What is a summary of Alice, I Think by Susan Juby?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Susan Juby's young adult novel Alice, I Think resembles Lewis Carroll's classic tale of self-discovery titled Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Juby's novel uses a modern-day Alice's journal entries to tell the story of Alice as she struggles with being independent-minded.  

Alice is raised by hippie parents who support independence; hence, after reading J. R. R. Tolkin's The Hobbit, Alice comes to believe she actually is a hobbit, and her parents encourage her to express herself as a hobbit, saying it's "incredibly creative" (p. 2). But when Alice shows up at school dressed as a hobbit and occasionally breaks into song and dance, Alice becomes the victim of bullying, and her parents take her out to be home-schooled.

Alice feels she is weird and different from everyone else, and being home-schooled just makes her feel even more different. Soon Alice's parents send her to therapy. Alice refers to her therapist as Death Lord Bod, who starts off telling her to set goals for her life that fulfilling will make her happy. Alice's goals include choose an exciting career path, "get a part-time job," interact with people outside of her family, "learn to drive a car," have "some sort of boy-girl interaction," publish a paper comparing teenagers and chickens, and read the whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy (p. 17). When Alice also tells Bob she's thinking of going back to school, Bob promptly registers her.

Soon, a makeover gone wrong leads to more bullying. She also tries to make friends with a boy she thinks is annoying. She next meets another boy named Daniel who she calls Gooseboy but is very impressed with his manners. Though she finds herself in awkward situations with him, she knows he makes her happy to be herself.

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