Come and meet Alice. Here she is on the brink of being a teenager and discovering that life is just one big embarrassment. Things are not made any easier by the fact that she has no female role model - Alice's mother died when she was four - so there is just her father and older brother - and what could they possibly know about being a girl and growing up? Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's lively, witty style, mixed with poignance and perception, has captured the essence of adolescent anxieties as we follow Alice through the trials and tribulations of growing up. Alice is about to turn thirteen - time to become Woman of the House, Aunt Sally tells her, since her mother is long dead. It is an awesome responsibility, and some of her attempts to be a grown-up - like planning a birthday dinner for her father - turn out pretty disastrously. School brings other crises, as the boys in the cafeteria assign each girl a geographical nickname according to her figure. And a shocking and unexpected event forces Alice and everyone she knows to grow up a little, and wonder a little deeper about life and the future.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is the author of more than 85 books for children and adults. She has won numerous awards, including the Newbery Award for Shiloh. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her family.