cover image Reluctantly Alice

Reluctantly Alice

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Atheneum Books, $16.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31681-4

Likeable Alice McKinley is back in this honest and funny portrayal of the ups and downs of seventh grade. Having survived her ``summer of the first boyfriend,'' Alice is determined to start off the school year as everyone's friend. But in the first week she discovers seven things that ``stink'' about seventh grade, and it takes her quite some time to come up with seven good things. Just as the beleaguered heroine seems to be coping well with her various crises she has a run-in with Denise ``Mack-Truck'' Whitlaw. Meanwhile her domestic problems--concerning her brother's and father's romances--are escalating. Alice is able to resolve her differences with Denise (in typical Alice fashion), but when she attempts to take on the family dilemmas the results are comic and chaotic. Alice's fans will not be disappointed in her latest misadventures, and the news that Naylor intends to take Alice through to her graduation is certainly welcome. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)