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Outrageously Alice

Outrageously Alice

3.7 15
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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Now that she is setting into eighth grade, the class she used to envy, Alice discovers it isn't as exciting as she thought. She's tired of being the same old Alice, and longs to be a bit outrageous.

Instead, she finds herself in situations that are more embarrassing then they are thrilling. She likes dressing up as a showgirl for Halloween, but hasn't counted


Now that she is setting into eighth grade, the class she used to envy, Alice discovers it isn't as exciting as she thought. She's tired of being the same old Alice, and longs to be a bit outrageous.

Instead, she finds herself in situations that are more embarrassing then they are thrilling. She likes dressing up as a showgirl for Halloween, but hasn't counted on what happens in the broom closet at school. And she's delighted to be a bridesmaid, but feels awkward at the bridal shower. Even Patrick begins to seem childish to her.

Elizabeth and Pamela, however, her two best friends, feel that life is changing too much for them. Elizabeth finds that a new a boy at school is attracted to her, while Pamela faces a serious problem at home. Lester, too, Alice's brother, can't quite believe he's losing his old girlfriend, Crystal. When Alice dials Miss Summers, however, the woman her father loves, there is always the hope that this time she will get the mother she has always wanted.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
In this latest of Naylor's "Alice" series, thirteen-year-old Alice is tired of being the same old Alice. So to make her life more exciting, she experiments with makeup and clothing much to the dismay of her father. Adolescence is not easy for her. Asked to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of her brother's former girlfriend, the wedding activities, including the bridal shower, shock her as does what happens to her in the broom closet at school. Young and old readers alike will delight in Alice's many adventures in this quick, laugh-filled novel.
VOYA - Barbara Jo McKee
Alice is back and is in as much turmoil as ever! As an eighth grader, she feels the world is spinning around her while she has concluded she has "no body, no personality, and no hobbies." She is to be a bridesmaid for her brother's ex-girlfriend Crystal and feels strange about that. When invited to Crystal's lingerie bridal shower, she is shocked by a "Test Your Sensuality" quiz and goes home to query her father and brother, who are at a loss for words. On the home front, she wishes her English teacher would marry her dad so she could have a mother, and she agonizes over her friend Pamela losing her mom to a divorce. When her boyfriend Patrick French-kisses her in a closet during a Halloween party, she is upset and perplexed. Alice is growing up and cannot understand some of the adult conversations and actions that are going on around her. She is a character we have grown to love, and we look forward with trepidation to her high school years. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P J (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
The ALAN Review - Wendy Bell
When I first opened my reviewer's copy of this novel, I groaned. A first-time reader of an Alice book, I was sure it would contain some of the features of the YA genre at its worst: trite plot, one dimensional characters, inane dialogue. Was I ever totally wrong and wonderfully surprised! I thoroughly enjoyed Alice's attempts to be different as much as I sympathized with her father's single parent difficulties in raising a daughter. Thanks to Naylor's sense of humor and obvious affection for her characters, both boys and girls will recognize themselves in this wise, funny, realistic, and easy to read novel. Even though I don't fit into the ages 9-13 suggested readership, I want to read more. Needless to say, confirmed Alice fans will welcome the latest addition to this popular series.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Alice is, as always, likable, humorous, and true to life. Now 13 and in the eighth grade, she worries that she is too ordinary. Alice admits she has done embarrassing things, but never anything outrageous, and she decides to do something about it. She dresses up as a showgirl for Halloween, with unhappy results. She starts wearing makeup and goes to school with her hair spiked up and green, even though her father forbade it. Her brother's former girlfriend, Crystal, has asked Alice to be a bridesmaid, and this brings an array of new questions for Alice such as, what kind of bra do you wear with a backless bridesmaid dress? Does Crystal still think about Lester? What if you find out on your wedding night that you don't like sex? When she goes to the lingerie shower for Crystal, she realizes she knows nothing about sex and relationships. Her curiosity and concerns about growing up continue to be what make her so realistic. Even if Alice doesn't realize it, she is maturing. For instance, she knows how to be a good friend to Pamela, whose parents are getting divorced, and she knows what to do when her father falls off of a ladder. Naylor naturally and seamlessly introduces pertinent story lines and characters from the previous books. Another charmer in the long list of stories about this engaging character.Elisabeth Palmer Abarbanel, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
At 13, Alice thinks her life deserves a prize for "most boring"; she can't see anything special or interesting about herself. She's mortified by her ignorance when she takes a sensuality quiz at a bridal shower, certain that if her mother were alive, she'd be more on top of the things an eighth grade girl should know—instead, she's still just muddling through with her father and her brother, Lester. Alice decides to change her image, donning green eyeshadow (a lot of it) and one day even spiking her hair with green mousse. Her self-improvement campaign includes trying some new activities, and she develops a real interest in photography. For readers, it's what Alice does when she's not trying to be outrageous that counts: She helps her friend Pamela with family problems, keeps a cool head when her father falls off a ladder, roots for him in his quest to win Miss Summer's hand, and knows how and where to draw the line when an older boy makes unwelcome advances.

