Susan Juby’s literate teen novel Alice, I Think (Thistledown Press, 2000), tells the story of an eccentric girl muddling through life in a small British Columbia town. Juby wrote two bestselling sequels and has since become a teen-fiction phenomenon. In her second novel, Miss Smithers (HarperTempest), Alice, the charming heroine, enters the town’s beauty pageant as the nominee of the local Rod and Gun Club. At first her hippie parents are shocked and dismayed by her interest in a sexist and oppressive event, but Alice, as always, puts her unique spin on the competition. Things heat up when she starts a zine to assess the competition and expose the inner workings of the pageant. Alice just can’t go with the flow, but her real problem is that she doesn’t know why she seems so strange to the average Smithers resident. Readers won’t be able to resist the convincing characters or the ripe comedy of Miss Smithers.