Images courtesy of Phyllis Naylor.
Mark Keppel High School

‘The Alice Series’: Honest and frank

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written all sorts of books for people of all ages. But one series has particularly touched the hearts of many. Following the ups and downs of a girl named Alice McKinley, “The Alice Series” is quite a slice of life. The series starts off with young Alice in elementary school and describes everything after that in a span of 28 books.

Perhaps one of the most notable features of the Alice series is its relatability.

“[Most fans] say that [the Alice series] answered questions that they could never ask of anyone else,” Naylor said. “Or that Alice experiences things that they themselves are going through, and feel as though they have a friend.  Or that it gives them insight into things they might face in the future, and one way to deal with them.”

Throughout the series, Alice is “extremely open in her personal life,” added Naylor. She shares all her experiences with her readers, from life events like her first menstruation to more abstract worries, like loneliness.

“Alice tells it as it is,” Naylor said. “Perhaps readers will see themselves in Alice as they change, not only decade to decade but year to year, becoming more self-confident, more accepting of themselves, and far more able to identify with others and show compassion and empathy.”

While Alice is often “vulnerable, overly dramatic, worried and selfish”, she also is “the one offering help, or the one thinking most clearly” because Alice goes through changes just like anybody else. “She changes a little from book to book as she gets older,” Naylor said. She then described that her favorite thing about Alice is her “absolute frankness about everything she thinks and feels.”

And that’s exactly what “The Alice Series” is: Honest.