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Alice in the Know (英語) ハードカバー – 2006/4/25
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Phyllis Reynolds Naylor includes many of her own growing-up experiences in the Alice books. She writes for both children and adults and is the author of more than one hundred and twenty-five books, including the Alice series, which Entertainment Weekly has called "tender" and "wonderful." In 1992 her novel Shiloh won the Newbery Medal. She lives with her husband, Rex, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and is the mother of two sons, both grown and married. Visit Phyllis online at alicemckinley.wordpress.com
However, the last chapter of the novel ("And Life Goes On") was very touching and emotionally empathetic--some of Naylor's best writing. I found myself tearing up.
In short, you can skip this novel, except for, again, the last chapter. Alice does two things in this book. She gets a job different from the one at the Melody Inn, and she goes to the beach. To keep up with the plot, you will need to know about what happens with Lester's most recent girlfriend, and who ends up having a worse summer than Alice. Other than that, you can skip to the much juicier Dangerously Alice, which proves to be a milestone in the series.
The old gang's still meeting at Mark Stedmeister's pool, yet the feeling is different. Everyone's got summer jobs in different places, and new friends are being made. Among the old familiar faces, new activities are being pursued, such as smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Sometimes - like when she's uncomfortable in a car being driven too fast - Alice is put to the test. Will she speak up for what she believes is right, or keep quiet to avoid be thought a baby?
On the homefront, Alice's dad and Sylvia are adjusting to married life, and older brother Lester's dating Tracy, a fantastic girl who happens to be black. Since it's not a problem for the McKinleys, Alice - and Lester - are devastated when it turns out to be an issue for others - including Tracy herself.
In the meantime, Alice fans will be comforted in seeing more of the usual standbys of her stories, including embarrassing moments, memorable Aunt Sally interactions, and good times with longtime friends Elizabeth and Pamela.
"Alice in the Know" is a quick, fun read, guaranteed to please both longtime readers of the series and newbies.
It's the summer before Alice's junior year of high school, and she's decided to enjoy her freedom as much as possible. She begins work at a local department store, and appears in the installment in the Alice series, more self-confident than we've seen her in the past. Alice is forced to deal with more serious issues than she has in the past, too. She comes face to face with shoplifters and a close friend becomes seriously ill.
However, the overall arc of 'In the Know' is unclear. In past books, there have been large events that change the course of Alice's life -- a wedding, a school trip, etc. But 'In the Know' is really more of an account of Alice's summer than anything else.
The book becomes tiresome, when Ms. Naylor obviously goes out of her way to hammer a cautionary note into her latest. The most noticeable instance of this are the frequent reminders that smoking is bad for the health but by the time readers are old enough to read an Alice book, this message has already been hammered into their heads. While Naylor's intentions are admirable in this sense, older readers of the book will feel patronized.
We see more layers to most of the characters in this book, and creating wonderful is one of Naylor's strongest points. We learn more about Alice's mother and there is a truly touching scene between Alice and her father. We learn more about Mr. Jones, Pamela's father. However, Pamela's non-reaction to her father's engagement is surprising and out-of-character. Lester's character develops more in this book as he experiences his first major heartbreak.
While certainly not a bad book, 'Alice in the Know' is not the endearing, amusing book that we've seen in past books. Now, we can only hope that we see more of the great Alice charms in future books and Naylor can regain her remarkable gift of storytelling.
This book was not my favorite in the series, but I am surprised at the horrible reviews it has gotten. By no means is it a 'bad' book. It is simply (in my opinion) not my favorite.
Alice is still the same girl, except maybe a little more mature, and Alice fans will be very much satisfied with this book.
Here is the plot:
Alice is in the middle of the summer before here Junior year of High School, and her life is defenitely taking a different turn. Her dad is encouraging her to take a break from her job at his store, the Melody Inn, and explore different jobs. Her brother's love life just might be getting a lot more serious, and the usual gang of friends that hang out at Mark's pool are changing, some for the better, some for the worse.
Alice is obviously getting more mature, and giving more thought to her future. And, as the more recent Alice books usually do, Topics such as sex come up during the story. I think this is good, because often Teens or tweens are uncomfortable with these subjects, and it is good that books they enjoy reading educate them about these topics in a way that is fun.
Although not the best in the series, this book is still a must read for Alice fans! ENJOY!