Alice on Her Way

Alice on Her Way

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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It’s the moment Alice has been looking forward to for years—her sixteenth birthday is coming up, and that means getting her driver’s license, with the freedom that entails. And before that important milestone, there’s another delicious taste of freedom awaiting Alice and her friends—a class trip to New York City, promising some serious partying once chaperones have gone to bed.

But sophomore year and driving lessons are a lot harder than Alice thought they would be, and then there’s the problem with her new boyfriend, who is sometimes too attached to her. The older Alice gets, the more complicated her life seems to become.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439115602
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 05/29/2012
Series: Alice Series , #17
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 585,502
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
File size: 896 KB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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

Read an Excerpt

Alice on Her Way

By Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Copyright © 2005 Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0689870906

Chapter 1: Going Out

My dad's relatives live in Tennessee. Once, on a trip, we stopped in Bristol for lunch. The manager had a clip-on tag with the word Necessary on it. Dad smiled at him and said, "I see you're the indispensable one around here."

The manager smiled back and said, "It's my last name. There are lots of us in Bristol."

Lester, my brother, didn't believe him and checked the phone directory on the way out. "There are twenty-seven listed!" he said. "Imagine going through life as Mr. Necessary."

I guess I was thinking about that last Sunday, a January morning so cold that small puddles of icy water collected on the windowsills. Lester came by for brunch, and Dad placed a big dollop of applesauce on each plate beside the pecan pancakes he makes on weekends. It reminded me of the applesauce they served in that restaurant down in Tennessee.

"Mr. Necessary," I said, grinning at Dad. "What would we do without you to make pancakes for us on Sunday mornings?"

Dad smiled. "I guess you'd make them yourselves--no one's indispensable."

"Not even Sylvia?" I asked. My new stepmom was still asleep upstairs. She likes sleeping in on weekends.

The skin at the corners of Dad's eyes crinkled. "Except Sylvia," he said, and smiled some more.

I decided to go for it. "If anything happened to me, you'd miss me. Admit it."

Les paused, fork in hand. "Sure we would! I'd say, 'Hey, Dad, you remember that strawberry blonde who used to hang around here--old what's-her-name?'"

I kicked at him under the table and reached for the syrup. I'd sure miss Lester, I know that. I even miss that he doesn't live here anymore, even though he's in an apartment only ten minutes away and drops by a few times a week. Lester moved out because he got this great deal on an apartment he's sharing with two other guys. He says he comes by for the pancakes, but I think he misses us. We're the only family he has, after all. I'm his only sibling! Don't tell me I'm not indispensable!

"Lester," I said, "no matter where you are, you're always part of this family."

"Huh?" said Lester.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder," I said. "It just makes us appreciate you more when you come over."

"Glad to hear it," said Lester. "You don't really want that second sausage, do you?" He reached over and forked one of them off my plate.

"Go ahead," I told him. "You can be as cool and blase as you want, but you know how important we are to you."

"Yeah, right!" said Lester.

I got up to read the comics in the living room, and as I left the table he said to Dad, "Now, what did she say her name was again?"

He's impossible! I settled down on the couch with my feet tucked under my robe and thought about the new semester. I was still trying to get used to having my seventh-grade English teacher upstairs in Dad's bed. To Dad and Sylvia's plans to remodel our house. To wearing braces. To not being Patrick's girlfriend anymore. But there were also four big things to look forward to: the Jack of Hearts dance (providing I had a date); a school trip to New York; my sixteenth birthday; and--best of all--my driver's license.

When Lester came through the living room, I said, "You haven't forgotten your promise to teach me to drive, have you?"

"Not when you remind me three or four times a week," he said. "I've got a big paper due the middle of February, though. Wait till the weather's warmer. Then we'll do it."

My brother's in grad school, working on his master's in philosophy. Dad wonders what kind of job he can possibly get with that. Les says he'll sit cross-legged on a mountaintop and people will pay to climb up there and ask him the meaning of life.

"My birthday's in May," I reminded him. "If I'm going to get my license then, I have to take a thirty-hour driver's ed course first. And I don't want to sign up for that until you teach me some of the basics. I don't want to embarrass myself hugely and crash into something."

"Al, if I taught you to drive a Sherman tank and insured you through Lloyd's of London, you'd still probably run into something," Lester said. "Yes, I'll give you some driving lessons, but it won't be in my car."

