I met Alice when we were both in the sixth grade. Like Alice, I was starting a new school. Unlike Alice, I went to three different middle schools in three years and found it difficult to make new friends, knowing that I would not be in one place for long. Alice became my best friend. As strange as it may seem, even when I was able to put down roots and make good friends in high school, I loved sharing my experiences with Alice. From my first love and first heart break to worrying about friends to learning to see the world in new and more grown-up ways, Alice was always there, experiencing those things with me. I appreciated, and still appreciate, the grace, humor, and honesty that you used in creating those characters and in moving them through every situation that they faced, whether trivial or deeply challenging.
As so often happens with book series, I have grown up faster than Alice has, so I no longer turn to her to share experiences, but rather to check up on an old friend. At 23, I now work with teenage girls, and they often ask me the question, “What should I read?” I always point them to you. In a world where TV, movies, and books for and about teen girls either over-emphasize or completely dismiss sexuality, fail to honestly and compassionately deal with issues that teenagers really do face, and most often underestimate the intelligence of the audience, Alice is a girl that they can relate to, just like I did. I am so thankful for you, and for Alice.
Thank you so much. I really appreciated your email.