Alice Series Book #13 of 25
Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
|Published on May 1, 2001
|Age Group: 10 - 15 years
|AR: 5.1 (7.0 Points, Quiz #49815)
Lexile® measure: 780L
Alice's first year in high school gets off to a difficult start when she and her boyfriend Patrick break up, but with the help of her father, older brother, and best friends, she gains a better sense of her own self-worth.
September has always felt more like New Year's to me than January first. It's such a brand-new start - new classes, new friends, new teachers, new clothes...This September I was entering a school almost twice the size of our old one, and it was scary to think about being one of the youngest kids again instead of a seasoned eighth grader. I hated the thought that I wouldn't be considered sophisticated anymore, and I'd probably feel as awkward as I used to.
There's a new girl in town, and she's making Alice very nervous.
The start of ninth grade - high school! - is every bit as exciting, and challenging, as Alice had hoped, and feared, it would be. She finds her self-confidence rising, and plummeting, depending on each new situation. Classes are definitely more interesting, but algebra is proving to be nearly impossible. Patrick is in the accelerated program so they aren't in the same classes anymore. And while she's thrilled to be chosen to work on the school newspaper, she finds that between an increased homework load and reporting assignments, she can't always join Patrick when he wants to go out. But the new girl in town, Penny, can...and does. Penny is everything Alice isn't - perky, petite, and cute as a button, and she doesn't hide her interest in Patrick. Alice senses her seemingly perfect relationship with Patrick starting to crumble, along with her self-confidence, and suddenly, Alice feels big and awkward and not particularly attractive. Could it be possible that Patrick could like someone else besides her? She can't imagine life without Patrick in it.
But Patrick's behavior isn't the only thing that is baffling Alice. Elizabeth's nearly hysterical reluctance to go to her piano lessons has Alice and Pamela completely bewildered, until Elizabeth breaks down and shares an awful secret she's kept from everybody since she was seven...
And as Alice struggles to keep her jealousy of Penny at bay, she watches her father handle unsettling news regarding his fiance. Alice learns what trust is all about, and how confidence in yourself, and in others, is the most important thing of all.
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