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Alice the Brave

Alice the Brave

4.8 10
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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It's August, and the whole gang is having a terrific time, hanging out at Mark Stedmeister's swimming pool — except Alice, who has a secret even from her best friends Pamela and Elizabeth. Alice is deathly afraid of deep water, and just as afraid of what will happen if her secret gets out.




It's August, and the whole gang is having a terrific time, hanging out at Mark Stedmeister's swimming pool — except Alice, who has a secret even from her best friends Pamela and Elizabeth. Alice is deathly afraid of deep water, and just as afraid of what will happen if her secret gets out.

When disaster strikes, it's even worse than Alice imagined. How can she face her friends? And how can she face her boyfriend, Patrick, who's coming home from summer vacation and looking forward to joining the eighth grade swim team with Alice?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Alice's friends are savoring their last month of vacation before entering eighth grade, spending every afternoon at Mark Stedmeister's pool-all except Alice, who is embarrassed to admit that she's terrified of deep water. Her father continues the romantic relationship he began in Reluctantly Alice (Atheneum, 1991) with her English teacher, Miss Summers. Alice wishes he would propose and supply her with a mother, but interferes and manipulates less than in previous titles about this engaging character; in fact, her longing for a mother is more understated as she begins to show her maturity and look to herself for answers. Her friend Elizabeth emerges from a phase of believing the human body and all its functions to be repulsive, and reads aloud explicit passages from the unexpurgated version of The Arabian Nights. Consumed by guilt about sneaking the book from her parents' bedroom, she seeks help from her priest. Meanwhile, Pamela is fascinated with passion and romance. Alice's problem is resolved when her older brother insists on teaching her how to swim, and she finishes the summer in triumph. The ends are tied up neatly, as usual, with much droll humor, poignant insight, and graceful narrative along the way. Naylor's understanding of adolescents is apparent, as each new situation totally absorbs the girls' attention and energy. The personal growth of the three adolescents keeps this seventh title in the series interesting as well as entertaining.-Joyce Adams Burner, formerly at Spring Hill Middle School, KS
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Alice is an average thirteen year old who, like most girls her age, is overly concerned about boys, friendships, and personal hygiene. She is also extremely curious about sex and the topic is mentioned frequently throughout the book. This is secondary, though, to Alice's main problem which is her secret fear of deep water. This is a major problem because Alice's best friends plan on spending much of their summer vacation at Mark Stedmeister's family pool. Alice's fear turns into terror as Mark and his friends routinely pick a girl to throw into the pool. Should Alice avoid the pool and her friends all summer? Or should she attend the pool parties but try to hide her fear of the deep water? Will she spend the rest of her life afraid of pools and beaches? How can she solve this difficult problem? In this well-written and realistic story Alice learns that having to make a major decision can sometimes be just as scary as the problem itself. Naylor is the award winning author of the "Shiloh" books. She currently has over fifty books published, including over twenty in this "Alice" series. Reviewer: Denise Daley

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Alice Series , #7
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.98(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

When we were having dinner that night, I got an idea. I was thinking about the girl who brought a note to school last year because she had a heart condition and could't take gym. What if I carried a card with me at all times, signed by Dad, saying that I'm allergic to chlorine and can't ever get water up my nose?

"How do you know when you're allergic to something?" I asked.

"You break out in hives, your eyes roll back, and your body goes into spasms," said Lester.

Dad gave him a took. "You usually break out in a rash, Al. Why? What do you think you're allergic to?"


"How so?"

"Oh, I sort of itch after I've been in Mark's swimming

pool," I said.

"Sounds more like a sun sensitivity to me," said Dad. "Maybe we ought to have the doctor look you over."

"Not!" I said. "Why can't you just give me a note saying I can't get water up my nose?"

"Why should I give you a note?" said Dad. "If you don't want water up your nose, don't put it there."

"Al, if you were allergic to chlorine, you'd start itching every time you took a drink of water," said Lester.

They had me there.

Monday I stayed home from the pool, but the day wasn't a total loss because that night Dad took me to Sears after we ate, and I picked out a bedroom set. My first thought was that since I was probably soon to be an ex-member of the Pool Group, plus I probably wouldn't have another friend for the rest of my natural life, all I needed was a hammock suspended from the ceiling and wicker baskets for clothes. I could fill the rest of the space with plants, so that when I went to my room it would be like going on safari. No one would be able to find me, and I'd never have to clean anything— just water it.

Dad suggested I choose a double bed, so if we ever had a houseful of company there would be more sleeping space. I got a double bed with a long low dresser and chest of drawers, and drapes and a bedspread with a jungle motif-lions and leopards mingled with exotic plants. And because I'd chosen one of the least expensive sets, Dad said I really could have a large rubber plant in one corner. He even bought me a pillow shaped like a koala for the bed. The stuff was delivered two days later, and when everything was set up, it looked like the kind of exotic bedroom where Scheherazade would have entertained her sultan.

I had to invite Elizabeth and Pamela for a sleep-over, of course, and they loved the room. They said I had good taste, but you know what's weird? When you're worried about the one big thing that's wrong with you, nothing else seems to matter. I wasn't Alice of the Good Taste or Alice with a Good Sense of Rhythm, but Alice the Girl Who Can't Go in Water Over Her Head. Only nobody knew it, which made it even worse.

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 AliceMcKinley.com.

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Alice the Brave 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love all the Alice series! It's so realistic. I could understand what Alice is going through! Any 11-14 year olds would love this book as much as I did!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, it's about a 12 year old who's terrified of going into water over her head, among other things. It's a funny and really good book and I would really recommend it.
Vanes More than 1 year ago
I read the book Alice the Brave and i like for a lot of reasons. I think that is one of the best books that i read in my life. Also, Alice and i have a lot in common. The book too is about love and friends and she does not want to tell them that she is afraid of deep water. Her friends want that Alice in eigth grade go with them to compete in swimming, but she is afraid of deep water. I will recommend this book to the persons that are afraid of deep water. Also, to the persons that does not know how to say to their friends that they don't know how to swing and there boyfriend or girlfriend. I like this book a lot because the girl is afraid of deep water like me. Also because Alice was in summer vacation of seven grade like me. I want to read all the books about Alice, like The Agony of Alice, Alice in April, All but Alice and other books about her. I want to read them because i found Alice the Brave interesting, so i think the other books are going to be interesting too. Also i want to read other books of the same author to see if they are interesting like Alice the Brave.
konacat More than 1 year ago
The "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is the ideal young adult series. It involves friendship, family, school, and even romance. The books follow Alice through her teen years- from sixth grade to senior year- and include the embarassments all of us have faced at one time or another. Phyllis uses great writing, humor, and some drama in all of these books. She truly knows how to think like a teenager. Long live Phyllis Reynolds Naylor!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of the alice books bring you in the book and i LOVE this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book exspresses a true teenage girl. The thoughts that go through her head are those of any other 12 years old girl.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was really good. The book contains realistic characters with realistic problems. All in all, I thought the book was great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was very entertaining:) it was soo funny and i've read it more then 4 times along with all the other alice books!:)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book because it talked about fears and how to face them. I could really relate because I'm not a very good swimmer. I recommend this book.. it is really funny/cool.