Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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by Judith Viorst; Illustrated by Ray Cruz; Published (1972) by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Phew!  What a title!  But from the first lines I knew  it was gonna be a winner!

Alexander is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  And let me tell you why.  For starters…..

…. I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Does that day get any badder?  Yes, it does.  His brothers find nifty toys in their cereal; Alexander finds cereal.  He does not get a window seat on the school bus. The teacher likes Paul’s picture of the sailboat but not his picture of the invisible castle.  He sings too loud, he counts wrong, he loses his best friend, finds no dessert in his lunchbox, discovers he has a cavity and the elevator door closes on his foot and he falls in the mud and gets scolded for fighting and doesn’t get the sneakers he wants.  THEN…there are lima beans for dinner and kissing on tv – yuck!  All along, he’s thinking of moving to Australia.

Haven’t we all had bad days?  A great book.  I cannot think of one bad thing to say about it.  It’s an oldie (written in 1972) but uncommon and suffused with intelligent humour and quality writing.  That’s why I like it.


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