Reading: Ask Alice (drugs, sex, etc.) appropriate reading



I have read that in some schools the children (5th grades and up) are assigned “Ask Alice” the “diary” of a teenage drug-addict (fiction from 35 years ago) as reading material and drug-use deterrent.

I read the book myself while still in my early teens and although I would agree that it scared me out of most things I think it also “taught” me many things that now I don’t consider appropriate for the 10 years-12 years set. My daughter is one year ahead of her class and at 9 years entering 5th grade this fall I’m scared of this type of reading and also of the “sex education” that I understand public school provides to these children.

Has anyone read that book, and what is your opinion? Do you think it conforms with catholic teaching and morality? And what other choices do we as parents have to instruct our kids on the dangers of drugs without showing them all the bad that is out there available for anyone to try? I’m concerned that whatever I don’t teach her, her friends and classmates will, thus thwarting my efforts and showing her there is more to it that mom is letting on. I don’t want her to go to her friends, I want her to come to me for any questions. Especially since her younger sister (6 years old) learns from her.

All ideas are appreciated.


Mom in West Coast


I have read a bit of Ask Alice, and I am really shocked that it is being used as a fifth grade reading book! When I was in fifth grade my class was reading Little House on the Prairie and books like that but not Ask Alice! I went to a Catholic Elementary school however, so that may have something to do with it. But still, a fifth grader should NOT be reading a book about a girl who starts taking drugs!

My opinion of the book itself is ok for teenagers but I mean, maybe something like little house would be better for fifth graders.

Personally the way I see it, when there is a Berenstein Bears BIG Chapter book about Drugs then there is something wrong wtih society. So it is possible that they are trying to prevent kids from doing drugs really early on but I still feel they are too young for that book. Besides, what fifth grader does drugs.

As for Sex Ed, well my experience was that I went to a Catholic Elementary School and they started teaching Sex Ed really early, at least in Grade three!

My opinion is perhaps ask to see the Sex Ed Curriculum and see what they are learning. It may not be as bad as you think, considering they are fifth graders, but it might be as bad as well. Again, if they are going into fairly deep detail talk with your daughter about it! She may be wiser then you know!:thumbsup:


I read it when I was a teen.

I would be SO in the face of any school that assigned that as reading for ANY grade, let alone 5th grade, that they would not know what hit them.

Before getting worked up, first simply ASK the school what materials are used for drug education, at what grade, and ask to SEE them. Ask the teachers what reading is assigned for Language Arts as well as any other subjects. Be involved.

And, then do the same thing regarding sex ed. Get all the curriculum, review it, know your rights of opting your child out of objectionable content, and stay on top of it.


I have read all sorts of outlandish things about public schools. I have yet to actually witness any of them.

The place you read this, will they provide documentation?

Ask the school what the reading list is for 5th grade. Is your daughter the type that will check books out of the school library to read “for fun” if they are not assigned? If she is, go check what is on the shelves in the school library, talk to the librarian. Our public school Jr. High library has the Left Behind books on the shelves for Accelerated Reader points :eek:

For health or “sex ed”, ask to see the materials.

No parent, those with kids in public or private or Catholic school should ever sit back and not know what is being taught.


my first husband smoked his first joint at 9…and my SS started at 8. don’t assume 5th graders aren’t being exposed to drugs.

i agree with those who say “look at the materials”…and I say read them yourself…including this book. i’ve read it. i wouldn’t let my 8 year old read it…but when he’s 11 or 12, i would probably encourage it.

if you’re sending your child to public school, there are going to be a LOT of things that don’t conform to Catholic teaching.


You should really watch Intervention on A&E. Plenty of people start on drinking and drugs before their teen years.

Growing up, I knew a girl who lost her virginity at age 11. ELEVEN! Kids do things you would never imagine when they have bad parents, no supervision…


closed #8

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