When Audrey Met Alice

Common Sense Media says

First Daughter is akin to Alice Roosevelt in fun tale.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers will learn something about life in the present-day White House (including the presence of a chocolate shop!) and what it was like during Alice Roosevelt's time. Also, on the author's website, they'll find amazing curriculum materials to help them understand the book more deeply, including an annotated version of Alice's diary. 

Positive messages

Along with Audrey, readers will learn valuable lessons about being brave, apologizing when you're wrong, and speaking your mind.

Positive role models

Audrey has a number of positive role models in the book, including a chef who tells her that "focusing on helping others almost always makes you feel better about your problems." Her mother, who's the President of the United States, apologizes to her for how she's made Audrey feel and eventually gives her more freedom.

Sex

Audrey and her crush Quint exchange some kisses, and she thinks her security team is "just going to have to get used to a little PDA on their watch." Audrey's a vocal supporter of gay people's right to marry.

Language

A few uses of "crap" and one "shizz."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alice Roosevelt smokes cigarettes and cigars -- and sneaks alcohol into "boring dinner parties at teetotaling houses" (though she never admits to drinking it). Audrey finds Alice's old cigarettes and considers smoking one of them but decides "being tobacco-free was important to me."

Parents Need to Know

When Audrey Met Alice tells the tale of two first daughters, living in the White House more than 100 years apart. Audrey is the daughter of a fictitious present-day president; Alice is Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Teddy. Readers will learn something about life in today's White House and what it was like during Alice's time. Both girls get in trouble for their antics as they rebel against their restricted lives: Alice Roosevelt smokes cigarettes and cigars and sneaks alcohol into parties; Audrey kisses the guy she has a crush on and says her Secret Service detail will just have to get used to the PDA. Besides her parents (her mom's the POTUS), Audrey encounters several positive role models in the book, one of whom tells her that "focusing on helping others almost always makes you feel better about your problems." Over the course of the story she learns about being brave, apologizing when she's wrong, and how to speak her mind. A few uses of "crap" and one "shizz."

What's the story?

Audrey's mother is the U.S. president, but, although the teen enjoys some White House perks (such as an in-house chocolate shop and advance screenings of movies), she misses her friends and the freedoms of her previous life. Even her parents aren't around very much anymore. When she discovers Alice Roosevelt's diary, she finds a surprising ally in Teddy Roosevelt's wild daughter, who tried to live life on her own terms and enjoyed shocking people. But Audrey's own antics make her parents angry, especially when she ends up in the newspaper. Even worse, her crush, Quint, stops speaking to her. How can she -- and Alice -- learn to speak their minds and be their own people, without making everyone so upset?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE is well constructed, and readers will have an easy time moving between the two heroines' adventures 100 years apart. Historical-fiction fans will love the details about Alice Roosevelt's life described in her diary entries (her coming-out party, her diplomatic endeavors, and her never-ending antics). They'll also like getting an inside peek at today's White House.

Some readers may find Audrey a bit spoiled and dramatic. Alice, likewise, loves to act up by, for example, bringing her snake to parties in a purse. Even so, their similar problems of living a public life are easy to understand, and they ultimately both become more mature first daughters. Parents may want to encourage their kids to check out the author's website for additional materials, including an annotated version of Alice's fictional diary to see what was real and what wasn't.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about life at the White House. What are some of the perks you would enjoy -- and what would be hard about living there?

  • When Audrey Met Alice is part historical fiction. What's fun about stories of people in other eras? Which others have your read or seen portrayed in movies? 

  • Audrey's political platform is about supporting gay people's right to get married. If you could create your own platform, which issue would you focus on?

Book details

Author:Rebecca Behrens
Genre:Historical Fiction
Topics:History
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication date:February 4, 2014
Number of pages:304
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12
Available on:Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook

This review of When Audrey Met Alice was written by

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  • 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, okay 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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