Alice in Rapture, Sort Of

Alice in Rapture, Sort Of

4.8 22
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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According to Pamela’s cousin in New Jersey, the worst thing that can happen to a girl is to start seventh grade without a boyfriend. So Alice is glad that she and Patrick are going together. But Patrick the boyfriend is a lot more complicated than Patrick the friend. What’s an appropriate gift for Alice to give him for his birthday? What should she do if…  See more details below


According to Pamela’s cousin in New Jersey, the worst thing that can happen to a girl is to start seventh grade without a boyfriend. So Alice is glad that she and Patrick are going together. But Patrick the boyfriend is a lot more complicated than Patrick the friend. What’s an appropriate gift for Alice to give him for his birthday? What should she do if he wants to kiss her and she hasn’t just brushed her teeth?

Alice really likes Patrick, but sometimes it seems as though life would be a lot simpler if they were still just friends.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Returning to the setting of The Agony of Alice , Naylor gives readers a wry and poignant depiction of what Alice's father calls ``The Summer of the First Boyfriend.'' Having lost her mother early in life, Alice must rely on her friends Pamela and Elizabeth, and her Aunt Sally for advice on the rules of dating. But Pamela and Elizabeth are as confused as Alice, and her aunt is just plain behind the times. Alice and boyfriend Patrick endearingly muddle their way through the summer, which includes their first kiss and first argument, a weekend at the beach and a very special dinner at the club. And Alice begins to form her own, maturing opinions; her decision about her relationship with Patrick seems both natural and true. At the end of the summer Alice has become a very special person, and readers will have followed her escapades with eagerness and empathy. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- Alice, from The Agony of Alice (Atheneum, 1985), gives a repeat performance that is every bit an equal to her first. Alice is in love, and her romance with Peter provides some awkward yet funny moments as she tries to sort out the ins and outs of dating and first boyfriends. For Alice, the course of true love does not run smoothly, for she is experiencing all of the anxieties of pre-adolescence. All the while, she longs for a mother to answer her questions about kissing and the unwritten rules about dating because her understanding, loving father simply can't help with some of the things that a girl needs to know. In the satisfying conclusion, Alice realizes that she had enjoyed Peter more when there was less pressure on the relationship, and the two become once again ``just friends.'' Naylor's dialogue crackles with reality and humor, and the situations in which Alice finds herself are appropriate to the age, yet truly original. A book that is wise, perceptive, and hilarious.-- Trev Jones, ``School Library Journal''
Children's Literature - Haley Maness
Having her first boyfriend is a big step for Alice, and the summer before 7th grade she is ready to take that step. But once she starts dating Patrick she realizes that she may not be ready after all. Alice doesn't know how to behave around her new boyfriend, how to kiss, or what to get him for his birthday. An adolescent Alice faces relatable worries about her hair, her smell, and how to avoid embarrassing herself around Patrick, especially with her limited experience around boys. Because Alice's mother died when she was young, she has no supportive mother figure to look up to and ask for advice. She begins to look for advice in her father and older brother's love lives, and finds that they are struggling to find comfortable love as well. Alice's spunky personality shines through in this realistic, endearing portrayal of middle school romance. This cheerful reprint, part of the popular "Alice" series, is a good read for all. Reviewer: Haley Maness

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Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Alice , #2
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Alice in Rapture, Sort of

By Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Rebound by Sagebrush

Copyright © 1999 Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780833550286

After breakfast, Dad went to work at the Melody Inn. It's one of a chain of music stores, and Dad's the manager of this one. Lester waited his 40 minutes, then went downstairs to work out. When he finally showered and left the house for his summer job selling Maytag washing machines, I curled up on the sofa and thought about summer.

"Are you sure you trust Patrick and me in the house together?" I'd asked Dad only the day before.

"Shouldn't I?" Dad had said.

Parents love to do that -- to answer a question with a question.

"I don't know," I told him.

"Well, if you feel uncomfortable, Al, you can always tell Patrick that I want the two of you out

on the porch," he said.

I didn't know about that, either. If I told Patrick that Dad didn't want us alone in the house, it would sound as though he suspected Patrick of all sorts of things Patrick had never even thought of yet.

I guess it was the Summer of the First Boyfriend, not just for me but for Pamela Jones, too. She's the one with the blond hair so long that she sits on it, and she was going with Mark Stedmeister. You should have seen the way they kissed over by the grade school where we all hung around after dinner. She's not supposed to kiss until she's sixteen, though. Pamela's mom said if she ever caughther kissing, she'd cut off her hair. I asked Dad what hair had to do with kissing, and he said he hadn't the slightest idea.