Would it be in Dad's car then? I wondered. He'd traded in his old Honda for a new one--automatic transmission, the works. Could I see him letting me learn to drive in that?

Didn't anyone understand how important this was to me? Being able to drive, to just get in a car and take off, was a basic human need! I had to drive! I needed to drive! I wanted to transform myself into an exciting new version of me--a woman with car keys in her jeans.

I threw back my head and wailed, "I want to shed this skin and fly, Lester!"

"Well, do it in the bathroom, please," Les said.

Of course, I didn't think about driving all the time. There were other things on my mind: algebra, our school newspaper, stage crew. A lot of the time I thought about Pamela Jones. Worried about her, you could say.

It's funny about Pamela. Back in sixth grade I used to think she was the girl who had it all. Blond hair so long she could sit on it. She could sing. She could dance. I was jealous as anything. But sometime last year she started losing confidence in herself. She dropped out of Drama Club because she didn't think she was good enough to get a part in the musical. I told her if she didn't sign up for Drama Club this semester, I'd write her name on the sign-up sheet myself, and I did.

It's not like I have this great storehouse of self-confidence. I can't even carry a tune. I'm a B student, average height and weight, an okay figure--nothing great. But the only way I'm going to find out what to do with my life is to try different things and see what I do best. What I enjoy the most. So I'm part of the stage crew for high school productions. I'm a roving reporter for our newspaper, The Edge. I work part-time at my dad's music store, and I run a couple of times a week--just put on my sweats and running shoes and use that time to work things out in my head.

Sam Mayer is one of the student photographers for our newspaper. I've known him since we were in Camera Club together back in eighth grade. We were dissecting frogs once in our life science class, and on my birthday he gave me a tiny box with a frog's heart in it and a note that read, I'd give you my own, but I need it.

He's sixteen already so he's got his license, but he doesn't have a car--shares one with his mom.

We ran into each other in the hall as I left American History on Tuesday and headed for algebra. "I liked your article, Alice," he told me. Each person on the newspaper staff had been given the assignment to do an in-depth feature article to use in future issues. I'd titled mine "Who Says?" It was about the sort of mindless things we do--traditions, maybe--whether we want to or not. Who says that the guests have to stand when the bride comes down the aisle, for example? Who says she has to have a diamond engagement ring? Who says we have to eat turkey on Thanksgiving or be with someone special on New Year's Eve? Who says?

"Thanks," I said. "I've had a lot of good feedback on it. The last I heard, you were going to write a story on how it feels to break up."

"Dumb idea," Sam said. "Everybody would know I was talking about Jennifer and me. I've decided to do a three-part photo-essay: Where we go when we're not in school, what we do to earn money, and what we give back to the community."

"Sounds good," I told him.

"I'm working on the first part now--where we go outside of school--and thought I'd head for the mall this weekend, take some pictures, ask a few questions....I could use a helper, though. Wanna come?"

"Sure, why not? When?" I said.


"Can't. I work for Dad on Saturdays."

"Friday night, then?"

"Okay," I said.

"I heard you're going out with Sam Mayer on Friday," Elizabeth said to me in the cafeteria.

I stared. "I'm just helping him with a piece he's doing for The Edge. He only asked me forty minutes ago! How did you know?"

"I heard him telling Patrick."

"Patrick?" I said. "Why?"

"I guess Patrick and some of the guys from band are playing for a faculty dinner Friday night. Patrick asked Sam if the newspaper was going to cover it."


"And Sam said he didn't know, but they'd have to get another photographer because he was going to the mall with you."

Was I glad that Patrick would think I was going out with Sam now? I wondered. Probably.

"Well, Patrick had his chance," said Pamela. "All he thinks about anymore are books."

"Band and books," said Elizabeth.

"Band and books and track," I added.

Elizabeth Price is one of the most beautiful girls in school, but she doesn't know it. She could be chosen Miss America and she still wouldn't believe it. She's got long dark hair and eyelashes to match. Of the four of us--Elizabeth, Pamela, Gwen, and me--she's the only one with a boyfriend, a guy she met at camp last summer who lives in Pennsylvania. Gwen met someone too. For a while she was going out with a guy named Joe, but he goes to another school, and finally that just fizzled.

"We're pathetic," said Pamela, reading my thoughts. She was eating a salad with so much dressing that the green part looked like a garnish. "Not one of us has a date for the Jack of Hearts. We don't even have boyfriends, and Elizabeth's doesn't count because she hardly ever sees Ross."

