All But Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Number four in the series, and one of the less memorable books in the series. It’s the one in which Alice gets her ears pierced and suddenly becomes part of the “in” crowd, only to realize that it’s not all that she thought it would be.
Lester’s romantic entanglements continue, but it feels very recycled from the last book. Same with Alice’s dad and teacher. I think this is about the time Naylor decided to settle on the one book per year scheduled she continues for the rest of the series, but maybe she didn’t have enough new material to use for this one. One of my favorite covers though! (These covers are done by Julia Denos.)

The lesson in this is particularly valuable, I think, which is that you shouldn’t give up your values just to fit in. Alice thinks some of what the popular group does is silly or mean, and at the end of the book, she stands up for what she believes.


  • I do remember how important it was to have your ears pierced just along with everyone else. For me, it was in third grade, and now I wonder if that was uncommonly early or if seventh grade was uncommonly late.
  • I liked how Alice worked so hard to set her dad up with Miss Summers, but then felt conflicted about it when it actually seemed to work. I thought that was a very realistic way to handle what must be a tough experience for any child of a single parent.

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