Elizabeth, who lives across the street from me -- beautiful Elizabeth with the thick, dark eyelashes -- didn't have a boyfriend yet, but she liked some guy from St. Joseph's. So we were all sort of on the roller coaster together, Pamela and Elizabeth and I.

The phone rang and my heart bounced -- the way you feel going down in an elevator. I knew it was Patrick. It had to be Patrick. He never calls in the afternoon because he's usually mowing lawns. In the morning, though, he's home waiting for the grass to dry.

The phone rang a second time.

Elizabeth says never answer the phone after the first ring because you'll sound too eager, and Pamela says if you wait for more than three rings, the boy will think you don't care. Pamela says that two-and-a-half rings are just about right.

I grabbed it after the second ring. It was Patrick.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Nothing much," I said. "What are you doing?"

"Talking to you," said Patrick. He always thinks of things like that to say.

I absolutely could not think of a single word to say next. The seconds ticked on. It was my turn! I had to think of something.

"Golda died," I blurted out finally.

"Who's Golda?"

"One of my guppies. The biggest one. I think she was pregnant again. I guess maybe I overfed her."

"Did you know that guppies give birth to live young?" Patrick asked me. "About fifty at a time?"

Patrick knows everything. He's lived in Spain and Germany and he can count to a hundred in Japanese and his family eats squid.

"Yes," I said. "I knew that." I'd been raising them, after all. I think he was a little surprised.

"Do you want me to come over?" Patrick asked.

"Do you want to?" I said.

"If you want me to," he answered.

"I guess we'd better sit out here," I said when I answered, and walked on over to the swing.

"How come?" asked Patrick.

"'Cause Dad and Lester aren't home," I told him.

"Oh," said Patrick.

We sat side by side there on the porch, pushing against the floor with our feet, listening to the creak of the chains on the hooks above. After a while Patrick reached over and put his hand over mine on the swing between us.

I was thinking about French kissing, which is kissing with your mouths open. Pamela had never done it but she read about it in a magazine. I was wondering how many times you had to brush your teeth first before you French-kiss. You probably had to start planning it early in the morning and be careful what you ate all day so your mouth wouldn't taste like onions or anything. I'll bet if Pamela's mother ever caught her French kissing, she'd cut off her head.

"What are you thinking?" Patrick asked finally.

I felt I was on the roller coaster again, starting up the long hill to the top.

"What are you thinking?" I asked him.

"About that book of your brother's we were looking at last time," he said.

My shoulders slumped with relief. "I'll get it," I said, and jumped up.

It was called Celebrity Yearbook, with high school photos of famous people. You had to guess who they were, and the answers were in the back of the book.

"You mean that's Johnny Carson?" Patrick would say, and I'd laugh. Then we'd come to another picture and try to guess.

"Woody Allen!" we'd say, and laugh again.

Inside, on my way to the bookcase, I passed the porch window and saw Patrick take a breath mint out of his pocket and pop it in his mouth.

I stopped dead still on the rug. He was going to kiss me! The minute I went out there with that book, Patrick would kiss me. I ran upstairs and brushed my teeth all over again. I gargled with Scope. Then I got Celebrity Yearbook and went back out to the swing, my heart pounding like a tom-tom.

I sat down by Patrick and opened the book on my lap. The roller coaster started to climb. Patrick put one arm around my shoulder and leaned over as if he was looking at the pictures. I could smell the spearmint on his breath. One minute I was looking at a picture of Bill Cosby when he was eighteen and the next minute I was looking at Patrick's nose.

The kiss. The second kiss of the summer. Patrick's lips were cool and he pressed them a little

harder against mine than he had the first time. He kept them there a little longer, too. I wondered if he was counting.

Then he sort of squeezed my shoulder with his and, the kiss was over, the roller coaster was gliding to a stop, and I figured that now we could relax and enjoy the book. There are just certain things you're supposed to do when you're going with someone, and I figured that Patrick kissed me first thing so we wouldn't have to worry about it all morning. I wondered how long you had to go with somebody before you stopped worrying. Before you stopped running inside to brush your teeth. Maybe by the time you were eighteen. The next time Lester brought Crystal Harkins over, I'd ask her.


