Alice-Miranda on Vacation

Alice-Miranda on Vacation

Featured
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
2065   0
Write Review
Alice-Miranda on Vacation
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
6+
Release Date
April 10, 2012
ISBN
978-0385739955
Buy This Book
      
Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones has survived her first semester at boarding school. Now she's headed home for break—and she's invited Jacinta Headlington-Bear, the school's second-best tantrum thrower, to join her. The two girls are looking forward to a fun mini-vacation. Nothing too eventful! But a cranky boy is causing mischief, a movie star has come to visit, and a stranger is snooping around. Add a naughty pony, a hint of romance, and a dastardly scheme, and Jacinta and Alice-Miranda might have a more exciting time than they ever expected...

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

The utterly dauntless Alice Miranda rides (her pony) again!

I adore children’s books from the first half of the 20th century, including the admittedly saccharine Milly Molly Mandy books, as well as the Famous Five and everything else by Enid Blyton. I love Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I do not insist upon gritty realism, angst-filled preteen protagonists or antiheroes. I so love a little bucolic countryside splendor, and a sweet, timeless heroine who is just the tiniest bit more wonderful than is truly likely.

So why then, do I find Alice-Miranda so completely insufferable?

I have thought hard about this, believe me. Alice Miranda is admirable. She is wise, good, patient, kind, intelligent, imaginative, forgiving, brave and sensible. She is also seven and one-half and just returning from her first term at boarding school (detailed in the first book). Once home, she greets everyone with sweet enthusiasm, and astonishingly good manners. She burbles along contentedly, believing the best of everyone, including a spiteful new boy, a dotty granny and a mysterious, handsome movie star visitor – and in the end, solves a crime, saves the day and makes friends with everyone (except the truly dastardly criminal element).

In fact, she is just too darn perfect to be even a little sympathetic. She is not a child at all, or even human. She exhibits no weakness, except perhaps a hint of naivety. She cannot learn anything, cannot grow. She cannot find things out about herself, since she is fully formed. Why, then, should someone want to read her story? What would allow a reader to identify with her?

Perhaps (I thought) the story was intended to be farcical. Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones clearly has twice as many names as anyone needs, and the excessiveness is a clever comment upon the inflated monikers of the upper classes. The equally overblown name of her school (Winchesterfield Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies) also suggests an underlying humor, at least in conception. Yet, although the book veers into the ridiculous, it doesn’t stay there long enough – or veer deeply enough. Indeed, more humor would have tempered the overpoweringly super chirpy tone, and made the story as a whole more enjoyable.

Perhaps (I thought) I am just too old and cynical to enjoy what is simply a sweet story (despite my love for Milly Molly Mandy et al). But then, who is the intended audience? The book runs to nearly 300 pages, which suggests an older readership, but the plot is simple, and the main character very young (even if she does not act it), which suggests a younger audience. As it stands, the book seems to inhabit a sort of grey area.

The secondary characters are often more sympathetic – Alice Miranda’s friend Jacinta, whose mother doesn’t care very much what she does, is athletic and even occasionally fierce. The unpleasant bully is just lonely, and changes once Jacinta offers him true understanding and friendship. I rather like how the Queen turns up in a minor role. I also liked the genius cook, and Bonaparte, the cabbage-munching pony (which turns him into Bonafart, heh heh).

I am ready to admit little girl readers might forgive this book its flaws more readily than I can. There is a bit of every seven-year-old who longs to be completely self-sufficient, completely impervious to unhappiness – and Alice Miranda is a jolly little fantasy. She is wish-fulfillment for every little girl who wants a pony, a big house, devoted parents, pots of money, chocolate brown curls and the knack of winding every grown-up completely around her tiny finger.

Good Points
Innocent story with nothing to worry a sensitive reader
Sweet illustrations
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Astrid the Unstoppable
Pippi Longstocking meets Heidi meets Anne Shirley in this tale...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Me, Shakespeare and the Anti-Love Club
Heartbroken and spurned Kassidy starts an Anti-Love Club in response...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last Hope (The Raging Ones, #2)
Sacrifice all you have to survive. ...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Akakies, a peaceful, technologically advanced alien species known as...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new, revised edition of Edward Willett’s multi-award-winning young adult...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Love at First Fight
Band Geek vs Quarterback... One humiliating photo, a stupid...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ellie Quinn has spent most of her sixteen years behind...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
King Geek vs the Cheerleader Julia Farrow...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gamer vs Player Some girls have a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Soldier... Sorcerer... Savior... Who is Vhalla Yarl? ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
No Place Like Here
Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She’s...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Mermaid Upstairs
Yesterday 16-year-old Emily’s mother was a high-powered attorney. Today...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Dear Ally, How Do You Write A Book?
 
5.0
"DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK is perfect for anyone interested in writing. It doesn't matter if you're..."
What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
 
4.0
"WHAT IS POETRY: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO READING AND WRITING POEMS by Michael Rosen is a nonfiction, how-to book intended..."
Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis
 
5.0
"During WWII, there were dozens and dozens of departments and units doing things that 95% of the population still has..."
Captured: An American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam
 
5.0
"Jeremiah Denton was a naval aviator who was shot down and captured by the North Koreans in 1965, and was..."
Colorblind
 
4.5
"While Colorblind won’t be shattering barriers, it opens the conversation in racism from a standpoint not yet explored. Colorblind,..."
Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories
 
5.0
"The Parkland massacre took the lives of 17 students the day it happened and the very recent passings of two..."
Standing Up Against Hate: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII
 
5.0
"Because of the enormous need for men to be at the front battle lines, or in one of the theaters..."
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
 
4.5
"While the author says in an end note that he excluded a lot of information, the average reader will be..."
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
4.5
"A Thousand Sisters tells the story of Soviet Airwomen in great detail, drawing on the experiences of many women pilots,..."
Mend A Story of Divorce
 
3.0
"What worked: Explores one teen's experience of dealing with the divorce of her parents. For those going through a similar..."
Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
 
3.0
"This is a graphic novel adaptation of a real teen's experience of being bullied online. What worked: This is..."
Once A King (Clash of Kingdoms)
 
4.0
"\ Feedback If you’ve read my other reviews on the series thus far then you know how much I love..."
Poetry 101
 
4.0
"POETRY 101 by Susan Dalzell is a comprehensive introduction to poetry written in the English language. The book takes us..."
You/Poet: Learn the Art. Speak Your Truth. Share Your Voice.
 
5.0
"YOU/POET by Rayna Hutchison and Samuel Blake, the folks from HER HEART POETRY, is a tremendous gift to writers everywhere...."
Hey, Kiddo
 
5.0
"What worked: This is an amazing memoir told in graphic novel style of a teen that deals with family addiction...."
The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century
 
5.0
"World War I was a harrowing war, but is not covered as frequently as World War II. This is a..."
The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein's Creator Mary Shelley
 
4.5
"What worked: This is a fascinating insight into the life of the author of Frankenstein. The beginning paragraph, when Mary..."
In Harm's Way: JFK, World War II, and the Heroic Rescue of PT 109
 
4.5
"While many young readers have heard of President John F. Kennedy, few know about anything other than his assassination. While..."
The Confidence Code for Girls
 
4.5
"The Confidence Code for Girls is an empowering read every girl should have in their arsenal. So many girls struggle..."
A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
 
5.0
"Hartfield begins her in depth look at the history of the Chicago race riots recounting the events of a simple..."