According to Pamela’s cousin in New Jersey, the worst thing that can happen to a girl is to start seventh grade without a boyfriend. So Alice is glad that she and Patrick are going together. But Patrick the boyfriend is a lot more complicated than Patrick the friend. What’s an appropriate gift for Alice to give him for his birthday? What should she do if he wants to kiss her and she hasn’t just brushed her teeth?
Alice really likes Patrick, but sometimes it seems as though life would be a lot simpler if they were still just friends.
Returning to the setting of The Agony of Alice , Naylor gives readers a wry and poignant depiction of what Alice's father calls ``The Summer of the First Boyfriend.'' Having lost her mother early in life, Alice must rely on her friends Pamela and Elizabeth, and her Aunt Sally for advice on the rules of dating. But Pamela and Elizabeth are as confused as Alice, and her aunt is just plain behind the times. Alice and boyfriend Patrick endearingly muddle their way through the summer, which includes their first kiss and first argument, a weekend at the beach and a very special dinner at the club. And Alice begins to form her own, maturing opinions; her decision about her relationship with Patrick seems both natural and true. At the end of the summer Alice has become a very special person, and readers will have followed her escapades with eagerness and empathy. Ages 8-12.