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Authors: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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Alice Alone

BOOK: Alice Alone
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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?

Don’t miss any of the Alice books:

Look inside for a complete list of the Alice books.

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

Witch’s Sister

Witch Water

The Witch Herself

Walking Through the Dark

How I Came to Be a Writer

How Lazy Can You Get?

Eddie, Incorporated

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

Night Cry

Old Sadie and the Christmas Bear

The Dark of the Tunnel

The Agony of Alice

The Keeper

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

Reluctantly Alice

King of the Playground


All but Alice

Josie’s Troubles

The Grand Escape

Alice in April

The Face in the Bessledorf Funeral Parlor

Alice In-Between

The Fear Place

Alice the Brave

Being Danny’s Dog


The Bomb in the Bessledorf Bus Depot

Alice in Lace

Shiloh Season

Ducks Disappearing

Outrageously Alice

The Healing of Texas Jake

I Can’t Take You Anywhere

Saving Shiloh

The Treasure of Bessledorf Hill

Achingly Alice

Danny’s Desert Rats

Sang Spell

Sweet Strawberries

Alice on the Outside

Walker’s Crossing

Jade Green

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.
p. cm.

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.

ISBN 0-689-82634-6

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

[Fic]—dc21 00-040143

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.


One: Homecoming

Two: Getting Started

Three: A Sudden Announcement

Four: The Big Night

Five: That Sinking Feeling

Six: Moving On

Seven: Panic

Eight: Heart-to-Heart

Nine: Pain

Ten: Alone

Eleven: The Hardest Part

Twelve: Expanding My Horizons

Thirteen: Refugees

Fourteen: Elizabeth’s Secret

Fifteen: The Test



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.

BOOK: Alice Alone
10.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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