Alice In-Between
  • Alice In-Between
  • Alice In-Between

Alice In-Between

4.8 12
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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Thirteen! It's finally happening. Alice McKinley is an actual, official teenager. But the problem is, she still sort of feels like a kid. Wasn't being a teenager supposed to feel different? Turning thirteen happens overnight, but the teenager stuff takes time—and a little more patience than Alice has at the moment!

Still, being thirteen does have

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Thirteen! It's finally happening. Alice McKinley is an actual, official teenager. But the problem is, she still sort of feels like a kid. Wasn't being a teenager supposed to feel different? Turning thirteen happens overnight, but the teenager stuff takes time—and a little more patience than Alice has at the moment!

Still, being thirteen does have its advantages, she decides. Alice is allowed to do more exciting things, like take a trip to Chicago with her two best friends. And when she takes a good look at all the relationship problems her older brother has, she realizes that in-between can sometimes be the perfect place.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews Naylor's books about Alice get better and better.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review Energetic dialogue and sprightly episodes keep the series fresh.

School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-The perennial heroine of five Naylor novels is back in a droll tale of early adolescent pluck, curiosity, and angst. Motherless since early childhood, Alice finds turning 13 a time of awkward transition from girlhood to womanhood, a topic she never hesitates to discuss frankly with her father and older brother, Lester. The highlight of her summer is a visit with best friends Pamela and Elizabeth to her Aunt Sally's home in Chicago. The girls travel without a chaperone, enjoying the sophistication of an overnight train trip in a sleeper car. Pamela is comely and deceptively mature-looking, and when she attracts the persistent attention of an older man, Elizabeth and Alice boldly and humorously stage her rescue. A sober touch is provided when Mrs. Plotkin, Alice's beloved sixth grade teacher and surrogate mother, has a heart attack and is hospitalized. By summer's end, Alice is beginning to feel more in control of her fledgling maturation as she renews her special friendship with old flame Patrick. This is bound to reassure the many adolescent fans who can identify with the ``in-between blues.''-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Children's Literature - Haley Maness
Alice is very excited about turning thirteen. But, when the day arrives, she realizes she doesn't feel any older. Alice is "in between" childhood and adulthood. Readers will empathize with Alice as she decides she doesn't fit in, and tries her hardest to blend and be inconspicuous in seventh grade. A recurring idea throughout the series that is prominent in this volume is physically growing up. Alice decides it is time for her to wear a bra. Veteran readers of the series have been through a lot of changes alongside Alice, and many have reached this stage in their lives with her as a role model. Losing her mother when she was young provides her with no strong female role model, and she is embarrassed to ask her father and brother to help her. But, she still needs to help her family with their love lives, especially now that she is growing more experienced. Alice also begins to learn more about her mother through a box of her mother's old things. Family values become increasingly important to Alice as the story progresses, and readers will want to emulate the tight knit dependency of Alice's family, even with the absence of her mother. This reprint of the popular "Alice" series will bring joy to many young readers. Reviewer: Haley Maness

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Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Alice Series, #6
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

I did something at school on Monday that I'd been thinking about since fifth grade but never thought I'd have nerve enough to do. I guess I was still thinking about Porgy and Bess and how beautiful it was when that woman sang "Summertime." And when Bess sang to Porgy, and Porgy to Bess, and all the street vendors were singing together. I wished I knew how it felt to be up on a stage singing like that -- even in the back row of a chorus, where, when you opened your mouth and made a sound, people didn't turn to stare at you.

It was right after lunch when Pamela and Elizabeth and I were leaving the cafeteria to sit outside on the steps. We passed the chorus room, and I noticed the teacher standing by his desk, sorting through some sheet music.

"I'll meet you outside," I said to Elizabeth and Pamela, and ducked through the door.

I walked over to where he was working. I didn't even know his name. Maybe 13 makes you bolder or something.

"Hello?" he said, smiling a little, and kept sorting. "I'm not in chorus, but I've got a question," I began.

"Shoot." He was looking at me now.

"People say that when my mother was alive, she used to sing a lot. My dad plays the flute and piano, and my brother plays the guitar. They both sing too. I can't carry a tune, and don't understand it. I just wondered if it's genetic or something."

"Well, now," he said, and continued smiling, "it's probably a question no one has an answer for, but are you quite sure you can't carry a tune?"

"Trust me," I said, and explained how all through grade school, when the other kids sang for the PTA, I was given the triangle to ping at the end of each stanza. And when I sang "Happy Birthday" at parties, itbrought down the house.

The teacher listened. "Well, some people believe in the Suzuki method, which goes on the theory that everyone can learn to carry a tune if they're exposed to music at an early age."

