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Encyclopedia > Go Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice
Author Anonymous (Beatrice Sparks)
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Prentice Hall
Publication date 1971
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 159 pp
ISBN ISBN 0133571114
This article is about the book. For the health website, see Go Ask Alice!.

Go Ask Alice is a controversial 1971 book about drug abuse that is considered a classic of American young adult literature. The book purports to be the actual diary of an anonymous teenage girl who died of a drug overdose in the late 1960s and is therefore presented as a testimony against drug use. Alice is not the protagonist's name; the diarist's name is never given in the book. A woman named Alice is mentioned briefly in one entry; she is a fellow addict the diarist meets on the street. Despite this, reviewers generally refer to the diarist as "Alice" for the sake of convenience. Image File history File links Goaskalicsedfs. ... Look up anonymous, anon, anonymity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Beatrice Mathews Sparks (born November 15, 1918 in Goldburg, Idaho) is a psychologist and Mormon youth counselor who is known for producing books purporting to be the real diaries of troubled teenagers. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Pearson can mean Pearson PLC the media conglomerate. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar, known as the year of cyclohexanol. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN redirects here. ... A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML... Go Ask Alice! is a Q&A service provided by Columbia University for both students and the general public with questions or curiosity about health topics. ... See also: 1970 in literature, other events of 1971, 1972 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Comparison of the perceived harm for various psychoactive drugs from a poll among medical psychiatrists specialized in addiction treatment[1] This article is an overview of the nontherapeutic use of alcohol and drugs of abuse. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... Young adult (YA) literature is literature written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents. ... == c programming[[a--203. ...

It caused a sensation when published and remains in print as of 2008. Revelations about the book's origin have caused much doubt as to its authenticity and factual accounts, and the publishers have listed it as a work of fiction since at least the mid-late 1980s. Although it is still published under the byline "Anonymous," press interviews and copyright records suggest that it is largely or wholly the work of its purported editor, Beatrice Sparks. For other uses, see Fiction (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with copywriting. ... Beatrice Mathews Sparks (born November 15, 1918 in Goldburg, Idaho) is a psychologist and Mormon youth counselor who is known for producing books purporting to be the real diaries of troubled teenagers. ...

Some of the days and dates referenced in the book put the timeline from 1968 until 1970.

The title is from the lyrics to the Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit". Grace Slick wrote the song based on perceived drug references in the classic novel Alice In Wonderland. Jefferson Airplane is an American rock band from San Francisco, a pioneer of the psychedelic rock movement. ... White Rabbit is a psychedelic rock song from Jefferson Airplanes 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow. ... Grace Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing on October 30, 1939) is an American singer and songwriter, who was one of the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship, and was a solo artist, for nearly three decades, from the mid-1960s to the... Alice in Wonderland redirects here. ...


Plot summary

The novel, or diary, deals with the downfall of a fifteen-year-old American girl and her journals over the course of two years and a few days.

At the beginning of the book, "Alice" is a typical, insecure, middle-class teenager preoccupied with boys, diets, and popularity. Her fortunes take a sharp turn for the worse when her family moves to a new town and she finds herself less popular and more isolated than ever before. Unhappy in the new town, she is overjoyed to be allowed to return to the old town to spend the summer with her grandparents. During this stay she is invited to a party by an old acquaintance; there she unwittingly ingests LSD that had been added to random bottles of Coca-Cola and distributed to the party guests as a game. The other guests had mistakenly assumed Alice was aware of what the "game" entailed. After this first unwitting, but pleasurable, experience, she seeks drugs deliberately, and rapidly proceeds to marijuana, amphetamines, and casual sex. She describes her drug experiences intricately; the more extreme the supposed diarist's drug experience, the more sophisticated and descriptive her writing becomes. This article is about the socio-economic class from a global vantage point. ... Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, LSD-25, or acid. ... The wave shape (known as the dynamic ribbon device) present on all Coca-Cola cans throughout the world derives from the contour of the original Coca-Cola bottles. ... Cannabis, also known as marijuana[1] or ganja (Hindi: गांजा),[2] is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa. ... Amphetamine is a synthetic drug originally developed (and still used) as an appetite suppressant. ...

A pregnancy scare and the return to her new town encourage her to turn away from drugs; however she soon willingly falls in with the drug crowd where finally she finds acceptance. She starts dating a drug dealer and sells drugs to grade-schoolers for him. After realizing he was using her, she turns him in to the police and runs away from home with her new friend Chris, moving to San Francisco. She opens a boutique with Chris, however she misses her family. After being given heroin and then being raped by Chris' boss, Shelia and her boyfriend, she and Chris return home. This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...