"We could hang around the Silver Diner and hope somebody picks us up," Gwen joked. She just had her hair done in a circular pattern of cornrows and looked fabulous. She probably would get picked up. "If nobody asks me by the weekend, I'm going to invite a guy from my church."

"I'll probably invite Brian," mused Pamela.

"Brian?" I said, laughing. "Pamela, I can remember when you said you'd never, ever forgive him because he ruined your wedding night."

Gwen turned. "What?"

I saw Elizabeth smiling. She remembered too.

"What did he do?" Gwen prodded.

"Put gum in her hair and we couldn't get it out," Liz explained. "She had hair so long, she could sit on it."

"And she was planning to cover her panting, quivering body with her hair like a cape and come to her husband naked on their wedding night," I finished. "We had to take her to a hair salon and have it all cut off. And that's what you see before you today--a short layered look." I grinned.

Pamela was laughing too. "Okay, okay! So I'm going with Brian. Any port in a storm. So I'm desperate."

"DES-PER-ATE GIRLS!" Gwen and Elizabeth and I chanted together, and we laughed. It had been the title of an article in the newspaper a month before, about the sexual activity of girls between the ages of twelve and sixteen--how we were getting involved in all kinds of sex, some of which our parents had never heard of, the reporter had written.

"Bring on the kangaroos!" I joked.

Everyone had been talking about that story at school. The thing about "in-depth" articles is that we all know somebody who fits the description, but it never seems to be about us.

"I tore it out of the paper before my dad had a chance to see it," said Pamela. "He already expects the worst."

I didn't know whether my dad had read it or not.

"My folks asked me about it," said Elizabeth. "I think they were fascinated by the purity rings."

"Purity rings?" asked Gwen. "I didn't read that part."

"The reporter visited a church where there was a banquet for seventh- and eighth-grade girls and their dads. The fathers all gave their daughters 'purity rings' to wear on the smallest fingers of their left hands as a promise that they were going to stay virgins until they married," Liz explained.

"You're kidding?" said Gwen. "And your dad wanted to give you one?"

"Hardly. He said it would be like leading a bear to honey," said Liz.

"What is it about boys and virgins, anyway?" I asked.

"Everyone wants to be the first," said Gwen. "Everyone's looking for a new experience. Me? I just want to experience New York."

"Me too! I can't wait to get up there, ditch a tour, and do something crazy on our own," said Pamela.

"How easy is that going to be?" I asked.

"I don't know, but we'll find a way. And we're all four sharing a room, remember."

"It'll be fun!" said Gwen. "Lights! Broadway!"

"Prada, Fendi!" said Liz.

"Taxis, carriage rides!" I said.

"And guys!" said Pamela.

Sam said he'd be over at seven on Friday.

"New guy?" Sylvia asked me at dinner when I said I was going out. She was wearing black pants, a coral turtleneck, and big fluffy slippers on her feet. We're always teasing Sylvia about the way her feet get cold.

"Just a school buddy," I said.

"Where does he live?" asked Dad.

Great! I thought. The third degree! "What does it matter where he lives?" I said. "I'm just helping him with an assignment."

"Well, in case you don't come home, I need to know where to call," said Dad.

I sighed. "His last name is Mayer--M-A-Y-E-R. He lives with his mom in a condo on Colesville Road. I don't know his address. I think she works for the Gazette."

"Well, I want you home by eleven," Dad said. "If you see you're not going to make it, call."

"We'll be back waaaaay before then," I told him.

"Take your cell phone," said Dad.

It's amazing the peace of mind that parents get from a cell phone. I love knowing I can call anybody, anywhere, anytime, but for a parent, it's an umbilical cord. Elizabeth's folks feel the same way.

There wasn't any snow, but it was windy and cold--a biting, wet sort of cold that made you suck in your breath when you stepped outside. Sam got brownie points for coming to the door and ringing the bell.

He's shorter and heavier than Patrick--but still an inch or two taller than I am. Dark hair. His face isn't as round as it used to be, and he's a little more muscular. Has a great smile. Nice eyes. I guess you could say he has that "nice guy" look.

"Digital?" Dad asked him, nodding toward Sam's camera after I'd introduced them.

"It's the only kind we can use for the newspaper," Sam said. "Everything goes electronically now."

We said good-bye to Dad and Sylvia, then made a dash for Sam's car. It was a relief to pull the door closed after me.

"You look great," Sam told me.

