Sarah's Stars

Susan Juby.  Miss Smithers
HarperTempest  ($6.99 US)  ISBN 0-06-051548-1  324 pg.
Reviewed by Emma, Age 14

January 10

I am a special girl. It was my mother's suggesting that I'm not that decided me. I mean, really, that's not the kind of thing that you want to let pass unchallenged.

I already suspected that this would be the year I would bloom, the year I would graduate from the ranks of the marginal into the realm of the practically normal (or even slightly above average), and today's events confirmed it...

Alice's life is just rolling along. She has entered the infamous ‘Miss Smithers’ pageant, and spent the resulting $400 sponsorship money on her new, hopefully, winning look. She has begun writing articles for her own 'zine, and is convinced she is a journalistic genius. She even has two real friends. But if she really wants to win the pageant, she's gonna need everyone's help, so she had better shut up, smile for the cameras, and community curl like she never has before...

Susan Juby is the Canadian author of the Alice MacLeod trilogy; of which Miss Smithers is number two. The first and third books in the series are titled Alice, I Think and Alice MacLeod, Realist At Last. I recommend these books to kids (mostly girls) ages 12-16.

Miss Smithers is a hilarious look into the rather frightening mind of a teenage misfit. Alice is quirky, strong-willed, and unknowingly sweet... sometimes. Other times she's a bit unkind. But always, Alice's unique fashion sense, questionable grip on reality, and ever-changing morals, clashing spectacularly with the ditto, ditto, and ditto of the people around her, all come together in a hilarious novel that might just be too much for underachieving, unassuming, and totally under-prepared Smithers, BC.

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