She is welcomed back warmly by her family, but finds herself ostracized by the community and has difficulty keeping her resolve to avoid drugs. She soon weakens and, while high, runs away again. She spends time living on the streets, a period during which her diary is not dated and entries were purportedly recorded on scraps of paper or paper napkins. She finds herself having sexual relations with strangers and loses track of everything, but her fear for her family finally gives her enough courage to ask a priest to help her return home.

When she returns home she vows to stay completely off drugs, and succeeds, even without the support of Chris who has now moved away. However, she is again ostracized by her former friends who continue to label her a police informant, and is ignored by the "square" kids. While babysitting Alice is drugged without her knowledge. She has a violent, bad trip, during which a neighbor locks her in the closet, where she badly injures herself trying to claw her way out, and is committed to a psychiatric hospital. After being released she returns home, is finally happy and over her drug addiction. She starts a new romance with a student, Joel, at her father's university. She gets her life back on track and finally makes the decision to stop keeping a diary.

An editorial note informs readers that three weeks after the last entry the diarist died of an overdose. The book's epilogue ponders if it had been an accidental or premeditated overdose, before concluding that it was just one of thousands of drug deaths that year.

this story is based on how one little drug can lead to big problems and the anonymous author showed this very well.


Go Ask Alice was originally promoted as nonfiction and was published under the byline "Anonymous." However, not long after its publication, Beatrice Sparks, a psychologist and Mormon youth counselor, began making media appearances promoting herself as the book's editor. Beatrice Mathews Sparks (born November 15, 1918 in Goldburg, Idaho) is a psychologist and Mormon youth counselor who is known for producing books purporting to be the real diaries of troubled teenagers. ... This article is about the history and use of the word Mormon. For information about the religious beliefs and culture of Mormons, see Mormonism. ...

Searches at the U.S. Copyright Office[1] show that Sparks is the sole copyright holder for Go Ask Alice. Furthermore, she is listed on the copyright record as the book's author — not as the editor, compiler, or executor, which would be more usual for someone publishing the diary of a deceased person. (According to the book itself, the sole copyright is owned by Prentice-Hall) The United States Copyright Office, a division of the Library of Congress, is the official US government body that maintains records of copyright registration in the United States. ...

In an October 1979 interview with Aileen Pace Nilsen for School Library Journal, Sparks claimed that Go Ask Alice had been based on the diary of one of her patients, but that she had added various fictional incidents based on her experiences working with other troubled teens. She said the real "Alice" had not died of a drug overdose, but in a way that could have been either an accident or suicide. She also stated that she could not produce the original diary, because she had destroyed part of it after transcribing it and the rest was locked away in the publisher's vault.[citation needed] School Library Journal is a monthly publication with articles and reviews for school and public librarians who work with young people. ...

Sparks' second "diary" project, Jay's Journal, gave rise to a controversy that cast further doubt on Go Ask Alice's veracity. Jay's Journal was allegedly the diary of a boy who committed suicide after becoming involved with the occult. Again, Sparks claimed to have based it on the diary of a patient. However, the family of the boy in question, Alden Barrett, disowned the book. They claimed that Sparks had used only a handful of the actual diary entries, and had invented the great majority of the book, including the entire occult angle. [2] This led many to speculate that "Alice's" diary—if indeed it existed—had received similar treatment. No one claiming to have known the real "Alice" has ever come forward. Jays Journal, which is presented as an autobiographical account, is a book that tells the story of a depressed teenage boy who becomes involved with a Satanic group. ...

Sparks has gone on to produce many other alleged diaries dealing with various problems faced by teenagers. These include Treacherous Love: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager, Almost Lost: The True Story of an Anonymous Teenager's Life on the Streets, Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager and It Happened to Nancy: By an Anonymous Teenager. Although billed as "real diaries," these do not appear to have been received by readers or reviewers as anything other than fiction.

There have recently been hints that at least one other author was involved in the creation of Go Ask Alice. In an essay called "Just Say Uh-Oh," published in the New York Times Book Review on November 5, 1998, Mark Oppenheimer identified Linda Glovach, an author of young-adult novels, as "one of the 'preparers' -- let's call them forgers -- of Go Ask Alice," , although he did not give his source for this claim. [3] Amazon.com's listing for Glovach's novel Beauty Queen also states that Glovach is "a co-author" of Alice. The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Amazon. ...

