Too Many Deaths

            I am a 10 year-old girl and I live with my Mom, Dad, brother, dog and fish. I have green eyes and short brown hair. I enjoy the Alice series very much, but my mother and I believe that Alice has gone through too many deaths of family and friends.   That may not be suitable for younger children who have lost loved ones or may not like thinking about characters they like dying.   They might be upset about thinking about deceased relatives.  If you write more Alice books (and I hope you do!), I highly suggest that no one Alice loves dies.   Thank you for taking the time to read this.     (A ten-year old)

As the ten-year old’s mom, I simply want to reiterate what my daughter wrote – that it can be somewhat disturbing for readers to encounter so many deaths in the Alice books.  In particular, I was shocked by the inclusion of a child’s suicide in Alice in April.  While I understand the consequences of child abuse all too well (as a child psychologist), I  believe that conveying a message of hope, by having the character get help rather than committing suicide, might be of greater benefit to your readers.  Just food for thought…  Thanks for writing books that kids want to read!                                             

Phyllis replied:


Thanks to both the girl and her mother who wrote the above emails.  I can understand that some of the Alice books are upsetting, and I should warn you that in the books to come, there are other things that will be upsetting also, as well as happy times, fun, excitement and  hope.  But I cannot leave out some of the sad and tragic things because these too are part of life.  Alice experiences fear and grief and disappointment along with her family and friends, but she copes, she hopes, she works through the events that knock her for a loop, and she goes on.  The most common comment I get from readers is that the Alice series is so “real,” and that Alice is helping them get through the things they encounter also.  To the mother:  If your daughter enjoys series books and this is what has attracted her to Alice, I strongly suggest my boys/versus/girls series, twelve books dealing with the lighter side of life.  Start with “The Boys Start the War” followed by “The Girls Get Even.”  These may be more suitable for her temperament and age level.

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