Naylor (Alice in Lace, 1996, etc.) makes sure Alice is herself, the same girl readers have loved in eight previous books. As usual, her story is told with grace and economy, liberally laced with humor, and brimming with serious feelings as well.

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Alice Series , #9
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.40(d)
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 9

On Saturday, Crystal Harkins came over to take me to her aunt's for my fitting. I'd told Marilyn at the Melody Inn that morning that I was going to be in Crystal's wedding, and she'd said, "Have fun!" I never saw a woman so happy about another woman's wedding plans. As soon as Crystal was out of the picture, Marilyn would have Lester all to herself.

It felt really strange to be in this grown-up world of weddings and fittings and measurements and stuff.

"Ready?" she asked, when I answered the door. "You're going to love your dress, Alice. It looks great! Danny was asking about you."

"Who's Danny?" I wanted to know, climbing in the car beside her.

"The guy you'll be paired with in the procession. Peter's brother."

"What's he like?"

"Well, next to Peter, of course, he's probably the handsomest guy in the world. Just kidding. But he's a real hunk."

I gave a nervous giggle. Whenever I'm nervous, I giggle. I imagined walking down the aisle on my own wedding day, giggling. It would be just like me.

"Are you nervous?" I asked her. "About the wedding and everything?"

She laughed.

"I'm nervous about the wedding, all right, but what's 'everything'?"

"Oh, you know. What comes after."

"The wedding night? Sex?" She laughed again. "No. Not really. "

I was quiet and stared out my side window.

"Anything on your mind, Alice?" Crystal asked, and I remembered that this was the woman who had rescued me once when I had a permanent I couldn't stand, who showed me what to do with my hair. If I was ever to ask someone about sex, why not Crystal?

I took a deep breath. "What if after your wedding night, you . . ." I shrugged. "Well, what if you don't like it?"



"Why wouldn't you like it? It's a natural function."

"So is throwing up," I said.

"Listen, you like to eat, don't you? You like to sleep? To stretch? To sneeze?"

"But I don't like to eat everything."

"Well, you don't have to do everything, either. You can tell your husband what you like and what you don't, and then you can try something else. What you've got to remember, Alice, is that sex isn't like what you see in the movies."

"What movies?" I asked curiously.

"Well, almost any movie. There are lots of ways to make love. Not everybody uses the missionary position, you know."

I was about to ask how religion got into it when Crystal gasped, "Oops! We just went through a red light, Alice. See, you've even got me flustered!"

Ten minutes later I was standing on a low stool in a gorgeous jade green gown while a woman holding pins in her mouth moved around me on her knees, hemming up my dress. She took tucks here and there, at my waist, at the bosom, until I looked as though I had been poured into that dress.

"Now!" Crystal's aunt said, rocking back on her heels. "Just don't gain any weight until the wedding's over, okay?" Then she turned to Crystal. "She almost looks like a Barbie doll, doesn't she?"

"That anorexic thing?" said Crystal. "No way. Alice, don't you ever get as bony and malnourished as that nitwit."

As she drove me home again, I said, "Crystal, could I ask you something?"

"About wedding nights?" She grinned.

"No. I just wondered if you ever . . . well, think about my brother anymore. Do you ever miss him?"

"I don't miss his going for weeks at a time without calling. I don't miss calling him only to find out he's with Marilyn. I don't miss being in his arms and thinking he really loves me, and then discovering he says the same things to Marilyn Rawley. No, I don't miss that at all."

"But don't you miss some of the good things?"

Crystal suddenly grew quiet. "Yes. Some of the good things I miss very much. But I love Peter now, and I simply don't allow myself to think of Lester," she said.

That worried me some. I would have felt better if she'd said she'd never loved anyone as madly as her husband-to-be.

I guess I was thinking about it at dinner that night, because I realized I'd tried to wind up a forkful of spaghetti five times, and finally Dad said, "Something on your mind, Al?"