I was in my jacket and gloves and a long angora scarf that practically reached my ankles. "How can you tell?" I said, my collar turned up. "All you can see are my eyes."

"Well, your eyes look great!" he said.

It was the first time I'd been alone with Sam Mayer. I mean, really alone, where nobody could walk in on us, not that I cared. He had a real mellow CD in the player, and if I wasn't mistaken, I got a whiff, just a whiff, of a Ralph Lauren cologne. I know, because Les used to wear it. Sam put on cologne for me?

I glanced sideways at him. He looked like he always did. Get real, I told myself. This is only an assignment!

"So what do you want me to do? How can I help?" I asked as we turned onto Viers Mill, heading for Wheaton.

"Just keep track of the number of shoots, the names of the people and their answers," Sam said. "There's a notebook and pen in my camera bag."

"That's all?"

"People will be more approachable if I have a partner," he said. "I mean, anybody can walk up to a girl, say he's a reporter, and ask if he can take her picture, right? Having you along sort of makes it legit."

"So I'm basically a prop," I said.

"A prop with personality," said Sam, and the music played on.

When we got to Wheaton Plaza and went up the escalator, the first person we ran into was...Patrick.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Chapter 2: "Getting to Know You..."

My first thought was that Patrick had come to the mall to check on Sam and me. Maybe I'd wanted him to.

My second thought--the right one--was that he was in a hurry. He was carrying a bag from Hecht's.

"Hey!" he said when he saw us.

"Hey!" I said back.

He paused for a minute, taking us both in--Sam's camera, the notepad in my hand. "How's it going?"

"Haven't started yet. Want to be the first?" said Sam.

"Can't. Dad's waiting for me in the parking lot. I had to buy a dress shirt for tonight." He waved the hand with the bag in it and headed for the down escalator. So much for tender concern.

Sam, though, was studying my face. Both of us had exes, and I knew what was going through his head. Then he turned and looked around. "What do you think?" he said. "Those guys over there?"

Three boys, probably juniors, were leaning their arms on the railing overlooking the floor below.

"Why not?" I said, and we walked over.

"Hi," Sam said. "I'm doing a photo piece for our school paper and just wanted to ask you a couple questions."

"Yeah?" said the middle guy, turning his head but otherwise not moving an inch.

"What's the question?" another asked.

"Is this where you hang out most when you're not in school?" I said, reading the first of Sam's questions at the top of the page he'd given me.

"This and the Silver Diner," the third one said.

"Okay. Do you come mostly to shop, to meet someone, or just to chill out?" I continued.

The guys looked at each other and grinned. "Chill out and meet someone," the first guy said. "Hopefully," he added, grinning.

I got their names and Sam took their picture. We thanked them and moved on.

"It's not very profound," said Sam.

"No, but it has possibilities," I told him.

We found two girls next, coming out of The Limited, each carrying a shopping bag. They giggled when they saw us approaching.

"Care if we take your picture and ask a question?" Sam said. "It's for our school newspaper."

"Depends," said one of the girls. "What do you want to know?" More giggles.

I asked the question. They looked at each other. A group answer seemed to be the norm.

"We always come here," the taller girl said. "I'm returning a Christmas present."

"We shop," said the other. "But we wouldn't mind if we met somebody."

I wondered later if we should tell them about the three guys hanging out by the escalator, but Sam said no.

We did about six or seven interviews, then Sam said we had enough. They were only giving him space for five in the newspaper.

"That wasn't too hard," I said.

"Well, no reason we can't string the evening out a little. Want a latte?" Sam asked.

"That would be good. Make mine mocha," I said, and we went to Starbucks and got a table by the window.

"So when I do my essay on jobs, can I get a picture of you in your dad's store?" Sam asked, putting a mug with a tower of whipped cream in front of me.

"What's to tell?" I asked.

"I'll probably ask (a) how you got the job; (b) how much you make; and (c) how many hours a week you work."

"Easy," I said. "(a) nepotism--my dad's the manager; (b) minimum wage; (c) Saturdays and sometimes holidays."

"I work for my mom," Sam said. "I bill clients, help her organize her photos, stuff like that. She's freelance but does a lot of work for the weeklies."

"She's a photographer too, right?" I asked.

"Yeah." Sam smiled, and I could tell he was pleased that I'd said "too." He glanced at his watch. "Listen, The Silent Dark starts in fifteen minutes. Have you seen it?"

"No. I've heard it's good, though."

"Want to go?"

