Alice in High School


Over the summer I grew a love for the three books about Alice McKinley, during her high school years. I could relate so much, that when something embarrassing would happen to her, I would laugh or my face would turn red. I think that’s one of the reasons you wrote this book. You knew that girls like me could relate, which would help us through our high school years. For example, when Alice was at the airport and her underwear was showing and Lester said, “The world does not revolve around you. Keep walking.”

Reading these books has helped me to embrace my flaws, realize the world doesn’t revolve around boys, and to have fun in high school. I think your message that you wanted to convey to the readers is that, it’s okay to not always have everything in control. In high school a lot of unexpected things happen, which you might not be ready for. Friends will change and leave, and in that moment, you will want to think that your life is over, but it’s not. When Alice had friendship problems that she realized she couldn’t fix, she let it go. Alice definitely spoke her mind, especially when something wasn’t right or she didn’t want to be put in a bad situation. It’s helped me to speak up when I know what’s going on is wrong.

I’ve learned immensely when I read all three books. I’ve learned to embrace life, try my best with my friendships, and to not worry so much about boys. Alice doesn’t have a mom, so when she would cry over not knowing her, I realized that I’ve taken my mom for granted. She’s done so much for me, yet I lack thanking her for making dinner, always coming to my events, and allowing me to have friends over. I’m definitely more aware of everything she takes time to do for me, and for her being in my life. This past summer, I’ve had a lot of problems with my best friend. She changed, a lot. I realized towards the end of the summer that she’s still trying to find who she is. I know that I don’t need to pretend to be someone I’m not, I already have a lot of friends who love me for who I am. She wants to be popular and be friends with fake people, I don’t.

High school is about making new friends and experiencing new adventures. I don’t need boys to be happy. I think girls in my grade think that it’s okay to let a boy shape you into who they want you to be. NEWS FLASH: IT’S NOT. You don’t need to date in high school just to date, or have someone to hold hands with. The one you are supposed to marry, heck, he probably doesn’t even know you exist. High school is about friends you’re making for life, not ditching your friends for some boy you won’t even talk to in the next 4 years. Thank you so much for making these books, they have impacted my life greatly.

Phyllis replied:

I so appreciated your letter.  Some of us girls are slow learners, though.  I can remember dating a guy for whom I really wanted to be cool.  Down deep, in my heart of hearts, I knew he was not the kind of guy I would marry.  He was actually my older sister’s age, and when I was a sophomore, and he was a senior, and he walked into my homeroom one morning, asked if he could speak to me, came back to my desk, and with others hearing, invited me to the Military Ball, I was over the moon.  I dated this guy for two years, before I met someone I did marry–my first marriage–and when I had to tell my current boyfriend I was in love with someone else, I realized for the first time that I had actually let him believe we would marry.  I still remember his crouching down, resting one arm on his knee, his head in his hand, and I felt horrible, really, really horrible, for having led him on.  He was so hurt.  Even writing this today, decades later, I feel bad about this.  So it works both ways.  All this time, both of us were probably pretending to be something we weren’t.  I wish that I had dated more, instead of feeling I had to have a “steady” boyfriend–that’s what we called it back then.  But I was insecure.  And thanks for your shout-out to let your mothers know how much  you appreciate them!

Posted on: September 29, 2016


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