From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-- In the winter of seventh grade, lovable, motherless Alice McKinley believes that life's problems require the guidance of a wise and kind female. Lacking that, she decides that all females represent a universal sisterhood, and, lemminglike, joins in the popular activities of her peer group. In addition to writing fan letters to stars and buying earrings weekly, Alice tries to feel sisterly solidarity with the women pursuing her older brother, and wishes her father would marry the attractive teacher he has been dating. Alice thinks she's outgrown Patrick, but is soon bored with handsome Brian's pranks; when loyal Patrick is slated for victimization, Alice must reevaluate her decisions. In the end, intelligence and loyalty triumph over superficiality. Only an author of Naylor's nimble skill could hold these ingredients together in a readable, laughable, and, yes, sensitive story. Alice is the same delightful character from The Agony of Alice (Atheneum, 1985), although, naturally, more mature. Carefully structured, strongly characterized, this book is sure to be the most popular yet of the series. Naylor's light, but deft touch with important thematic concerns is most appealing.- Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Kirkus Reviews
Naylor is a versatile, prolific author whose achievements have just been crowned with a Newbery; her books about Alice (this is the fourth) are many readers' favorites, with good reason: laugh-aloud funny, they also explore real concerns with unusual frankness and compassion. Here, Alice is still in seventh grade, in the throes of bowing to her peers' decrees; suddenly one of the ``beautiful people'' in her class, she hangs around with old friend Pamela and some boys she has the wit to think of as the ``Three Handsome Stooges.'' Earrings are now a big deal: there's a club, and every weekend is devoted to buying and trading; it takes Alice a while to admit to herself that it's all boring, and that she dislikes excluding old friend Elizabeth, who doesn't want pierced ears. Meanwhile, Dad is dating one of her teachers; brother Lester gets serious about an old flame; and Alice ponders the ``Sisterhood'' of all women and discovers that Patrick is still a good friend, more fun than the Stooges. An appealing character with real integrity and memorable humor. Fans can rejoice: Naylor plans to take Alice ``to her eighteenth year.'' (Fiction. 9-13) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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