"I probably listened to it before I was born," I told him. "But I can't even tell you if notes go up or down."

He studied me a moment. "There are no guarantees, but if you really want to make the effort, I'd be willing to work with you each day for fifteen minutes and see what we could do. The real question, though, is how unhappy you are with yourself just as you are now. Would this make a big or a little difference in your life? Or no difference at all?"

I thought about that. Would I rather have fifteen minutes a day to sit out on the steps with Pamela and Elizabeth after lunch and talk to the guys, or did I want to embarrass myself by trying to make my voice match the notes on a piano? And if I finally did get to the place where I could carry a tune, would I break into song when I saw my boyfriends coming toward me on the sidewalk?

"I guess maybe I'm pretty happy the way I am," I said finally.

He grinned. "Okay. If it ever bothers you enough that you feel genuinely unhappy about it, come back and we'll see what we can do. If it's only a mild annoyance, you probably wouldn't want to spend the time and effort."

I went outside smiling. I think it was the first time in my life that a teacher told me I could survive without knowing his subject. That I could live a long, healthy life and still not know diddly about what he was teaching. Maybe when you were thirteen, people treated you more grown-up. Maybe I was on my way to womanhood, and people could see it already in my face.

I told Dad that night what the teacher had said. "I hate to admit it," he told me, "but he's right. There was a time I fantasized that my children would be musicians when they were grown. Career musicians, I mean. And now I realize that if you were anyone other than who you are, you wouldn't be the Lester and Alice I love, and I wouldn't trade you for the world."

And that was the second time in a week I'd felt really, truly, totally, absolutely loved.

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Meet the Author

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written more than 135 books, including the Newbery Award–winning Shiloh and the Alice series. She lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. To hear from Phyllis and find out more about Alice, visit

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Alice In-Between 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I give five stars to the book Alice In-Between by P. R. Naylor. This is the seventh book in the series Alice. The series is told by her point of view. Alice lives with her father and brother-- her mother passed away when she was very young. Without a mother for guidance, Alice must resort to the advice of her teenage friends and crazy aunt to survive the challenges of puberty. Through the books, Alice must overcome secret fears, miserable break-ups, the peer pressure of friends, all the embarrassing moments, and the inevitable pain of growing up. Naylor does an incredible job of portraying the feelings of a maturing 21st century girl. This book, and all the others in this series, is well-written and I recommend it for anyone. As a girl who seeks advice for real-life situations, I also recommend Shiloh 'P. R. Naylor', The Outsiders 'S. E. Hinton', and Forged by Fire 'S. Draper'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awsome I loved the way alice trys to act all grown up.I like the way she thinks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the most romantic book ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg!!!!! I so can relate on how in between 10 to 13 year olds feel about everything!!!!! I love this book soooooo much and recommend it to anyone who feels in between!
Alexus-Starr More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was very funny, i read this at the school library and is going BUY the book to read! I thought it was funny when alice decides she wants to be mature as soon as she turns 13. As I said, all of the alice books are faboulus, I hope to own them all!! Learn about yourself w/ the alice books!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
How awesome is this book? AWESOME! If I had to choose between 500$ and the Alice book series, I would definitly pick Alice!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one of my favorite books. I started reading Alice books since fourth grade. Now im in fith. they are adictive!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good. I loved the chareters, and it is so funny. I'd recomend this book, and all other Alice books to anyone, just as long as I think they can handle the matureity in it. I strongly sugest the 12+ or what ever the age says.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very good and relates to teenage girls very well. Alice faces many challenges. This is the first book I have read in by Phyllis Naylor. Alice doesn¿t have a mother so she lives with her dad and brother. Her two best friends Pamela and Elizabeth tell her everything she needs to know about being a girl. Alice and her friends take a trip to Chicago and on the train they pass some difficulties on the way. Pamela cuts her hair and now she thinks she is like ten times older. The girls have a fight but nothing can break this trio up. If I were to rate this book on a scale from one to five I would give it a four. There are a lot of things that I felt towards this book and one of them were it was well written. This book will make you laugh a lot because these three girls think that being a teenager is the best thing in the world and little do they know that worst is to come throughout there teenage life. When I turned thirteen I acted the same way and thought that I was so cool and my friends and me used to think we could do whatever we wanted but we learned later on in life that we acted foolish. I would recommend this book to every teenage girl out there and hope that I will read more Alice books in my reading future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this Alice book had a pretty good story line but some parts where hard to believe.. like people thinking the girls where alot older than they were. Anyways, I'm not supposed to reveal any more. You will just have to read it for yourself!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that all the ALice books are great! They are great for ALL girls,my age & older! (I am 11) I think they deal with things girls face in growing up,everyday!