Should be ashamed


 I must say that I am very dissappointed in what I have seen in your Alice books. This series in intended for young readers and the subject matter that my almost 14 year old daughter showed me in Intensly Alice was disturbing. Looking at the series online and seeing that your main character become sexually active in the 10th grade and that it continues in subsequent book is appalling. You consider this appropriate material for 14 year old girls? It is difficult enough to raise children these days without having to have this kind of trash in books that we thought were intended for this age child. Why do you need to have this in a children’s book? Do you think it is necessary and beneficial for them to read this? I have a hard time understading why you would write this for a teen audience with teenage pregnancy, HIV and other STDs such a prevalent problem in today’s society. You are glamorizing teenage sex to a group of vulnerable yourng girls and in my opinion you should be ashamed of yourself.

 Phyllis replied:

I’m sorry that you are disappointed, but I am not in the least ashamed.  I do understand that some people feel that books for children and teens should be inspirational, and while I believe there is a place for such books, I also believe in books that give a presentation of real life, and how people of various ages deal with emotions and experiences unique to them.  I hear from hundreds and hundreds of readers of all ages.  Girls who have never been kissed, never have a boyfriend write to me quite happy or not with their lives, and I hear from others who are sexually experienced, equally happy or unhappy with theirs.  My aim is to give honest presentations of one girl’s life, along with her friends, the choices she makes, both wise and foolish, and my publisher supports my efforts.  I felt that I portrayed Alice and Patrick in realistic terms, they are long-time friends, and I do not think they acted irresponsibly.  If you have followed the Alice series, you will see that there have been situations that either she or her friends have regretted, but this was not one of them.  The comment I receive most from my teen readers is “Your books are so realistic!”  I think you will find many parents and teachers and librarians who recommend this series to the young people they know.

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