Miss Smithers | Susan Juby

Teenage misfit Alice McLeod enters a local beauty pageant, joins a Christian youth group, and tries out martial arts in some of her many attempts at normalcy.

Awards & Honors

• Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, 2005

Kirkus Reviews starred review, April 1, 2004


A social outcast, therapy regular, and general underachiever, Alice would never have entered the Miss Smithers contest if it weren’t for the $400 clothing allowance. After spending most of it on a pair of leather pants from the local biker shop, she’s forced to skimp on the rest of her pageant wear:

It took me fifteen minutes of hard digging in the Seniors Bin at the New on You United Church Secondhand Store to come up with a two-piece purple suit that more or less fits me. The shoulder pads are admittedly a bit extreme and the ruffle on the bias-cut skirt has seen better days, but the thick gold chain belt fits just right. It is my hope that people will take the suit for early-eighties hipness on my part, rather than an artifact originally belonging to someone who was already old in the 1960s. (p 53)

Can Alice pull together the clothes and personality to win the Miss Smithers crown? Nothing’s gonna stop her from trying!

Juby, Susan. Miss Smithers. New York: HarperTempest, 2004.


June 10, 2009. Tags: , , , . Chick Lit.

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