Alice in April (英語) ペーパーバック – 2002/9/1
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Alice in Charge
It all starts when Aunt Sally reminds Alice that now that she's about to turn thirteen, she's the Woman of the House. Alice has always assumed that her father and her older brother, Lester, were there to take care of her. How can she possibly take care of them?
Alice's attempts to take charge of her household lead to one problem after another, culminating in a disastrous surprise birthday party for her father. And things aren't much better at school, where the seventh-grade boys are evaluating the girls in a way that has Alice and her friends pretty nervous. Alice doesn't think life can get any more complicated -- until a totally unexpected event shows her how wrong she is.
April is the cruelest month," said the poet, and Alice McKinley would agree. April is a hard month. Not that she doesn't have some fun. It does begin with a wonderful April Fool's Day joke on her brother, Lester. But it also begins with Aunt Sally reminding her that she will soon be thirteen (as if anyone could forget something so important) and then she will be Woman of the House, since her mother is long dead. It is an awesome responsibility. All her life she had assumed that her father and Lester were there to take care of her; now she is going to have to take care of them. Taking care of Lester, alone, could be a full-time job, she thinks. Being Woman of the House has all sorts of drawbacks. For example: It never occurred to her that when she suggested her father and Lester ought to have physical checkups, her father would insist that she have one too. How could you let a doctor see you naked?
Of course, Alice is still in school. And there she faces another crisis. She might be Woman of the House at home, but in school she needs a different kind of name, one given by a table full of boys in the cafeteria Depending on their figures, girls are being given state names -- some states have mountains and others do not. Will flat, flat Delaware or Louisiana be her fate? Alice lives in fear that it might be, though even worse is the fear that she might not get a name at all.
The month ends with a dinner party for her father's birthday (part of being Woman of the House) that has more downs than ups -- and with a totally unexpected event that makes Alice and everyone she knows grow up a little and wonder a little deeper about life and the future. April is a hard month, but reading about Alice in April is to find that most tragedies (though not all) pass and tears can turn to laughter and delight.
In the latest installment, Alice realizes that soon she will be thirteen, and according to her Aunt Sally this will make her the woman of the house. Alice takes this to heart, and throughout the novel we see her try to take care of her father and brother - and of course herself - in a very adult way. From planning her father's fiftieth birthday party to insisting that the family go in for physicals, Alice takes them all in stride.
With that said, there is a moment of shock in the novel, one that made me gasp out loud, one that I should have seen coming but did not. It is a reminder that life is not fair, that no matter how well things are going in our own lives, we must pay attention to those around us.
I recommend the Alice books to readers 9+. Her character is an empowering one for young girls because she represents what is good in society. Alice always wants to make the right decisions, and she tries her hardest to make sure those around her are cared for.
This insallment of the series is a little less chirpy, like past might have been. Gone are the silly 6th grade "what will I wear?!" chrisis that everyone can probably relate to. Now, it's about becoming woman of the house, and dealing with deeper problems. For example, Alice encounters a loner. She invites her to her dad's party and they start a bond. Well, just a few days later [I haven't read the book in 2+ years so forgive me!], the friend commits suicide, and in comes the feelings of "I could've done this...It's my fault".
A solid book for kids of most ages.