Great Illustrated Books

Alice-Miranda Takes the Stage

Jacqueline Harvey

Random House Children's Books, 2013
Pages : 294
Suggested Ages: 7-10
ISBN: 9780385743334

Alice-Miranda is a petite seven-year-old girl from a very wealthy family. She is the child who literally has everything, including a precocious intelligence and a determination to always do the right thing. She loves her parents, she loves her boarding school, she loves her friends (and they love her,) she loves her horse… You get the picture. She’s the perfect child living the perfect life. Not only is she happy, she wants everybody else to be happy.

Whew! All that perfection could be boring and exhausting, but it isn’t.

Into Alice-Miranda’s life a little rain must fall, even if she works overtime to make the best of it. This “rain” comes in the shape of Sloan Sykes, a new student who is domineering, rude, dishonest, and thoroughly despicable. Sloan’s mother is a sleazy, gold-digging grown-up version of Sloan -- only lots worse.

Sloan and her mother hatch a nefarious plan. They connive to inherit the property where a renowned boys’ boarding school is located. As soon as the land is theirs, they will sell the whole campus and be instant millionaires. Of course, their greed will wreak havoc on innocent people, but that is not a consideration. Alice-Miranda explodes this plan in a last-minute drama. She has essential help from the local “witch,” who is actually a wise old woman in a unique position to foil the sale of the school property.

Alice-Miranda totally upends the notion that “nice guys finish last.” She is an inspiration for anyone who has ever wanted to be a Pollyanna. She wins by being nice. Although she’s physically small, she has a large heart and an even larger personality.

Characters in this book are totally good or totally bad, but in the hands of Jacqueline Harvey they are all totally interesting. Readers will be flipping pages to find out how the good can possibly triumph over the evil. And they’ll be laughing as they’re flipping.

The end will come much too soon, but there are more adventures with Alice-Miranda to come: Alice-Miranda at School and Alice-Miranda on Vacation.  

Reviewed by : FH

Themes : Schools and School Stories. Friendship.

If you love this book, then try:

DiCamillo, Kate. Bink & Gollie: Two for One. Candlewick Press, 2012.

Barrows, Annie. Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9). Chronicle Books, 2012.

Weinman Sharmat, Marjorie. Nate the Great. Delacorte, 2002.

Critics have said

Alice-Miranda puts me in the mind of Junie B and Pinkalicious - a really cute character.
Amazon Reviewer
I love this book! It's funny, charming, and witty! Alice Miranda never stops trying and will always give someone a second chance. It's full of adventure and mystery.
Amazon Reviewer