Alice in April: Recommended Readalikes

Opinions may differ as to if April is indeed the cruelest month. But it is a transitional time of year and transitions are challenging. As Alice could tell you, so is turning 13 and embarking on an uncertain journey into young adulthood. Who are you supposed to be? How are you going to relate to your peers and the others around you when everything is changing, whether you are ready for it to change or not?

Young readers looking for more stories about growing up and navigating the rocky waters of early adolescence might enjoy the following books:

This nonfiction work acts as a user manual for girls just entering the world of puberty and provides age-appropriate, friendly and matter-of-fact guidance on understanding and caring for their changing bodies.

12 year old Tahlia Wilkins is looking forward to her summer and attending a pool party at the home of a popular kid at school. However, the unexpected advent of her first period the day before said party threatens to ruin her social life. Her mother is out of town so Tahlia and her friend Lily must hatch a plan to save the day on their own!

Like Alice, Celi is dealing with body changes and social challenges while standing on the threshold of womanhood. This coming of age story features Celi navigating growing up and her relationships with her mother and her best friend Magda, who is also navigating momentous changes in life.

Teens and adults looking for novels with similar themes might try some of these titles:

Lara Jean Song uses writing as a way to express herself, specifically in the form of love letters to boys she carries feelings for and stashes in a hatbox her deceased mother gave her. But they are for her and her alone to read and are never to be sent. When all the letters are accidentally mailed to the objects of her affections, Lara Jean’s world is turned upside down and she must deal with the consequences.

Gabi Hernandez has a lot going on in her senior year of high school. Her father is struggling with addiction, her friend Sebastian is coming out, and she is dealing with questions of body image and her relationships with her peers. Poetry helps her cope and forge her identity.

This book is the outlier in our list of reading recommendations in honor of Alice in April. The protagonist, Martha is an adult woman in her 40s and she has two living parents. However, like Alice and the other characters highlighted above, Martha is dealing with a new chapter of her life after her husband left her. She moves into her childhood home to get back on her feet and faces tough questions about her mental health, her next steps, and who she will be next in a midlife coming of age story.

This blog is created by Hannah and Ella in conjunction with the These Books Made Me podcast, a Prince George’s County Memorial Library System production. Check out the corresponding episode, Alice in April, on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you normally listen to podcasts. Or you can simply click on the link to the episode to listen.

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