Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Alice on Board

Posted by nliakos on February 2, 2014

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Athenium Books for Young Readers, 2002)

As you know if you follow this blog, I’m a big fan of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice series. In the series, Naylor takes Alice McKinley from the sixth grade in The Agony of Alice to adulthood, with three books per year of Alice’s life (plus a few prequels). Alice and her friends Pamela and Liz, and later Gwen, experience pretty much everything life can throw at girls in America. I read most of the books together with my daughter Vicki, and they sparked many a conversation about sensitive topics that would otherwise have been hard for both of us to bring up. In addition, the books are very funny. Vicki and I used to enjoy a lot of laughs at Alice’s various predicaments and embarrassing situations.

Naylor has now written the final book in the series, Now I’ll Tell You Everything, which is said to take Alice from her freshman year at college (at the University of Maryland, where I work!) to her sixties (hard to imagine–I think this would put her fairly far into the future). But before I can read that one, I had to catch up with this one, which describes the summer job Alice, Pam, Liz, and Gwen take on a Chesapeake Bay cruise ship before they disperse to different colleges.

It was an easy read without any wrenching issues to resolve, other than Pamela’s ongoing problems with her mother, and Alice’s long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Patrick (whom she first meets in The Agony of Alice when she inadvertently enters an occupied changing room and sees him in his (blue) underpants, only to discover soon after that they are in the same fifth grade class at her new school). This issue is not resolved, and I am looking forward to the last book to find out if Alice and Patrick finally get married! (If you know, please don’t tell me!)

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