Achingly Alice (#10)

Posted May 2, 2012 by Tara in Review /// 5 Comments

Are we done with these cheesy covers yet? I guess I just don't like middle grades covers.

Achingly Alice
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Purchased from Amazon Marketplace
[#32 in my 75 book challenge]

More Alice? You don’t say!


It’s the winter of eighth grade, and Alice is setting her priorities in life. Number one is getting her dad to marry Sylvia Summers. Miss Summers spends Christmas with the McKinleys (and even sleeps in Alice’s room!), but spends New Year’s with her old flame — Vice Principal Jim Sorringer. Alice learns that meddling in other people’s love lives may not be the best solution. She also accompanies Elizabeth to the doctor for a pelvic exam, continues to navigate her relationship with Patrick, helps Pamela deal with her parents’ separation, enjoys the camera club, goes to a Valentine’s dance, and makes a commercial for her social studies class.

Issues Tackled

Lying, pelvic exams, yeast infections, masturbation, liking two boys at the same time, setting goals, telling the truth, wife swapping, divorce, new baby brother, sexual feelings.


Lester, about Alice: “She just does that, Dad. Comes out with stuff that no civilized person would talk about in public. We’re raising a social ignoramus here.”

“Preadultry? Good grief, Elizabeth, does every sin have a prefix?”

FINAL GRADE:  B  I don’t think I remember reading this book, so it must have been one of the ones I didn’t read back in the day. I knew I’d missed some of them and read them all out of order, so it was good to finally read it. I get kind of annoyed with Alice taking tiny details and running with them, making up wild stories about what’s going on behind the scenes when she really know nothing about what going on. However, I think that’s typical for a thirteen-year-old (still at the age where the world revolves around them). Alice is starting to grow up, and I know she’s grow out of this phase. She’s already becoming more independent and mature.


Tara is a PhD student studying education. Her dissertation will be on digital book communities as public pedagogy (ask her about it!), though she often takes a break from all of that to read books about oppressive governments and sassy teenagers. In a former life, she was a middle school teacher and middle school librarian. In her future life, she's a professor of YA lit. In her free time, she drinks a lot of coffee while planning her next grand adventure (there's always something).

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5 responses to “Achingly Alice (#10)

  1. Dee

    This brings me back to my Alice days… :). I grew up with Alice, I’m going to be so sad when the series ends. But my all time favorite series was The Mediator series by Meg Cabot. So so awesome!

  2. I loved reading the “Alice” books growing up. I related to her because like her, I had a lot of things running through my head due to a crazy imagination. But I never acted on them as much as her!

  3. I am just amazed at how mature Alice is getting at age 13. I think NOT being overly-protected really promotes this personal growth in Alice.

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