Authors: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Tags: #fiction, #GR
Breaking up is hard to do
Alice is starting high school, and everything is new. But it’s the new girl, Penny, who’s making ninth grade a real challenge for Alice. Penny is tiny and perky and a real flirt, and she seems to be focusing her attention on Patrick. Even worse, Patrick seems to be enjoying it.
Alice and Patrick have been a couple so long Alice can’t imagine life without him. Suddenly she feels lost and unattractive and scared—not quite whole. How can Alice get back her confidence in herself, when she’s not even sure who she is?
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SIMON & SCHUSTER, New York
Cover photograph copyright © 2001 by Paul Christensen
Cover design by Debra Sfetsios
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
remembers very well the things that Alice is feeling in this book. When she dated back in junior and senior high school, most of her relationships lasted a year or more. She knows how it feels to like a boy more than he likes you, and to have a boy care for you more than you care for him. But what happens to Alice in this book is … well, really hard.
Phyllis lives with her husband in Bethesda, Maryland, and is the author of over one hundred books, including twelve other books about Alice McKinley, and the Newbery Medal-winner Shiloh.
Books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Witch Herself
Walking Through the Dark
How I Came to Be a Writer
How Lazy Can You Get?
All Because I’m Older
Shadows on the Wall
Faces in the Water
Footprints at the Window
The Boy with the Helium Head
A String of Chances
The Solomon System
The Mad Gasser of Bessledorf Street
Old Sadie and the Christmas Bear
The Dark of the Tunnel
The Agony of Alice
The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel
The Year of the Gopher
Beetles, Lightly Toasted
Maudie in the Middle
One of the Third Grade Thonkers
Alice in Rapture, Sort Of
Keeping a Christmas Secret
Bernie and the Bessledorf Ghost
Send No Blessings
King of the Playground
All but Alice
The Grand Escape
Alice in April
The Face in the Bessledorf Funeral Parlor
The Fear Place
Alice the Brave
Being Danny’s Dog
The Bomb in the Bessledorf Bus Depot
Alice in Lace
The Healing of Texas Jake
I Can’t Take You Anywhere
The Treasure of Bessledorf Hill
Danny’s Desert Rats
Alice on the Outside
Peril in the Bessledorf Parachute Factory
The Grooming of Alice
Carlotta’s Kittens and the Club of Mysteries
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Copyright © 2001 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
Book design by Sonia Chaghatzbanian
The text of this book is set in Berkeley Old Style.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.
Alice alone / Phyllis Reynolds Price.—1st ed.
Summary: Alice’s first year in high school gets off to a difficult start when her boyfriend Patrick becomes interested in someone else, but with the help of her father, older brother, and best friends, she gains a better sense of her own self-worth.
ISBN13: 978-1-4391-3229-6 (eBook)
[1. Interpersonal relations—Fiction. 2. Self-esteem—Fiction. 3. High schools—Fiction. 4. Schools—Fiction. 5. Single-parent families—Fiction. 6. Friendship—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.N24 Ah 2001
To the memory of my former editor, Jean Karl, who helped me raise Alice, and who taught me as much about life as she taught about writing.
September has always felt more like New Year’s to me than January first. It’s such a brand-new start—new classes, new friends, new teachers, new clothes… . This September I was entering a school almost twice the size of our old one, and it was scary to think about being one of the youngest kids again instead of a seasoned eighth grader. I hated the thought that I wouldn’t be considered sophisticated anymore, and I’d probably feel as awkward as I used to.
“Hey, no sweat!” Lester, my soon-to-be-twenty-two-year-old brother said. “You’ll get used to it in no time—the leftover infirmary food, the—”
“What?” I said. We were sitting out on the front steps sharing a bag of microwave popcorn on the very last day of August. In fact, we’d just made a lunch of hot dogs and popcorn.
“Didn’t you know?” he said. “The food in the high school cafeteria is leftover stuff from the prison infirmary. But it won’t kill you. Of course, there isn’t any hot water in the showers, and—”
“What?” I bleated again.
“And the showers, you know, are coed.”
“Lester!” I scolded. If anything would drive my friend Elizabeth to an all-girls’ school, it was rumors like that.
“Hey, look around you,” Lester said, taking another handful of popcorn and spilling some on the steps. “Do you realize that practically every person you meet over the age of eighteen went to high school and lived to tell about it?”
“I know I’ll survive, Les, but when I think of all the embarrassing things I’ll probably do, all the humiliating stuff just waiting to happen …”
“But what about all the good stuff? The
stuff? What’s the next good thing on your agenda, for example?”
“Dad coming home this afternoon.”
“See? What else?”
“Patrick gets back on Saturday.”
“There you are,” Lester said.
He was being pretty nice to me, I decided, considering that he’d just broken up with his latest girlfriend, Eva, for which I was secretly glad, because I don’t think she was his type. She certainly
wasn’t mine. She had starved herself skinny and was always finding fault with Lester. If they ever married, I figured it would be only a matter of time before she started criticizing me.