I can not begin to tell you what the Alice books have meant to me. As a painfully shy sixth grade girl, who always found more comfort and familiarity in the literary world then in the real one, Alice was my best friend. Upon starting sixth grade, my aunt gave me The Agony of Alice. I felt like Alice McKinley was my best friend – she definitely “got” what being a preteen was like (of course, my aunt’s initial reason for picking the book up, other then the character’s age, was that I share your name of Phyllis). When I completed sixth grade – she got me the next book in the series. I felt like Alice and I were pen pals, and for a time in my diary I actually addressed my entries to her, imagining mailing them to this fictitious girl in Maryland. And so it went – for season of middle school, I had a visit with Alice and was looking forward to spending high school with her, but by that time I had gotten older then she was – we ended eighth grade together, but ninth grade would have to wait. I grew up, finished high school and college, and Alice is just now finishing high school, but I’ve been delighted to see Alice back on the shelves at my bookstore – what better place for a bookworm and teacher unable to find a job then the children’s section of Barnes and Nobles, sharing Alice (and some of my other childhood favorites)
I just wanted to say thank you for sharing Alice with me, and for helping my survive the treacherous halls of middle school. As bittersweet as reading Incredibly Alice was for me, I can’t wait to see where she goes next – and I can’t wait until I have children old enough to share Alice with.
Thanks so much for your email. I find Alice fans incredibly loyal–many of you have followed Alice and her friends for years and years. I know you will interested in the very last book, coming out in 2013, “Always Alice.”