Achingly Aliceby Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Alice must choose between Patrick and Sam in this repackaged installment of a beloved series.How can someone be in love with two people at the same time? It doesn't make sense to Alice—until Sam, her friend from Camera Club, starts to pay attention to her. Sam is quiet, gentle, and a terrific dancer, and Alice likes being with him. But Alice has been/b>… See more details below
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Alice must choose between Patrick and Sam in this repackaged installment of a beloved series.How can someone be in love with two people at the same time? It doesn't make sense to Alice—until Sam, her friend from Camera Club, starts to pay attention to her. Sam is quiet, gentle, and a terrific dancer, and Alice likes being with him. But Alice has been Patrick’s girlfriend for almost two years—so why is she interested in another guy?
As Alice stumbles her way through the minefield of early adolescence, there are plenty of bumps, giggles, and surprises along the way. Every girl should grow up with Alice, and with this irresistible new look, a whole new generation will want to.
Read an Excerpt
from Chapter One
One of my teachers, Mr. Everett, used to tell us, "Be a person who makes things happen; don't just let life happen to you.
I've been thinking about that a lot lately because I'm starting to plan my life-as much as any life can be planned, I guess-and I wrote down my list of priorities. What do I most want to happen first? That's easy: I want my dad to marry Miss Summers-the gorgeous teacher with the blue eyes and light brown hair.
They've been seeing each other for a whole year now, ever since seventh grade when I invited her to go to the Messiah Sing-Along with us. When Dad found out I'd invited my English teacher, he thought she'd be a little old woman he'd have to help down the steps, and was delighted to find that she's intelligent, warm, talented, gracious, beautiful, and, in short, a real sweetheart. She'd make a wonderful wife for Dad and a mom for me, with only one little hitch: Someone else is in love with her, too: Jim Sorringer, our vice-principal.
I'm pretty sure she loves my dad; I've seen the way they look at each other, and they enjoy the same things. It was when Mr. Sorringer took a leave of absence to get his Ph.D. in California that Sylvia Summers and Dad first met, and now that Sorringer's back in the picture, Miss summers is torn between the two great loves of her life. That's the way I see it, anyway.
The other priorities on my list are:
2. Decide on a career I'd really love, which I think is going to be psychiatry, but I'm not sure.
3. Get to know some other guys, even though I really, really like Patrick Long.
4. Do something about my body-hair, skin, waist, legs-everything.
5. Be a better sister toLester and a better friend to Elizabeth and Pamela.
Those are my short-term goals. Marriage and kids and a house and stuff aren't even in the picture yet, but I decided these are the things I should think about first. And since numbers two through five would be a whole lot easier it I had a mother to help me make decisions, I've committed myself to putting all my energy into getting Dad and Miss Summers married.
I used to think I couldn't stand it if they didn't. The thought of having to go through high school, to dances, through breakups and disappointments, getting married, even, without a morn's advice, somebody to talk to late at night about woman stuff, was just too awful. Now, though,
I realize that even a mom can't solve everything, but I still want Miss Summers to marry my dad, for his sake. Worse than not having a mother myself is seeing my dad unhappy My own mom died when I was in kindergarten. Lester remembers her better than I do because he's seven years older than I am. I keep getting memories of her mixed up with memories of Aunt Sally, who took care of us for a while after Mom died.
I'd already asked Miss Summers if she wanted to go to the Messiah Sing-Along with us again this year, and she'd said yes, if she was invited. So I made it official, and Dad was really pleased. Better yet, I found out that Miss Summers invited him, in turn, to the school band concert, the middle of December. But most wonderful of all, Dad announced at dinner one night that Miss Summers was spending Christmas with us.
I gave a yelp of delight and dropped my fork, splattering spaghetti sauce on the front of my sweatshirt.
"Here?" I gasped.
"We could just take her caroling through the neighborhood, if you'd prefer," said Lester.
But I was still staring at Dad. "Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both?"
"I think so," said Dad, smiling
I leaned across the table and looked hJim right in the eye. "Where is she going to sleep?" I asked eagerly.
"Al!" said Dad. (My full name is Alice Kathleen McKinley, but Dad and Lester call me "Al.")
"She can always sleep with me!" I begged, pleased that I had a new double bed. What I wanted to know, of course, was whether she would be sleeping with Dad.
" Sylvia only lives in Kensington," he said. "That's about a twenty-minute drive from Silver Spring, as if you didn't know" And then he changed the subject.
I couldn't wait to tell Elizabeth and Pamela at the bus stop the next morning.
"Where is she going to sleep?" they both asked together. I'm not the only one interested in details.
"I don't know yet," I told them. "I'll keep you posted."
For Elizabeth, of course, everyone else's life seems more interesting than her own right now because, after being the only child in her family for thirteen years, her mom's had another baby and, according to Elizabeth, conversations at her house revolve around formula and diaper rash. And Pamela's parents have separated, so she'd rather talk about anything than that.
"Well, I don't think she should sleep over at your house," said Elizabeth. "It just wouldn't look right."
"You're the only one who would be looking, Elizabeth, because you're right across the street," I told her.
Copyright © 1998 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
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