I didn't want to tell Lester what Crystal had said in the car for fear it would really mix things up, so I tried to remember what else we had talked about. Wedding nights . . . throwing up . . .

"I thought missionaries were preachers," I said finally.

"Huh?" said Lester.

"This is a topic of conversation, Lester," I said primly. "I just want to know what they do."

"They don't usually preach as much as they go to foreign countries and teach people how to do things a little better," said Dad.

"Sort of like sex therapists?" I asked.

"What?" said Lester.

"They show people the right positions and everything?"

Dad and Lester stared at me.

"Are we talking religion here, or are we talking sex?" asked Dad.

"Crystal said that there are lots of ways to make love," I said knowingly.

Lester dropped his fork. "When did you see Crystal?"

"We went for my fitting today, and we were discussing sexual intercourse, for your information."

Lester coughed.

"And she said that not everybody chooses the missionary position. So I was just wondering about missionaries."

Dad laughed. "Oh, honey, Marie would have enjoyed you so much at this age. It's too bad you only have Les and me to help you muddle through."

I still didn't understand. "So what's the missionary position, anyway?

"Well, it's been said that when missionaries went to foreign countries in the past to convert the natives, they talked them into wearing clothes and giving up what they felt were unusual sexual practices. They taught them that the only acceptable way to have intercourse was with the woman on the bottom and the man on top. So ever since then, that's been referred to as 'the missionary position.' Got it?"

"What are the others?"

Lester looked at Dad. "Will she never quit?"

"I want to know!" I insisted. "How will I ever learn if I don't ask?"

"Okay," said Lester. "Woman on roof, man on ladder; woman in boat, man on water skis; man on table, woman on chandelier . . ."

"Cut it out, Les," said Dad. "Al, whatever position a man and woman find themselves in, they can usually figure out a way to make love, and whatever is comfortable and gives them pleasure is the right way. Okay?"

"Just for the record," Lester said, "what did Crystal say was her favorite way of making love?"

"Lester!" I said. "I'm surprised at you. I'm her bridesmaid, after all. You don't think I'd give away Crystal's secrets, do you?"

And I grandly got to my feet, went upstairs, and called Elizabeth.

"Elizabeth, you know that missionary fund you collect for?"

"Yes?" she said.

"Do you know what missionaries do?"

"What do you mean?"

"They teach natives how to have sex."


I love to tell Elizabeth things about the church that she doesn't even know herself. "I just found out. They go to primitive cultures and show them the right position."

Elizabeth gasped. "How do you know?" "Dad just told me." "Alice, I've been collecting for the missionary fund for two years!

"Well, think of all the good your dimes are doing," I said.

I was so thrilled with my new discovery that I had to tell Pamela, too. "Have you ever heard of the missionary position?" I asked. And then I forgot all about it, because I could tell that Pamela was crying.

"What's wrong?"

"I miss Mom and I don't want to leave Dad," she said, weeping. "Oh Alice, I've never been so sad in my whole life."

