My Life As an Alphabet

Barry Jonsberg

My Life As an Alphabet
Allen & Unwin
29 January 2013

My Life As an Alphabet

Barry Jonsberg

This isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life - my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people (with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish) who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.

Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little…odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people (and pets) in her life.

Laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully touching, My Life as an Alphabet is a delightful novel about an unusual girl who goes to great lengths to bring love and laughter into the lives of everyone she cares about.


As Candice Phee approaches her thirteenth birthday, foremost in her mind is the sadness of everyone around her – from her best friend Douglas, who’s convinced he’s fallen into the wrong dimension, to her neglectful parents who’ve been wrapped up in grief for years. Candice is determined to fix things but her very literal take on life makes for various complications.

This is a sophisticated novel in a similar vein to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon) or Wonder (R.J. Palacio). It completely won me over, just as unusual misfit Candice wins over everyone she meets, even if she has to do it the hard way.

An uplifting book, funny, charming and sometimes brutally honest, about a girl who accepts herself for the way she is and is waiting for everyone else to do the same.

For ages 10 and up.

Emily Gale

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