Excerpted from Alice in Rapture, Sort of by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Copyright © 1999 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

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

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Alice in Rapture, Sort of 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It¿s the summer between grade school and junior high. All of Alice¿s friends keep telling her everything you have to do to be a successful seventh grader. One is to have a skirt, but Alice knows that her parents won¿t let her get one, she doesn¿t want any skirts anyway, so that doesn¿t really matter. They also told her that she would need a boyfriend, so Alice is glad that she has Patrick as a friend, it also kind of makes her happy that her other friends like Elizabeth and Pamela already have boyfriends. So now Alice thinks that this will be the best summer ever, because she hopefully gets a boyfriend and she'll have a successful year!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was okay...I was hoping for something better though. Alice is still as loveable and funny as ever, but this summer she has a boyfriend! It's quite an important time for Alice as she reaches her adolescence and wants answers to questions like, 'When is it the right time to say, 'I want you, I need you!' to someone?'. She even takes on the job of babysitting and in the end makes a very responsible decision, which I thought was really nice. If you haven't read the first Alice book, I suggest you take a look at that. I thought that was better. But all in all, this novel is a good read and I'd recommend it. =)
pagese More than 1 year ago
I picked this book for my 2009 banned or challenged books challenge. I noticed that the Alice series as a whole is frequently challenged. Since my library did not have the first in the series, I choose the second one. I was completely impressed with this book and intend to read the rest of the series. I wish I had known about these books in my preteen years. I though Alice was a wonderful character. While, the parts of the story were a bit outdated, I thought the dilemma's faced were very real. It was fun and lighthearted at times, but the message portrayed was very thoughtful. I'm hoping these stay in print so that my daughters can read them when they are older.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome I read it 5 times in a row!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far my most favorite book!!! i think Naylor is a genius for knowing how girls really feel about these things, and answer questions about growing up. even though i LOVE the rest of the Alice series this has been my favorite one and i enjoy re-reading it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was Fantastic! Naylor has done it again with this sequel to The agony of alice. Alice is just like me, in some ways. I think it is my favorite book since it reflects some similar things that happed to me. This book has comedy, romance, and definetly her embarassment! Really good, i recommend this book to anyone, but especially to girls with single male parents.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It's cool because it's very modern. It is about a 6th grader who finds herself needing a boyfriend. I also Luv the book because she goes thru everything a regular teenager would go thu only more because she doesn't have a mom. Find out more about Alice by reading this book. I HIGHLY recomend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book because it follows my motto, that you shouldn't change yourself because of a boy. I also liked this book because it talks about the hard ships that girls usually go through before 7th grade. There are six main characters in the book and they are, Alice, Elizabeth, Pamela, Patrick, Tom, and Mark. The book takes place mostly in the summer with th first real boyfriend/girlfriend. They go through embarasing, fun,and memorable moments as they got through the summer before 7th grade. I chose this book because after reading the summery I knew I had to check it out. I really suggest that every child between the ages 11-13 read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome I think they are a cute couple.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love love the alice series! I read almost all of them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was incredibly fun. I recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice In Rapture, Sort Of By Phyllis Naylor. Genre: Realistic Fiction. Reviewed by a 5th grade student. Alice in Rapture, Sort Of is a very good book about a girl named Alice who is 13. She has a brother Lewis, and a dad. Her mom died when Alice was a little girl! She's got two best friends named Elizabeth and Pamela. She has a boyfriend named Patrick. Her older brother is 22 and is still living in the house. Her dad is a manager at a music store. Alice and her friends go to the beach, and she isn't having a good time because her boyfriend isn't there. So her brother brought Patrick. This book is really funny. Elizabeth has no father, so sometimes she goes to Alice's dad and sometimes Alice goes to Elizabeth's mom. Pamela doesn't have a dad either, but she doesn't go to Alice's dad. If you like books about friendship, you'll love this book. Phyllis Naylor has also written Starting With Alice, The Agony of Alice, and Alice in Between. She has written tons of other Alice books. I recommend all of the Alice books! They are great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the book because it was a book you couldn't stop reading. It was awesome because it talked about boy problems if you are interested in them. It shows that you dont need a man to look good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was about a girl who is going threw reguar girl problems. boyfriends, best friends, and no mom.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can relate to everything that happens in Alice's life. This is a hilarious and wonderful book. I would recommend it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, like all the Alice books is fabulous! It is a true to life book about a girl and the summer between 6th and 7th grade. Even if you're 97 years old, you'll still like this book I totally recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the 'Alice' books, this one is defintely the best. It has everything that I could think of to be in a good book. Humor, fun, and semi-sophistacation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice books are so great!! I had no idea that Patrick was such a hotty!! I highly recommend this book to everyone. Everytime I go to the library, I look for Alice book and they're all checked out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book because it was the kind that you could relate to. I laughed, cried, and couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read 3 Alice books.My school only has 4 Alice books
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was about a girl named Alice, and her boyfriend, Patrick, throughout the whole summer. She trys to remember her mother and times with her best friends. I recommend this book for older kids around the age of 12.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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