May 10, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written more than 135 books, including the Newbery Award–winning Shiloh and the Alice series. She lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. To hear from Phyllis and find out more about Alice, visit


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Product Details

  • Series: Alice (Book 23)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416975535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416975533
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I guess I've been writing for about as long as I can remember. Telling stories, anyway, if not writing them down. I had my first short story published when I was sixteen, and wrote stories to help put myself through college, planning to become a clinical psychologist. By the time I graduated with a BA degree, however, I decided that writing was really my first love, so I gave up plans for graduate school and began writing full time.

I'm not happy unless I spend some time writing every day. It's as though pressure builds up inside me, and writing even a little helps to release it. On a hard-writing day, I write about six hours. Tending to other writing business, answering mail, and just thinking about a book takes another four hours. I spend from three months to a year on a children's book, depending on how well I know the characters before I begin and how much research I need to do. A novel for adults, because it's longer, takes a year or more. When my work is going well, I wake early in the mornings, hoping it's time to get up. When the writing is hard and the words are flat, I'm not very pleasant to be around.

Getting an idea for a book is the easy part. Keeping other ideas away while I'm working on one story is what's difficult. My books are based on things that have happened to me, things I have heard or read about, all mixed up with imaginings. The best part about writing is the moment a character comes alive on paper, or when a place that existed only in my head becomes real. There are no bands playing at this moment, no audience applauding--a very solitary time, actually--but it's what I like most. I've now had more than 120 books published, and about 2000 short stories, articles and poems.

I live in Bethesda, Maryland, with my husband, Rex, a speech pathologist, who's the first person to read my manuscripts when they're finished. Our sons, Jeff and Michael, are grown now, but along with their wives and children, we often enjoy vacations together in the mountains or at the ocean. When I'm not writing, I like to hike, swim, play the piano and attend the theater.

I'm lucky to have my family, because they have contributed a great deal to my books. But I'm also lucky to have the troop of noisy, chattering characters who travel with me inside my head. As long as they are poking, prodding, demanding a place in a book, I have things to do and stories to tell.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E.S. on June 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just finished Incredibly Alice, the latest installment in the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

Oh, Alice, I already miss you. This book was back to being the series that I remember and love. The last couple of books did have something lacking. I didn't want to admit that, even to myself, for fear that I had simply outgrown Alice. But this one, oh, I remembered all of the things I deeply love about these characters, this ongoing story.

And Patrick... There's a reason he was my biggest crush for my entire preteen years. In the previous few books he'd been very distracted - and rightfully so - with college and everything that goes with it. He wasn't neglectful of Alice, per se, but he wasn't the thoughtful, supportive guy that I fell in love with. Patrick in this installment has returned to his confident, reliable self.

And yet, at the heart of this story will always be Alice and her family, and Alice and her best friends. Phyllis definitely went back to the roots of the series for this book, and it was like coming home.

I definitely believe that if you haven't followed Alice since her elementary school years that you will not care about this book or the characters. You simply have to have had the development that comes over the previous 20 or so books.

If you loved the earlier Alice books, you will love this one, too.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By gwynn on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Like many Alice fans, I grew up with the series. And like many fans, I was eagerly anticipating this book. However, as I made my way through it, I felt increasingly let down. Though well-written, so much of what made the series unique and endearing was missing (after the last few books, some would say long gone.)

Where to begin? Some of the funniest, most touching, and most memorable moments in the series were her conversations with Dad and Lester over shared meals. I understand that as Alice comes into her own, her family will take on a less involved role, but her dad, who was always such a major presence in the book with his gentle wisdom and wry humor, was pushed right to the margins. There is a touching scene in the beginning with stepmother she wanted so much, but then she fades into the background. Her interactions with Lester, which in previous books were laugh-out-loud funny, fall completely flat; it doesn't even sound like Lester. Perhaps the most striking absence is that of her mother. Alice's longing for her mother is so poignant in earlier books, but in this one I don't think she's mentioned more than once or twice until the very end, in a scene that makes her absence all the more noticeable. It is unbelievable that she would barely think of the mother she missed so much during such an important and emotional time in her life.

Her interactions with friends, who play a major role in this book, are equally disappointing. Pamela, Elizabeth, Gwen and the rest lack their unique voices and the conversations lack originality and humor. They really could be anybody. A lot of space is given to once marginal characters like Justin and Jill. It is hard to care about these characters and yet they are involved in a major storyline.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Allison Bailey on May 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was SO PSYCHED to finally get my hands on this book- I have been an Alice fan since elementary school... I think this is book #26 or something in the series, which chronicles Alice's journey through puberty and now preparing for college.

The Alice Series is one of the most banned series of all time (check out the ALA website for more info on banned books). It is number 2 on the 2000-2009 list (after Harry Potter) and number 14 on the 1990-1999 list for being sexually explicit and unsuited to age group. HOWEVER, I think it perfectly correlates with what children are thinking about and curious about at each age. For example, I would not give a 10 year old the high school books, but I would give a 10 year old the books from when Alice is 10. When I have daughters, I will make sure that these books are on their shelves!

Alice is unique in that she is smart but not bookish, occasionally very impulsive while also developing a strong sense of responsibility, and above all, she thinks and feels very deeply about things. When this book opens, Alice is in the second semester of her senior year. During this book she decides where to go to college, attends the prom, and prepares for graduation. Alice branches out with a new project, Lester (her older brother) gets a crazy roommate, Jill's mysterious "plan" to snag Justin is played out, and the girls apply to work on a cruise ship for the summer! I expect that this book will be less controversial than others because the mild sexual content/discussion is "more appropriate" for a high school senior.

Personally, I really enjoyed this book, but if you have never read an Alice book before, don't start with this one! Start with the first book (Starting with Alice) and work your way on up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanna M VINE VOICE on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While Alice has long awaited her senior year, she's also sad thinking about high school ending. She's certainly had her share of problems over the four years, but she's also worked hard to get good grades, participating in the school newspaper and keeping up with her longtime circle of close friends. Now, it seems like everything familiar is about to end, yet Alice doesn't know much about what will replace it. Which of the colleges to which she's applied will accept her? Where will her friends end up? Will they still be as close as they are now? How will it feel, leaving home and her dad, stepmother and older brother?

Yet as usual, the spirited Alice throws 100% of herself into whatever she's doing -- and there's certainly lots going on! For one thing, Alice - usually content to hover behind the scenes - decides that it's high time to step into the limelight. More than anything, Alice wants something from senior year to remember in the years to come, and despite her terror of actually doing it, she's set her mind and there's no going back! The only question is, will Alice succeed?

Through all the fun final moments with her best friends Liz, Pam and Gwen, Alice can't help feeling a twinge of sadness that Patrick isn't there to share it. Her brilliant and incredibly driven long-time boyfriend chose to finish high school in three years instead of the usual four, so he's already off taking courses at the University of Chicago, half a country away from Alice back in Maryland.

While some side plots of this volume take up a bit too much space -- chiefly, a major development between another long-time teenage couple, who are friends of Alice and her gang, but definitely not close enough to devote so many pages to their issues here -- Alice fans are overall bound to enjoy Alice's final months of high school about as much as she herself does.
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