Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's first work was published in a church magazine when she was 16 years old. She paid her way through college, where she majored in clinical psychology, by writing and selling stories. Naylor found that she enjoyed writing so much that she abandoned her plans to attend graduate school. WHAT THE GULLS WERE SINGING, her first published work for children, appeared in 1967. Her 1991 work, SHILOH, was awarded the Newbery Medal.
From the Publisher
In seventh grade, you grow backwards. In sixth, I kept a list of all the things I learned that showed I was growing up, another of all the stupid, embarrassing things I did that proved I wasn't. Most of the time they were about even. If I still kept a record of all I've done, my "backwards" list would run right off the page.
Alice experiences the joys and embarrassments of seventh grade while advising her widowed father and older brother on their love lives.