From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8. Alice is, as always, likable, humorous, and true to life. Now 13 and in the eighth grade, she worries that she is too ordinary. Alice admits she has done embarrassing things, but never anything outrageous, and she decides to do something about it. She dresses up as a showgirl for Halloween, with unhappy results. She starts wearing makeup and goes to school with her hair spiked up and green, even though her father forbade it. Her brother's former girlfriend, Crystal, has asked Alice to be a bridesmaid, and this brings an array of new questions for Alice such as, what kind of bra do you wear with a backless bridesmaid dress? Does Crystal still think about Lester? What if you find out on your wedding night that you don't like sex? When she goes to the lingerie shower for Crystal, she realizes she knows nothing about sex and relationships. Her curiosity and concerns about growing up continue to be what make her so realistic. Even if Alice doesn't realize it, she is maturing. For instance, she knows how to be a good friend to Pamela, whose parents are getting divorced, and she knows what to do when her father falls off of a ladder. Naylor naturally and seamlessly introduces pertinent story lines and characters from the previous books. Another charmer in the long list of stories about this engaging character.?Elisabeth Palmer Abarbanel, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6^-8. The ninth affectionate comedy about Alice continues to serve as a kind of road map for a girl coming of age today, not in any direct self-help way but as a candid view of how hard it is to follow the unwritten rules. Alice is 13 now, in eighth grade, and much of her confusion is about sex and gender roles. The last thing Alice wants to look like is a virginal "cupcake," but she is pretty shocked by the women's talk at a "lingerie" bridal shower. It is easy for her to be outrageous by going to school with her hair in green spikes, but what does she do when a boy grabs her in the dark during a Halloween game and French-kisses her? Was she "violated, the next thing to being raped," as her friend Elizabeth insists? Is it Alice's own fault for dressing as a sexy showgirl? What if the kisser turns out to be Alice's boyfriend? As always, her dad and her older brother are warm and funny, even if they can't always give her the answers. And as usual, there is an underlying seriousness to the humorous play. In the end, Alice is both innocent and tough, very much a bridesmaid in a conventional wedding, very firm when she pushes herself away from the drunken fumbling of the groom's handsome brother. Hazel Rochman