Lynne Reid Banks, Author HarperCollins $14.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-380-97865-6
Returning to her more serious side, Banks (One More River; The Indian in the Cupboard) serves up an unconventional, bittersweet slice of life, lightened with casual humor. Readers get both an outside and inside view of nine-year-old Alice through the British girl's two journals. One, her school notebook, is meant to be read by her English teacher; it contains Alice's composition assignments, acc0mpanied by the teacher's comments. The other is Alice's private notebook, in which she composes her ""ortobiography."" Alice explains that she came ""by accident"" to her single mother, who has only recently finished putting herself through law school, and how she has never even met her father. She also tries to figure out the terrible rift between Mum and Gene, Alice's paternal grandmother, a wealthy actress who loves Alice ""to distraxion"" but can no longer see her. The plotting is fresh and convincing as Banks endorses neither Mum's nor Gene's side but simply advocates for Alice's feelings. Readers will need to read closely, as Alice's examination of her past is not altogether sequential; fortunately, they will want to attend to every word. Alice emerges as an irresistible heroine, imaginative in her storytelling and painfully honest in her reportage. An intimate, gratifying read. Ages 8-12. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000
Release date: 06/01/2000
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-380-81560-9
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-81955-8
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-24595-1
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