"If you'll let me buy my own ticket. You paid for the mocha."

"If it'll make you happy," he said.

We walked to the other end of the plaza, and I wondered if we'd get in because of the line. But we managed to get two seats next to the wall in the very last row. I was glad Sam didn't bother with popcorn and drinks, because I like to concentrate on the movie.

The theater was chilly. I was still carrying my jacket and spread it over the front of me like a blanket, pulling it up under my chin. The spooky music didn't help.

"Cold?" Sam whispered.

"A little. It's the music; I'm scared already," I whispered back.

He laughed and put his arm around me, pulling me closer.

The only guy I'd ever been close to like that--besides my dad and Lester, I mean--was Patrick, and it felt strange to be leaning against someone else's shoulder. A broader, better-padded shoulder than Patrick's. Sam's scent, the feel of his jacket, the warmth of his hand on my upper arm...

I straightened up when the dialogue began, moving away from him slightly, but he still kept his arm around me.

It was one of those psychological thrillers, where the fear doesn't come from a guy with a chain saw, but from the twists and turns of a woman's mind--that, and her way with rope. First you think that she's sane, and then you think she's not. The horror creeps up on you and you can't escape.

I leaned closer to Sam and heard him chuckle. He took my scarf from my lap and held it against my cheek. "Want your blankie?" he whispered, and made me laugh.

It was a relief when the lights came on at last, even though the madwoman lay dead at the bottom of a ravine.

"Did she jump or did she slip?" I asked Sam as people around us began to gather up their things and leave. It was one of those movies where you weren't sure.

"Slipped," said Sam.

"How do you know? I'd hate for her to have slipped if she really wanted to live."

"Okay, she jumped."

"No." I laughed. "What do you think really happened?"

"I don't know. What do you want to have happened?"

I thrust my arms in my jacket sleeves. "You can't just change reality to suit me!" I said. "I want to know what really happened!"

"Slipped," said Sam.

"Jumped!" I told him, and felt him lean forward and kiss the back of my head as we moved out into the aisle.

When we got out to the lobby, I went to the restroom. I was surprised when I looked in the mirror at how red my cheeks were. Flushed. Excited. I rinsed out my mouth and popped a LifeSaver, realizing that I felt a lot different now than I had at the beginning of the evening. We'd started out as school buddies and ended up...what? I wasn't sure, but I'd liked leaning against his shoulder in the theater. I liked the way his hand squeezed my upper arm, and I especially liked his kissing the back of my head when we were leaving.

"Oh, wow!" I said when I went back out in the lobby. "It's eleven fifteen. I've got to call Dad." I reached for my cell phone, but Sam offered me his.

"Here," he said. "I just called Mom."

I punched in the number, and Dad answered after the first ring.

"I'm sorry I'm late calling," I said. "We went to a movie after we finished, and it just let out. We're leaving right now."

"Okay, Al. Sylvia and I are going on to bed, and I'll trust you to come straight home," he said.

Sam and I didn't say too much on the way back. He played the rest of the CD. In the headlight beams, I could see a light misty sort of snow coming at us, hitting the windshield and dissolving. The wipers swished occasionally on low speed, and once, where traffic was light, Sam reached over and covered my hand with his, then put it back on the steering wheel.

When we got to my house and parked in the driveway, he reached over and teasingly wrapped my long scarf around and around my neck, then my head, until it felt like a beehive.

"Ready?" he asked, one hand on his door handle.

"Ready," I answered.

We both jumped out at the same time, the wind almost knocking us down, and ran up onto the shelter of the porch. And then, when I tugged the scarf away from my face to tell him good night, he just pulled me to him, like he was keeping me warm, and we kissed. We didn't hurry, I wasn't embarrassed, and my braces didn't matter. The dark helped. The cold helped. The softness of his jacket helped.

"Thanks for coming, Alice," he said.

"It was fun," I told him.

I could see him smiling at me in the dark. And then we kissed again.

I went softly upstairs so as not to wake Dad or Sylvia. I heard Dad cough, though, and knew he probably hadn't let himself sleep till he knew I was safely home. I was smiling, and my cheeks felt even redder than they'd been before. I sat down on my bed in the dark. I just wanted to think about the evening, relive every minute.

Were we "Sam and Alice" now? Were we an "item"?

I looked out the window toward Elizabeth's. She lives in the big white house across the street. A light was on in her bedroom, but I was afraid I'd wake her folks if I called. I took a chance and IM'd her instead. She was online!

