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Starting with Alice Paperback – September 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 12 years
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: Alice
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum; 1st edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068984395X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689843952
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,683,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alice fans (and their younger friends) are in for a treat as Phyllis Reynolds Naylor turns back the clock on the popular series hero: Starting with Alice documents the ups and downs of Alice's third-grade year. Two additional prequels are planned, to bring the younger Alice up to the point where the original series opener, Alice in Agony, begins. Ages 7-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-In this first of a trilogy of prequels, the author of the "Alice" books takes readers back to the protagonist's arrival in Takoma Park, MD. Alice gets off to a rough start at her new school, where she meets three girls who snub her and soon become her enemies. She also gets in trouble for lying to her classmates about how her uncle died, and for disobeying a crossing guard. Gradually, though, she finds reasons to like her new environment, including friends Rosalind and Sara and her father's gift of a kitten, and she discovers that it is easier to be a friend than an enemy, even when the enemies are the Terrible Triplets. At eight years of age, Alice is as thoughtful and engaging as her older self. Naylor captures the problems of starting over while coping with the everyday woes of teasing and managing friendships. The otherwise light tone of the book changes suddenly in the middle when Uncle Charlie dies of a heart attack just after Alice and her family return home from his wedding. While this sudden plot twist is a little jarring, Alice's feelings are presented in a believable, sensitive manner. Elementary-school girls will enjoy this introduction, while older fans may be curious enough about the spunky heroine to read about her earlier exploits.
Ashley Larsen, Woodside Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Starting With Alice was one of the best books I've ever read.
Brittany
I am looking forward to reading the Alice series books to my two dear granddaughters who are 7 and 9 year old sisters.
Amazon Customer
I have read a few of the other Alice books and they are great, but this is geared for a younger audience.
Hana J Stonecipher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on August 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Alice books began years ago, with a new book appearing every few years, like the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. The Alice books are sweet without being sappy, real without being overdramatic. Alice is a quirky strawberry blond girl who is trying to figure out who she is and how this crazy thing called life works. However, Alice's original stories were for slightly older girls than the Judy Moody set, as they began when Alice was in junior high and continued into high school.
Luckily for younger readers, Naylor has decided to write three prequels featuring Alice in grade school. Starting With Alice features the protagonist at age 8, tackling a new town and the third grade with enthusiasm. Along the way, she makes some new friends, gets a cat, attends a wedding, attends a funeral, confronts bullies and continues to learn about the world around her.
I read this book cover to cover, with giggles and sighs in all the appropriate places. It was a delight to see Alice that young. I strongly recommend this and all of the Alice books to girls who like realistic books with a little bit of funny thrown in.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Starting With Alice was one of the best books I've ever read. I liked the way I felt like I was Alice doing the things she did and feeling the way she felt.
Starting With Alice is a book about an eight-year old girl named Alice McKinley. Alice's mother died when Alice was in kindergarten. Her ears pierced and to have long hair are things Alice realy wants, but most of all she wants a mother.
In third grade Alice moves to Maryland, and can't make any frinds excapt Donald Sheavers a boy who lives next door. Once Alice makes a friend they have to worry about these three girls Alice nicknamed "The Terrible Triplets." Alice also does't want Donalds mother as her mom, who seems to have an eye on Alice's dad.
I think that the middle of the book felt long and it dragged, because the same kinds of things kept happening. This made it kind of predictable.
One of the messages it taght me was not to judge people by the way they look.
I hope this books intrests you now. If it doesn't there are other books in the Alice series that are really good too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn on June 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a good introduction if you've never read an Alice book, and a cute look at Alice before we knew her if you're already a fan. The Alice prequels have an innocent charm similar to that of Beverly Cleary's "Ramona Quimby" books. In this novel, Alice has just moved to Maryland and is starting the third grade. The book begins with Alice listing her likes and dislikes, and we can see the start of the Alice we know and love in this little girl. The book covers a year of her life, showing her early embarrassments and triumphs, some of which are mentioned later on in other books, some brand new. Remember the poem for the milkman ..?.. This is a cute novel that I would recommend to any young girl, whether she's heard of Alice or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've always been interested in reading the "Alice" series, but I just never got around to it. But when I saw this book, that is before the first book but made after the first book, I decided to give it a chance. IT WAS TERRIFIC! I don't know how it affects later books, but it was great. Alice is 8 and in 3rd grade. Her mother died long ago and she lives with her father and older brother. They have just moved to Takoma Park, Maryland. Alice is having trouble making friends. But she soon sees that there are some great parts about her new life. This book was fantastic and I would recommend it and the rest of the series for people who like to read series. Even if you don't like to read series, if you read this book, you will want to keep reading and will soon see that "Starting With Alice" and the rest of the series is terrific.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brittany on May 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Starting With Alice was one of the best books I've ever read. I liked the way I felt like I was Alice doing the things she did and feeling the way she felt.
Starting With Alice is a book about an eight-year old girl named Alice McKinley. Alice's mother died when Alice was in kindergarten. Her ears pierced and to have long hair are things Alice realy wants, but most of all she wants a mother.
In third grade Alice moves to Maryland, and can't make any frinds excapt Donald Sheavers a boy who lives next door. Once Alice makes a friend they have to worry about these three girls Alice nicknamed "The Terrible Triplets." Alice also does't want Donalds mother as her mom, who seems to have an eye on Alice's dad.
I think that the middle of the book felt long and it dragged, because the same kinds of things kept happening. This made it kind of predictable.
One of the messages it taght me was not to judge people by the way they look.
I hope this books intrests you now. If it doesn't there are other books in the Alice series that are really good too.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hana J Stonecipher on March 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I loved this book from the first page, when Alice makes out her list of loves "Felt tipped pens, sixty four colors" and hates "Anything with gravy". From that first page, Naylor creates in Alice the little girl that I remember being, the difficulties of moving from the territory of childhood to pre-adolescence, wanting to be accepted but not wanting to change in order to do so.
This is the first of three prequels to Naylor's Alice series that is incredibly popular with YA girls, yet it works well as a stand alone. I have read a few of the other Alice books and they are great, but this is geared for a younger audience. I believe any young girl could empathize with Alice's trials & tribulations, being called into the principal's office for disregarding the cross-walk guard because she has it "in" for you, as well as rejoice with her triumphs, inviting your peer tormentors to a party and having them show up with gifts!
I think this is an excellent book for kids and their parents, who often forget just how difficult it is to be a kid!
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