Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
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Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  4,694 ratings  ·  256 reviews

Last Sunday, Alexander's grandparents gave him a dollar -- and he was rich. There were so many things that he could do with all of that money!

He could buy as much gum as he wanted, or even a walkie-talkie, if he saved enough. But somehow the money began to disappear...

Readers of all ages will be delighted by this attractive new edition of Judith Viorst's beloved picture

Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 30th 1987 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published February 1st 1978)
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Mar 02, 2010 Aimee added it
Shelves: pbgs-2-picture
Alexander is given money from his grandparents and he thinks he is rich. He really wants to save up his money to buy something great, but his money begins to disappear quickly.

The illustrator in this book creates a space for the text at the top of the page and the illustration at the bottom of the page. The illustrator uses all black and white sketches throughout the entire book. These simple sketches with no color leave a need for very detailed pictures to get the emotion in the book. The illus...more
Jul 28, 2009 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in teaching kids the value of a dollar
Although this book is definitely dated (the 1979 illustrations of the family made me really nostalgic for childhoods watching "Family Ties" -- and I can't imagine any kids who would be able to make $1.00 buy anything, let alone several things, these days) the concept is one that is timeless and especially relevant in today's difficult economy. Alexander is given $1.00 from his grandparents--he WANTS to save it up to put toward a new radio, but somehow he just keeps on finding other things he wan...more
This book is great to use as a read aloud to students in grades 3 or 4. This specific children's complex picture book may be too simple for children in the 5th grade. I like the fact that the book has multiple characters that are incorporated throughout. I think this book would interest all students and get them thinking about saving their own money that they have. The copyright of this book is older, but the story is something that children today can relate to. All children save money and spend...more
Aug 09, 2007 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents
The best lesson I've ever read, to teach kids about:
* limited financial resources
* the benefits of controlling impulse
* the value of money

Beautiful in that it doesn't preach or tell, it demonstrates by example.

My son enjoys the story, and secretly picks up on the lessons...
John Kirk
I like the idea of this book: it's intended to teach children the importance of saving rather than spending. Unfortunately, there are some problems with the execution. That's not really a criticism of the writer, but you need to be aware of the target audience.

Firstly, this is an American book, so all the references to cents/dollars/etc. will probably confuse a child in other countries (e.g. the UK). Similarly, there were some words that I didn't recognise ("lox") and other terms that aren't use...more
Apr 15, 2013 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: math
This was a cute book, it is about Alexander who receives a dollar from his grandparents and his first plan is to save it but instead he spends it all and is only left with some bus tokens. This is a great book for learning about the concept of money. I would use fake coins to express how many of each coins makes up a dollar and could expand the lesson by creating a class store and having the students buy items that would add up to be a dollar.
Aug 23, 2008 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2008, math, money
Shows how quickly a windfall can disappear. It's on a micro-scale in this story, but the lesson holds true universally. Good story to introduce fiscal responsibility to kids. We really enjoyed reading this book together and I will be sure to look for more books by Judith Viorst at our local library.
Ka Youa
This book is about a boy called Alexander who used to be rich. His grandparents came to visit them and each time they visit the family, they gave the children a dollar. Alexander thought he was rich. He was being told by his parents that if he saved his money, he could get his walkie talkie. However, Alexander has trouble saving money. At first he buys some chewing gum, makes losing bets with his brothers, and then spends the rest of the money on useless things. Soon his money is all gone. At th...more
Stephen Lyons
This book reminded me of my childhood. As a child every time I visited my great grandparents they would give me money to do whatever I pleased. Of course, I thought that $5.00 was a lot of money at the time, but in this book Alexander receives a dollar and this shows the generation difference. I think it's cool to see how the generations change, children in elementary school's now would rather have a smart phone or Ipad than a walkie-talkie. I think that it would be good to read this to my futur...more
Tracy Mercier
This book really helped us understand how adding and subtracting well helps us spend our money smartly.
Tami Roberts
K - 3rd (Read Aloud/Silent Reading)
Ray Cruz used black and white cross hatching to illustrate this story. The illustrations in this book are very similar to those of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”, with slightly more detail to the eyes and more negative space, less attention to the scenes in this book. Cruz focused a lot more on the facial expression to tell the story with his illustrations. Judith Viorst, again, uses untraditional punctuation placement and repetit...more
Alexa Maring
Instant gratitfication is one thing Alexander is good at, but this effects his ability to save for things he really wants! Use this story to teach students about delayed gratification and the pros to waiting. Students will see through Alexander that acting upon impulsive desires can lead to being unhappy in the end. Use this as an introduction to adding and subtracting money, as well as introducing savings accounts. When I was younger, my mom used to hold the majority of my birthday money and pu...more
Britt D.
This book was a lot of fun and silly. After reading the book to my students I will discuss what a general budget looks like. I will model creating a budget for my students, and then have them create their very own budget based on a scenario I give them. The scenario/word problem will be:
--You make $10.00 a week for allowance.
--$3.00 a week goes to bills (you take you little brother for an afterschool snack on Fridays.)
--You donate $2.00 a week to a charity at school
--You use $3.00 a week for fu...more
Gail Lebeter
Alexander's brothers are rich. Alexander used to be rich last Sunday. Now he has...bus tokens. His grandparents came to visit last weekend and gave each brother a dollar. Alexander thought about saving his, but after some bubble gum, bets with his brothers, a garage sale, and other "must haves," he only has...bus tokens. Soon he begins to realize that some "needs" are really "wants" and that if he isn't careful, he's always going to end up with a pocket full of bus tokens.

