Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Review: When Audrey Met Alice

When Audrey Met Alice
By Rebecca Behrens
Soucebooks Jabberwocky, 2014
Review from NetGalley
Audience: Grades 5 to 8
ISBN:  9781402286421
Publication Date:  February 4, 2014

Audrey is the first kid, meaning her mom is president, her dad is a scientist, and there's very little time for her to be with her parents.  Being a first kid is hard-new school, new friends, new house (the White House), and it's not all as amazing as it seems.  Audrey wishes she had someone that understands, and then she finds the diary of Alice Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt's oldest daughter and natural-born troublemaker.  Audrey decides to "eat the world" like Alice and try to convince her parents that she's not a little girl anymore.  Some of Alice's experiences help, but most of them just get Audrey in trouble.  But in the end, Audrey and her parent's have a greater understanding of each other and Audrey does get a little more independence.

I downloaded this book from NetGalley ages ago and only recently found it lingering on my Kindle.  I was looking for something light and fun to read and this seemed perfect.  My little girl is name Alice, and her best baby friend (well, they don't know they're BBFs, but it's going to happen) is named Audrey.  My friend and I got a kick out of the book title and it did prove to be a nice light read.

Audrey finds Alice Roosevelt's diary, and excerpts from this fictional diary tell about Alice's life in the White House.  Audrey tells her own story and then the diary really fills in and gives advice.  Personally, I was more interested in Alice than Audrey, but I'm also an adult.  Audrey is facing an identity crisis since everyone thinks it's amazing to live at the White House, but really, it's lonely even though the country is watching you, waiting for you to make a mistake.  (This really is the case.  There was just a story about the first-daughters looking bored at a White House event or something. I would look bored too if I were a 14-year old at a state function.  I would look bored at the kind of event now!).  

Most readers will relate to Audrey's feelings of being a little lonely, and being treated like a child when she's really a teen.  Parent's don't want their babies to grow up-a fact I totally get now!  And it's even worse when the whole country would prefer that you stay a child.  But Audrey wants to dance, she wants to have a boyfriend, and she wants to live.

Now to Alice.  Oh Alice!  Theodore Roosevelt once said "I can either run the country or control Alice. I can't possibly do both".  (I feel you Theo and my Alice is only 6 months old).  Alice was an uncontrollable force of nature.  She danced, gambled, smoked, drove like bat out of hell, which was really hard back then because car's only went about 20 mph.  And she was the country's princess.  I think that the fictional diary did justice to the real Alice, but it made me want to know more.  And hopefully it will inspire readers to do a little more research too.

With another election coming up, this will be a great book to give to readers that are interested in the lives of first-kids.  Add this to your collection of presidential books.

Happy Reading!

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