I grew up as an only child in an incredibly conservative, religious household. My views were always more liberal than my parents, even at a young age, but I was never able to share those views with them or ask personal questions because of the very strict upbringing. Fortunately though, I had Alice to look to for a little bit of guidance.
I just want to thank you for the Alice Series and for all that your books have taught me. I began reading the series in sixth grade (the same grade that Alice was in at the start of the books) after checking your books out at the library. Having a resource that I could look to and that could answer some of the embarrassing questions that I had was such a comfort. The books made me feel like it was okay if I thought about the things that I did. I was able to read about going to the gynecologist, getting one’s period, making out with a boy for the first time, and even sex.
Your books have made me laugh, have made me think, and most importantly, have made me feel more normal. I am now 23 years old and while it has been a long time since I have read of the books in its entirety, I still consider your series to be some of the most pivotal books that I read as a pre-teen and teenage girl. Without the series, I would have felt a lot more lost and confused. Thank you so much for writing with such honesty and without censorship.
Phyllis replied:I truly appreciate your email. I’m giving a talk in a few weeks about the Alice books and censorship, and I will be quoting a few lines from your letter, without identifying you, of course. It’s so important to know that we are not alone in our questions, in the things we think about, and it makes growing up so much easier. I felt the same way you did when I was younger–questions I just didn’t feel I could ask. I’m glad to know that my books have helped you, and thank you again for your email.