In an article on the Urban Legends Reference Pages (snopes.com), urban folklore expert Barbara Mikkelson points out that even before the revelations about Go Ask Alice's authorship, there was ample internal evidence that the book was not an actual diary. The lengthy, detailed passages about the harmful effects of illicit drugs (what many critics would expect of anti-drug propaganda) and the relatively small amount of space dedicated to relationships and social gossip seem uncharacteristic of a teenaged girl’s diary. Furthermore, the book uses many long words, such as gregarious and impregnable, which are uncommon in casual pieces of writing, especially those of teenagers. [4] The Urban Legends Reference Pages, also known as snopes. ... For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ...

Censorship controversies

Because Go Ask Alice includes relatively explicit references to runaways, drugs, and sex, conservative parents and activists have often sought to remove it from school libraries. Bans started in the 1970s: Kalamazoo in 1974, Saginaw in 1975, and Eagle Pass and Trenton in 1977 through removal from local libraries. Other libraries in New York (1975), Ogden,Utah (1979), and Florida (1982) required parental permission for a student to check out the book. Additional bans occurred in 1983 in Minnesota and Colorado, 1984 in Mississippi, and 1986 in Georgia and Michigan. Also, in 1993 in New Jersey and West Virginia, 1994 in Massachusetts, 1998 in Rhode Island, 2003 in Maine, and in Feb 2007 Berkley County School District in South Carolina. The American Library Association listed Go Ask Alice as number 23 on its list of the 100 most frequently challenged books of the 1990s. [5] The book was number 8 on the most challenged list in 2001 and up to number 6 in 2003. The dispute over the book's authorship does not seem to have played any role in these censorship battles. Kalamazoo redirects here. ... Saginaw is the name of several places in the United States of America: Saginaw, Michigan Saginaw, Texas This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Map of the city 1887 Eagle Pass is a city in Maverick County, Texas, United States. ... Trenton is the name of several places in Canada and the United States. ... This article is about the state. ... This article is about the U.S. State of Florida. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Largest metro area Minneapolis-St. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Largest metro area Denver-Aurora Metro Area Area  Ranked 8th  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Largest metro area Charleston metro area Area  Ranked 41st  - Total 24,244 sq mi (62,809 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 240 miles (385 km)  - % water 0. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Official language(s) None (English and French de facto) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ... Official language(s) English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude 78° 32′ W to 83... ALA Logo The American Library Association (ALA) is a group based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. ...

TV film adaptation

In 1973, a television movie adaptation of Go Ask Alice was aired as an ABC Movie of the Week entry. Directed by John Korty, it followed the sequence of events described in the book, although many situations were condensed into a single brief scene or even as a flashback recalled by the protagonist as a way of fitting events into the 74 minute running time. The cast included Jamie Smith Jackson as the diarist, William Shatner and Julie Adams as her parents, Mackenzie Phillips as Doris, with cameos by Ruth Roman and Andy Griffith. In the film the diarist is named 'Alice' outright. “Telefilm” redirects here. ... The ABC Movie of the Week was a weekly anthology series, featuring made-for-TV movies, that aired on the ABC network in various permutations from 1969 to 1976. ... Jamie Smith Jackson (sometimes credited as Jamie Smith-Jackson) (Born 1948) is an American actress. ... William Alan Shatner (born on March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor who gained fame for playing James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of the subsequent movies. ... Actress Julie Adams from Creature from the Black Lagoon Julie Adams (born October 17, 1926 in Waterloo, Iowa)is an American film actress. ... Mackenzie Phillips, as Julie Cooper on One Day at a Time. ... Ruth Roman (born December 22, 1922 - died September 9, 1999) was an American actress. ... Not to be confused with Andy Griffiths. ...


  1. ^ U.S. Copyright Office - Search Copyright Records
  2. ^ "Curiouser and Curiouser": Fact, Fiction, and the Anonymous Author of Go Ask Alice
  3. ^ Just Say 'Uh-Oh'
  4. ^ Barbara Mikkelson, 'Go Ask Alice', Urban Legends Reference Pages, July 7, 2001.
  5. ^ ALA | 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000

is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

External links

  • Go ask Alice at Spark Notes
  • Go Ask Alice at the Internet Movie Database
  • "Curiouser and Curiouser": Fact, Fiction, and the Anonymous Author of Go Ask Alice.
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ...



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