Alphas

Common Sense Media says

Refreshing Clique series spinoff features smart girls.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

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

Language

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

Consumerism

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

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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
Number of pages:272
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Read aloud:12
Read alone:12

This review of Alphas 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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written bybookwormwriter July 23, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Dramatic

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 was a horrible book. However, happy reading! :)
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 13 year old Written byBookWorm44 September 12, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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 academy created by a smart, beautiful, acomplished woman. I would recomend this book to any tween or teen girl who loves Lisi Harrison and the Clique books.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Educational value
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old June 9, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

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 and the girls are acting like a girl at that age would, obsession over boys. Overall, it was an interesting book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex

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