AliceBug322: hi

Lovliz13: alice? u just get home?

AliceBug322: yes

Another box popped up--an invitation to Elizabeth's chat room. I clicked ok. Pamela was there too.

Lovliz13: alice just got home

pjhotbabe: so?????

AliceBug322: i had a great time

pjhotbabe: and...????

AliceBug322: he kissed me

Lovliz13: WHAT??????

AliceBug322: 3 times

pjhotbabe: u go, girl!

AliceBug322: one on the back of the head

pjhotbabe: that 1 doesn't count

Lovliz13: if they were lying down it does

AliceBug322: what?

pjhotbabe: were u lying down?

AliceBug322: of course not. he's really nice. we saw The Silent Dark. scary as anything and he had his arm around me the whole time

pjhotbabe: that's how it all begins!!!!!!

AliceBug322: no i mean...he's...gentle, you know? and funny

pjhotbabe: uh-huh

Lovliz13: i wonder what happened between him and jennifer. i heard she dumped him

pjhotbabe: yeah, i heard it was sort of weird, but then jen's known to be weird sometimes too

AliceBug322: well i've known him since 8th grade and i think he's nice. of course, we never went out or anything. there was always patrick

pjhotbabe: well now's your chance, alice. live a little! patrick's not the only guy who can kiss, you know. so what was it like?

AliceBug322: sweet

pjhotbabe: ugh

AliceBug322: tender, exciting, spontaneous

pjhotbabe: keep going...

Lovliz13: did u say anything?

AliceBug322: not while we were kissing!

I told them all about interviewing kids at the mall and the mocha latte and how we saw Patrick....

AliceBug322: i'd better get 2 bed. i've got 2 work tomorrow

Lovliz13: happy dreams! i wish it had been ross and me

pjhotbabe: passionate dreams! red-hot sizzling wet drippy heart-palpitating dreams

Lovliz13: pamela, u r disgusting

AliceBug322: g'nite

I did dream of Sam, but it was all mixed up with the movie. I think Patrick was even in it somewhere.

"Al," I heard Dad saying at my bedroom door. "You want to ride in with me, or are you taking the bus?"

I couldn't believe it was morning already. I didn't want to wake up. I didn't want to stand out in the cold waiting for a bus, but if I rode in with Dad, I had to go early. I let out my breath, then slowly sat up, swung my legs over the side of the bed, and tried to keep my eyes open.

"I'll ride with you," I said. The floor was cold, but I teetered into the bathroom, feeling heavy and sticky, and realized I'd started my period. My abdomen always feels fat the first couple of days, and after I'd washed up and brushed my teeth, I put on a loose pair of jeans I keep for days like this, a big baggy sweater, and both a pad and a tampon, just in case.

Sylvia was still asleep, and Dad had the newspaper spread out on the kitchen table. He glanced up when I came in. "How did it go last night?"

"Okay," I said, and groggily reached for the cereal. "We did five or six shoots, and then we went to the movie. Really scary."

"Is Sam a careful driver?"

"Yes. A slow driver."

"Good," said Dad.

I put an English muffin in the toaster and poured some orange juice. Dad looked over at me again. "You're smiling," he said.

"I am?" I wondered if I'd been smiling all night.

"Sure looks like a smile to me. You had a good time, I take it?" His eyes were laughing.

"Yes. He's nice."

"Uh-huh." Dad waited.

I shrugged. "That's all. I just like him."

"Then I'll need to get used to seeing him around and hope I don't slip up and call him Patrick," said Dad.

"So do I," I said.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Excerpted from Alice on Her Way by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Copyright © 2005 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.

Table of Contents


One: Going Out

Two: "Getting to Know You . . ."

Three: Alice Blue Gown

Four: Plans

Five: How Could He?

Six: Mothers

Seven: The-New-Girl-Who-Came-to-Learn-About-Sex

Eight: Home-Style

Nine: Alone Together

Ten: Pamela's Story

Eleven: Questions

Twelve: Wheels

Thirteen: Hello, Tracy!

Fourteen: Getting Ready

Fifteen: Problem

Sixteen: We're Off!

Seventeen: The Big Apple

Eighteen: Breaking Out

Nineteen: Pamela . . . Again

Twenty: What Happened at School

Twenty-one: Party?

Twenty-two: Decision

Twenty-three: Changes

Twenty-four: Alice Was Here!

Twenty-five: On My Way

Customer Reviews