Author: Susan Juby
Genre: Young adult
About Miss Smithers: Alice enters a beauty pageant. The second book in the Alice MacLeod series.
- 2005 – Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize – Winner
- 2005 – Leacock Medal for Humour – Shortlisted
- 2005 – White Pine Award – Shortlisted
Review of Miss Smithers
I am a special girl. It was my mother's suggesting that I'm not that decided me. I mean, really, that's not the kind of thing you want to let pass unchallenged.
I already suspected that this would be the year I would bloom, the year I would graduate from the ranks of the marginal into the realm of the practically normal (or even slightly above average), and today's events confirmed it.
...from page 1
The following is an edited transcript of a discussion between LMB and AB, age 17, on 14 March 2009.
- So the second book in the series is called Miss Smithers. What's it about?
- Well, Alice's dad's friend, a gay friend, the only gay guy in all of Smithers, is part of one of the groups. He's doing all kinds of things and they need a representative, a girl, to be part of the Miss Smithers beauty pageant so they're like, Alice you do it, and the parents are all against it.
- Both of her parents are against it?
- No, just her mom. But Alice decides to do it for the Rod and Gun Club. Some of the girls had the worst possible business names. It was awful.
- But Alice thinks that it's a good experience for her. She thinks she's not really learning anything but that she's helping her counsellor Bob. She secretly calls him Death Lord Bob because he dresses all in black and she can't seem to understand why all these teens and women are all piled up outside his office to talk to him so I guess he's pretty good-looking.
- Anyway, he thought she was ready but the entire time she's thinking in her head that she's kinda faking some of everything she says so she thinks she's really helping his career to make him feel better because he's so depressing and maybe not so very good a counsellor.
- So he will think he's a better counsellor than he is?
- Yeah, give him some self esteem, I guess. She kept mentioning how she didn't think a counsellor should be counselling if they have so many personal problems themselves.
- Is this one also written as a diary?
- They all are.
- One of the boys she meets in the first book returns and they kinda have this relationship thing going on but he lives really really far away so they hardly get to see each other. It's tough and her parents are like hawks on them so they can't fool around.
- Does she get along with her parents?
- Not really. She's always baggin' on them.
- Did you like it?
- I did.
- Was it as good as the first? Or better?
- I kinda felt they were all equal. None stuck out more than the others. It was the same kind of ending. It wasn't climactic or really low, it was pretty even. You could have just turned the page and kept going or you could have not.
- So it felt like a true series, like it could be one big long book split into three.
- Kinda yeah. Like a movie. She does seem, in this book, a little progressed as far as her thoughts on society because she's out more. She interacts a little bit better that way.
- Can you identify with Alice at all?
- I think I could. Yeah, in some areas, not all. She has different thoughts on life. But she makes a lot of pop culture references too, like that movie with John Cusack. She talks about it a lot.
- Say Anything?
- Yes, I think that's the one.
- Would you recommend it as another light read?
- Yeah but you have to read them in order because the first one explains it all, then it carries on. You see how she progresses.
- Does she win the Miss Smithers pageant?
- Read the book.
- Jocelyn A. Dimm, CM Magazine, 12 March 2004
- “Juby writes well, there is no doubt about that.”
- Paul McGuire, Asian Review of Books, 21 March 2004
- “This is a hugely entertaining read and a real gem.”
- Kris Rothstein, Geist Magazine, Spring 2006
- “Readers won't be able to resist the convincing characters or the ripe comedy of Miss Smithers.”
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Added 04 May 2009.
Updated 04 September 2013.