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Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Alphas Book Poster Image
Refreshing Clique series spinoff features smart girls.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 31 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The writing exercises described could be great tools for teens' own writing.

Positive Messages

While there is quite a bit of cattiness among the girls, especially given then dog-eat-alpha-dog environment they are in, there is an emphasis on high achievement by girls in all fields -- the arts, leadership, science, and technology, etc.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The person who is supposed to be the role model in the book -- the main adult Shira -- isn't. She's cold, calculating, and off-putting by her focus on success. The girls, in their own way and through their struggles and lessons, become the role models of the book.


Crushes, kiss fantasies, and jokes with the punchline "in bed."


Some mild name calling like "slut," "loser," and "liar."


Pop culture references with no strong endorsements including Slumdog Millionaire, Battlestar Galactica, and a sprinkling of name-brand products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there isn't much to worry about in this novel. There are some generous helpings of ego and obession over boy-kissing, but nothing really objectionable.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written byBookWorm44 September 12, 2010

Perfect for tweens and teens alike :)

I read this book along with the whole Clique series but this has a big diffrence: THE GIRLS ARE SMART!!! They all are competing to win a competition at an acade... Continue reading
Parent of a 11 year old Written byanna6478 May 2, 2010
it's amazing, much better than the clique!~
Kid, 12 years old June 9, 2011

Interesting Book!

This book for girls who want a story about a woman who tries to bring females up in society. It is much more appropriate that Clique. Theres only mild kissing a... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bybookwormwriter July 23, 2011


I really hated this book because it was so dramatic, and I'm more of a tomboy than a girly girl. Maybe a girly girl would like it better, I thought this wa... Continue reading

What's the story?

Uber-famous billionaire Shira Brazille has founded an academy to help 100 girls cultivate their exceptional talents in various fields including dance, theater, science, and medicine. The Alpha Academy on Alpha Island has it all: cutting-edge technology, every comfort, extraordinary instructors, and five cute boys -- the \"off-limits\" sons of Shira Brazille. It's a dream come true, but it's also an intense contest to see which one of the 100 will rise to the top of the class and be crowned the Alpha and awarded the life she's always dreamed. Three girls from the Jackie O house hope to find their way into the spotlight, but each has a long way to go, especially Charlie who had to break up with Shira's son Darwin as the price for admission to the academy.

Is it any good?

Lisi Harrison's ALPHAS will beat many readers' expectations. Most will likely look for a continuance of the Clique series and though there is one character carryover, this novel is fresh, fun, and nowhere near as catty or brand obsessed. Instead, the focus is on the development and learning of 100 exceptionally bright and talented girls.

Harrison does a very good job of getting readers to care about these high-achieving girls (not just the boy-crazy and clothes-obsessed kind) while sucking them into the mystery of Alpha Academy's founder, Shira. She gives a general uneasy feeling about the island and its creator even though everything outwardly is very cool and benevolent. Teens will really like this quick read and look forward to he next in the series.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about success. What defines success and who do you use as a role model of success? Would the media deem this person successful? Why or why not?

  • Where do your talents lie? Are you making the most of your talents? Why or why not? What could you do to further your skills?

  • What does the saying "big fish, little pond" mean? How does it apply to the girls at the Alpha Academy? How does it apply to people you know? What lessons can be learned from this saying?

Book details

  • Author: Lisi Harrison
  • Genre: School
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Poppy
  • Publication date: August 25, 2009
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
  • Number of pages: 272

For kids who love smart girls and mysteries

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