Almost Alice

Common Sense Media says

Next chapter in popular series deals with teen pregnancy.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Families can use this book to open up serious conversation with their kids about sex and teen pregnancy.  See our "Families Can Talk About" section for some ideas. 

Positive messages

Friendship, loyalty, responsibility, and strong parental involvement are all featured here.

Positive role models

Teens will find it easy to relate to Alice who is having trouble figuring out who she is -- or feeling like herself.

Violence

A family's dryer catches fire.

Sex

A girl reveals she is sexually active and pregnant. Another girl wears a low-cut top and push-up bra; her breasts are discussed. A couple of teens make out. Also, Alice is a member of her school's gay-straight alliance and attends meetings where the kids do stuff like discuss the word "queer" and make plans for future events.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The author refers to Starbucks.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this installment of the long-running series includes a plot point about Alice's friend who is both sexually active and pregnant. Her pregnancy is handled with real emotion: disbelief, horror, despair, panic, and realistic adult intervention. Other than that, there are some light making out/kissing scenes. Another girl discovers the wonders of a push-up bra. Also, Alice is a member of her school's gay-straight alliance and attends meetings where the kids do stuff like discuss the word "queer" and make plans for future events.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Alice is having trouble figuring out who she is. Just when she thinks she has a good grasp, something happens that makes her question herself. A friend's pregnancy, a rekindled romance, changing friendships, changes at home -- all of these events keep Alice feeling sort of like herself, but not quite. People tell her to get used to it, but Alice wonders how life became so complicated.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

ALMOST ALICE is a great addition to Phyllis Naylor's Alice series. Picking up in the second semester of 11th grade, Alice wonders who she is outside of being the best of best friends. Naylor captures the confusing time in teens' lives when it feels as if everything around them is changing -- including the way they see themselves. She also adds a healthy amount of humor. When a teen girl's house catches fire, concern quickly turns into hilarious embarrassment as firefighters discover the cause of the fire: her much-loved, secondhand, rubber push-up bra.

 

Naylor also takes a serious turn of events -- an unplanned pregnancy -- with real emotion: disbelief, horror, despair, panic, and realistic adult intervention. With so many books about teen sex and pregnancy these days, it's a welcome dose of realism. The novel moves at a great pace that will keep readers turning pages, but things end far too neatly and in a very after-school-special way.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the pregnant teen in this book. What do you think of the way the author handled this plot point? Did it seem realistic to you? Parents may want to look at our advice for talking to kids about teen pregnancy for some ideas.

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  • Also, parents may want to talk about coming-of-age stories. What marks this book as part of that genre? Young Adult books have changed a lot in recent years -- but their characters still seem to be struggling with questions of their own identity. How would this book have been different if it had been written 20 years ago? How would it have been the same?

Book details

Author:Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Genre:School
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Atheneum
Publication date:June 17, 2008
Number of pages:288
Publisher's recommended age(s):14

This review of Almost Alice was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byRob79 May 23, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Alice Series

Because this series extends over such a long period of the main character's life, parents need to be cautious which book in the series their kids are reading and when. My 10-year-old daughter discovered the "prequel" books (when Alice is in elementary school)and liked them. I thought they were fine, but she quickly read along into the older Alice books and I was shocked to pick one up one day to discover Alice had turned 16 and was considering having sex with her boyfriend! Not a negative about the books themselves, but definitely something to be aware of if your child is preteen.
Kid, 11 years old March 9, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bylaughingbear. July 18, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

:]

I liked it.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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