What a...more
Alexander's grandparents came to visit one Sunday. They gave Alexander and his two brothers each one dollar. Instead of saving, Alexander decides to spend his money on things like a melted candle, a teddy bear with one eye, he rented his friend's snake for one hour, and paid for other things that he really did not need. His dad also fined him when he did or said things that he shouldn't have. He keeps spending and losing money until he is left with two bus tokens. Then he reflects back to...more
Alexander's grandparents come to visit and give money to Alexander and his two brothers. Alexander wants to save his money to buy walkie-talkies, but he can't seems to keep it in his pocket. He just has to have a bear with one eye, candy from Pearson's Drug Store, and a half melted candle, amongst other things. In the end, he is left with two bus tokens.

Young people will be able to relate to Alexander, especially if they like to spend money on things they want. The content is realistic. There i...more
Sarah Sammis
Jul 22, 2012 Sarah Sammis rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sarah by: Sean
I read the first of Judith Viorst's Alexander books to my son when he was an infant. He went on to discover other books in the series. His most recent discovery is Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.

The book opens with Alexander lamenting the fact that he has no money. As the story unwinds, he explains why he has no money. Since last Sunday he has spent his money on all sorts of frivolous things.

As the book was written in the late 1970s, the amount of money has on Sunday is quite small. C...more
I enjoyed this book because not only did it include counting money in an intriguing way, but it also incorporated rich family interactions. Trying to save your money is not always the easiest thing, and I think this book does a good job in a humorous way to show how money can be spent. This would be a good book to read to the class and be able to have the students participate in a discussion on what they would spend their dollar on.
Paul Farbman
Jan 21, 2014 Paul Farbman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Elementary Math Teachers and older elementary students
Recommended to Paul by: Terry Benton
Shelves: 00-in-class
I really enjoyed the character voice in this story. The author speaks well from the child's vantage point.

In this story, Alexander receives $1.00 from his grandparents on Sunday. He attempts to save up for a walk-talky, but he gradually spends it all as the week goes on.

The dates in the book are from the eighties, and the pictures are in black in white. This being the case, the story does not really seem dated. I feel that most kids would still connect to it well because of the humor. They will...more
Sara Parry
I enjoyed this book. I feel that this book would be helpful for a math class. This book would allow me to add reading into a math lesson. Students would be able to keep a tally of where Alexander spent his money. This would help the students follow along with the story as well as adding and subtracting the amounts. This is an engaging book that many students would enjoy.
Andrew Casey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Starcher
I enjoyed hearing this book read in class. It was very fun to listen to. I think it could be very helpful when teaching children math because they can add and subtract the different amounts. I also thought it was very neat to hear all the different things he was doing with his money and how cheap everything was. The pictures went along with the words which is good for young readers.
This book would be a great resource for the classroom in a maybe setting. Whether it be addition, subtraction, or learning how to use money, there are many ways to incorporate this book!
It does have an interesting storyline, although a bit long, and therefore probably best used with older students...grades 2,3 or 4.
Christian Houseworth
As a teacher, this book would be a great book to have in my classroom. This would be a good book to read to students when introducing the concept of money. This book would be especially helpful with helping students understand the value of a dollar and that there are many different ways they can make a dollar and or spend a dollar. This book also teaches sequencing and could also be used to help students learn ordering numbers, because the book is displayed in a certain order. The money Alexande...more
Sep 23, 2009 Janna added it
Shelves: pbgs-choice-1
The theme of spending money in this book seems like it relates to many kids. When kids have a little bit of money there really is a lot of struggle for them to decide what to buy because they want to get the most out of their money. It was very common to hear when Alexander’s dad gave advice to save the money for college and when his mom told him to save his money to buy something big like a walkie-talkie. I think many kids could relate to it because they probably heard their parents say the sam...more
Another Alexander book! How great is that? I like all the Alexander books because they have a hidden message in them. This one is about how Alexander gets a dollar from his grandparents and how quickly his dollar disappears from all the items he buys. At the end, he wishes that his grandparents would come back soon so he can get more money.
I think this book would be great for second graders, because you can start out with a dollar and then from there write down the items that Alexander buys and...more
Katelyn Mooney
I think this book is a valuable book for primary grades regarding counting money. The students still be able to follow along with Alexander, and be able to keep track of how much money he has throughout the book.
Vanessa Peavy
i read this book during my third grade placement. It is such a cute book and great for students to make connections to.
To use this book for teaching a unit on money. For an activity, I would give students grocery/store ads and have them go shopping. They would have $20.00 to spend on whatever they wanted too. A good enrichment part of this activity would be to ask students to spend their money in fractions and percentages. I would have them save 10% of their money, or I would ask them to spend...more
Lindsay Michael
I thought the book was cute and was good for young readers because it could possibly help them in math with adding, subtracting, and money, rather than just with their reading comprehension.
I liked this book more than my girls did. It's so witty and charming. You end up feeling sorry for Alexander. We have all spent our allowances on nothing but silliness. There's a lesson here.
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MCC Children's Li...: Alexander, Who Used to Be rich Last Sunday- Challice 1 1 Apr 04, 2012 07:03PM  
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Judith Viorst is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction for children as well as adults. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, her most famous children's book, was first published in 1972 and has since sold over two million copies. Ms. Viorst received a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, and she is also a graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institu...more
More about Judith Viorst...
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Necessary Losses: The Loves Illusions Dependencies and Impossible Expectations That All of us Have Lulu and the Brontosaurus Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move The Tenth Good Thing About Barney

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