Copyright© 1997 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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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Outrageously Alice 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Alice series was pretty darn good at first, but then, it stopped being good when I read this book. They had a chapter just ALL about sex! It was really unnesessary and inappropriate. The plotline was HORRIBLE!!!! I don't recommend this book to ANYONE! Unless you like inapproiate content and like that sorta stuff. And no, if you think I'm an adult I'm not...I'm a teen stating this. Don't waste your time and money on this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As Alice died her hair with the special green moose they had picked up at the corner store, she wondered will this make my life more exciting. As she walked down the stairs with her green spiked hair, she saw her dad¿s facial expressions. Her father told Alice she was not allowed to wear that to school, and then he left for work. What is Alice going to do? In book Outrageously Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Alice is looking for a way to be outrageous and have an exciting life. Alice is the main role and throughout the book we are learning about her life and how it feels to be in 8th grade. We also meet her best friends Pamela and Elizabeth who are also going through a lot of changes in their lives. In the book we also meet her father and her brother les, she doesn¿t have a mother because she died when Alice was very little. In the book there is one more character that is very important Alice¿s boy friend Patrick. She has also gone through a lot with her friends and wanting to be original and daring such as dying her hair green for a day. In this book Alice and her friends also want to be new and have different personalities, more exciting ones. They all wanted to have something exciting happen in their lives, and it did in Alice¿s. On Halloween she was working at a haunted house at her school, and then she got pulled into the closet and got French kissed. She didn¿t know who it was because it was dark and she couldn¿t see his face. It was very misturious. In the book the main setting is in her neighborhood. She lives on the same street as her best friends, and they are frequently together. A lot of the book also is held at school, and at home. In the end of the book it wraps up all of the questions that you have and it helps understand other parts of the book. It is an amazing book! I read the book Outrageously Alice in study halls and before bed. I try to read at least 30 minutes everyday. The book has made a great impression as being fun and exciting. I love the author¿s writing style it is fun because she makes it like you are right there watching the whole book. I have read other Alice books and I enjoy the series a lot. I love the book Outrageously Alice and enjoy reading it. I have read other books by her that aren¿t the Alice books but they are the same upbeat style. She always describes things in such detail like when she described the kiss in the closet Alice got. She described how Alice was so confused and how she used all of her strength to fight him of, and how she was so scared. In all of the books she always includes times, places, and events in explicitly. She also says what the characters are thinking which helps you understand the book more, and it also makes it interesting. Like when she writes how Alice feels about not being outrageous helps me understand how Alice was feeling. My final thought on the book is that many of the experiences that Alice went through, Phyllis also went through because she described the feeling of her so well and how it happened. I don¿t think that she gave enough information at the end, but I think she did this so that you will read the next book in the series to get a question answered. This book is amazing! I think that Alice misses her mom a lot. Any girl without a mom is going to be very sad, so I think she will talk about her mother with her father to find out more. In the book there is a girl named Pamela Jones she is one of Alice¿s best friends. She reminds me of Lindsey one of my best friends Pamela is tall, pretty, and skinny. She is one of the most popular girls at school, and everyone likes her. She is identical to Lindsey because Lindsey holds all of those qualities too. I would recommend this book to anyone who is above 11. This book is very mature and people younger than 11 should not read it. Although boys might like this book I would recommend it most to girls. It is from a girl¿s point of view so I think girls like it better. If you want a good book, thi
Guest More than 1 year ago
While the story line was ok, I was apalled by the references to sex in it. Not only that, but questions from a 'test your sensuality' quiz AND many refernces to sexual positions! Definently NOT a book that I will ever recommened to anyone! Especially children!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice is an average girl - she could even be you. Yet she is sick of this averageness. Pamela is an outlandish, pixie-cut blonde who guys go wild over. Elizabeth is a stunning, prudish beauty who seems to fear sex. Alice is just Alice, boring and average, or so she thinks. Not pretty, not ugly. Not skinny, not fat. Just Alice, sister of Lester. Things go a little crazy and Alice brings the craziness into the picture sometimes - like dying her hair green. Like dressing in a hooker-esque costume for a school Halloween function. Being in that costume and Frenched by an unknown guy is a hilarious situation and she soon finds out that, no, it isn't some secret admirer - just her boyfriend Patrick who she was unable to see clearly in the dark. Read on to see what other mischief Alice gets into - and gets herself into.
Guest More than 1 year ago
frist of all alice books are page turners once you start you can't stop it's so funny and trueful ... anyway this is one of my favorite alice books because the nature of it is just awsome i love her books i just wish it was based on a true story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outrageously Alice is a good book for teenagers to read. It has drama, excitement, and humor. This is a great book to read.
lucky725 More than 1 year ago
thanks for all the reviews you all wrote it really helped me decide if i should read it or not!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever straight up your hair and even dyed it in green? Or was french-kissed with a unknown guy? If you didn't, congratulations, just see how many interesting thing Alice had did to rid off her thirteen years of boring life. you won't feel sorry about that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is special, exciting and funny book. Tihs book's main character, Alice, 8th grader, she always fo strange and outrageously. Her life is incrediable!! And there were many events to find herself. (She wants to know more about herself.)Sometimes she think about herself so seriously. Teenager life is so hard course to be an adult. If teenagers read this book, they can feel happy to find that book, and if teenager's parents read this book, they will understand there children's mind. When you are so boring, just read this book. I am sure that time really goes fast.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Alice novel is great for middle school aged children going through all the things Alice is. Naylor's characters are always so lifelike and easy to compare to real life! I would give this novel 10 stars if it was possible!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was halarious. I couldn't put it down. I read it in one day! The title of the book sure explains Alice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is brilliant. Its probably one of the funniest books in its series. It brings real life situations into a great well written book. I am very glad that Neylor will continue this series until Alice is 18.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It talks about growing up for girls my age. It is also very funny
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this Alice book because it talked about the changes in life.. and all the stupid things that some people do to stop them. I recommend it.