Starting with Alice

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Starting With Alice
First Edition cover
Author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Series Alice series
Publisher Scholastic
Publication date
September 1, 2002
Preceded by None
Followed by Alice in Blunderland

Starting With Alice is the first book in the trilogy of prequels of the Alice series written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. It was released on September 1, 2002 and documents the ups and downs of Alice's third-grade year.


The book begins with Alice McKinley moving from Chicago to Takoma Park, Maryland with her single father, Ben, and older brother, Lester. As the new girl in school, she doesn't know a single person except for her next-door neighbor Donald Sheavers, who is not only a boy, but also seems to be a little bit peculiar. She gets off to a rough start when she meets three snooty girls, Jody, Dawn and Megan, whom Alice nicknames "The Terrible Triplets" after they make it clear they don't want to get to know her. Along the way, she makes some new friends, gets a cat, attends a wedding, attends a funeral, confronts bullies and continues to learn about the world around her.


Alice McKinley- An 8-year-old girl who lost her mom when she was five years old (or four, she can never seem to remember) to leukemia. She lived with her Aunt Sally who took care of her until Alice moved to Takoma Park, Maryland. She now has to make friends with new people, and meets the "Terrible Triplets," whom she hates.

Lester McKinley- Alice's 15 soon to be 16-year-old brother who broke up with his girlfriend two days before moving. He is in a band with Rosalind's brother called "The Naked Nomads".

Ben McKinley- Alice and Lester's single dad. He works at a music shop.

Donald Sheavers- A brown haired boy who is described to look like Barbie's boyfriend Ken. He is Alice's neighbor and they soon become friends. He can never make up his mind for himself, and agrees to be Alice's boyfriend without any questions.

Rosalind- A "chubby" girl who becomes partners with Alice, which leads to them becoming best friends. She doesn't like seeing Alice talk with other girls because she gets jealous. She also hates the "Terrible Triplets." Her brother is in Lester's band.

Sara- A girl who has "dirty hair". She is invited to Alice and Rosalind's slumber party and gets her hair washed, revealing shiny chestnut brown hair. She has six other siblings.