I randomly picked The Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor as my reading selection from the Alice series and braced myself for the worst. Alice sits right up there at #2 after all. I figured it had to be pretty bad.
I can honestly say I fell in love with this little book. I related to Alice, with all her missteps and miss perceptions at least as I did with Margaret (from #99’s Are You There God It’s Me Margaret when I was teen). I totally see the appeal to young female readers.
And I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why this book would be challenged or banned. Alice doesn’t even fret over getting her period!
Luckily I have a friend who is a school librarian and she let me in on the secret that as Alice ages in the books she runs into stickier and sticker situations and faces much more mature issue. And THAT is probably why she is so frequently banned/challenged.
Fair enough. But as these books come out a little less frequently than once a year if a young reader paces themselves they’ll grow along with the character and should be OK (and familiar) with the changing world Alice finds herself confronting.
Soooooo much better of a read than TTFN! Thank you Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for restoring my faith in young lit.
Why it has been challenged or banned: (later books)
- 2011 Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
- 2006 Reasons: offensive language and sexually explicit
- 2003 Reasons: sexual content, offensive language, unsuited to age group
- 2002 Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
- 2001 Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group