Alice-Miranda on Vacation

Featured
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
2219 0
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

The utterly dauntless Alice Miranda rides (her pony) again!
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
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
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

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

The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures...
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other? ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling Divergent and Carve the Mark author Veronica Roth delivers...
Bernard Pepperlin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The drowsy Dormouse from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland...
Vicarious
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Paula Stokes weaves together a series of mysteries and the...
The Bookworm Crush
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This spinoff of The Replacement Crush featuring Amy and Toff...
The Unexpected Everything
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Andie must learn to embrace the beauty in chaos in...
What I Like About You
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can a love triangle have only two people in it?...
The Kinder Poison
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the magical kingdom of Orkena, Zahru has long dreamed...
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
We stand in a tight cluster, high above the lake....
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he...
The Library of Lost Things
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the moment she first learned to read, literary...
The Athena Protocol
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bourne Identity meets Karen McManus in this action-packed series...
The Reader
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker...
Igloo-High-cover.jpg
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
Senior year was supposed to be fabulous for popular...
The Burning Shadow (Origin Series, #2)
 
4.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was...

Latest Member Reviews

The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is a compelling and atmospheric YA fantasy/science fiction. In the future, the..."
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
"If you adored FROZEN, you need to get your hands on this Twisted Tale which reimagines the story if Anna..."
 
4.0
"THE END AND OTHER BEGINNINGS is the latest from DIVERGENT author, Veronica Roth. The novel is comprised of six YA..."
The Bookworm Crush
 
5.0
"THE BOOKWORM CRUSH is an absolutely charming romantic comedy with all sorts of booklover homages. Amy McIntyre is @redheadrecs and..."
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
"SCARED LITTLE RABBITS follows Nora (aka Eleanor, Lowercase) as she sets out on a summer camp adventure that resulted in..."
A Constellation of Roses
 
5.0
"A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES is a beautiful story of familial love and healing. Trix has been trying to make her..."
Frankly in Love
 
5.0
"FRANKLY IN LOVE is a surprisingly deep and heartfelt read. Although it is described as a rom-com, this is not..."
American Royals
 
4.7
"What if at the end of America’s Revolutionary War, George Washington was offered a crown and what if he said..."
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
 
4.0
"This is the type of book I’d like to see included in school curriculums. The stories are like wide open..."
When the Stars Lead to You
 
4.7
"WHEN THE STARS LED TO YOU is quite the emotional YA contemporary. While on the surface it seems like a..."
We Are the Perfect Girl
 
3.3
"'We Are the Perfect Girl' by Ariel Kaplan is a Cyrano De Bergerac style story. There are a host of..."
Stranger Things: Runaway Max
 
4.7
"'Stranger Things: Runaway Max' by Brenna Yovanoff provides an intriguing look into Max's life before and during her time in..."