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Starting with Alice Hardcover – September 1, 2002
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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.
Top customer reviews
I have been deeply moved by each of the 4 "Alice" books I've read so far. I have found myself tearing up and just plain crying as I read these stories and, when I read the story called "A String of Chances", I was in tears almost non-stop as I read the last four chapters. I ordered this book online so I can have it for the girls to read a few years from now when they are a bit older and can more readily relate to the main, older character. We'll start with the Alice series and characters that are more nearly the same ages as my granddaughters.
Although I have read a number of outstanding books for children - and for adults - over the years and I have occasionally found myself moved to tears as I've read parts of some of them, I don't think I have ever been as moved by a story and the characters in a story as I have upon reading these six books by Ms. Naylor.
I look forward to reading more of Ms. Naylor's stories and sharing them with my loving and loved granddaughters.
retired teacher, and
If only starting over was easy for Alice, who gets off to a rough start. It seems like everybody at school already has a best friend (or two, in some cases!) and poor Alice is just stuck hanging out with the weird boy who lives next door. Even worse: she seems to have made quite a few enemies on her quest to find friendship—an older crossing guard and a pack of attached-at-the-hip girls known as the Terrible Triplets have it in for her, and she even gets herself landed in the principal’s office for telling a big fib to her classmates.
Without a mother to help guide her, how can Alice ever expect to navigate her way through this new school? The answer, of course, is with pluck and determination that middle and older readers will relate to and cheer for.
This review originally appeared on abookandahug.com