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

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4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  131,705 Ratings  ·  1,910 Reviews
The perennially popular tale of Alexander's worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child's bookshelf.

Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair.

And it got worse...

His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV!

This handsome n
...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 15th 1987 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published June 16th 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Philip
Feb 18, 2011 Philip rated it it was amazing
I bought this book in 1989. Well, my parents bought it for me. There's a half-peeled-off sticker that says, MY BOOK in red bubble/block lettering with "Philip" scrawled on the name line. I was in first grade.

I loved this book as a kid.

I read it tonight to my daughters for the first time. I'm pretty sure they didn't understand the message that everybody has bad days, no matter where you are, but it was fun reading to them - all tucked in and what not.

It was a nice piece of nostalgia for me, as we
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Elyse
Feb 02, 2016 Elyse rated it it was amazing
I've read dozens of Judith Viorst's books....(my kids had most of them)....
A new book is coming out soon! Sounds wonderful!

Great books to give the grandchildren) .... (Lisi & Jan)...............

This review is in honor of *Jan*....who's daughter is having her first baby today!!!!!

Congratulations, JAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My candle is glowing .....in honor of the new Bambino!!!!

Sooooooooooo Happy for you 'grandma'!
Patrick
Dec 26, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing
One of the all-time classics. I loved this one as a kid, and I love it all the more as a grown-up reading it to my boys.

I'm dimly aware they made a movie based on the book, though I have no idea why.

If you watched the movie and haven't read this book, I fear you're done yourself a great injustice. Please consider picking up the book. It's well worth your time.

Ben
May 26, 2007 Ben rated it it was amazing
"Some days are like that... Even in Australia."

This is one of those books that has so many levels (like a parfait, or an onion). It begs for multiple readings. On one level it is the story of Alexander, an ordinary kid whose day doesn't go as he wants it to. Yet it is also a treatise on the human condition - our selfishness and self-centeredness, the travails and hardships that assail each person's life, and the resolute courage needed to stand our ground and live our lives where we find ourselv
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midnightfaerie
Jun 13, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Not so much for preschool because it's a more formulated story and it's in black and white, but my 5 yr old loves it. About a boy who just has a bad day, something any kid can relate to. A great story.
Ronyell
Alexander

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (whew what a title) is a children’s book by Judith Viorst along with illustrations by Ray Cruz and it is about how a young boy named Alexander who ends up having a terrible day. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is truly one of the most memorable books ever created!

I have clearly enjoyed this book as Judith Viorst has done a great job at writing this book and Ray Cruz’s illustrations also contribute greatl
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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Oct 27, 2015 Kelly H. (Maybedog) rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books ever. In middle school, I used it as a monologue to audition for a part. I got it because the director had never heard of it and thought it was hilarious. It wasn't hard to get right, either, as it's easy to whine and pout and act angry.

I hear there's a movie coming out which is odd. I have no idea what they'll do because there's not enough plot here to fill a short, but just in case, I recommend you read it now before you hear anything about any film. Form your own imp
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Inspired Kathy
Jun 24, 2008 Inspired Kathy rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite childhood books because somedays are like that...even in Australia!
Maria
Sep 26, 2011 Maria rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
Recommended to Maria by: Teachers in my first elementary school.
This picturebook is famous among teachers. The story is about a naughty boy who describes how his day went from morning to night time. Alexander, the youngest boy in the story, and the narrator as well, had to endure bad incidents in school, at the dentist office, with his brothers and mom while shopping for shoes, at his Dad’s office, and back at home. I have to admit there is humor in all these bad things happening to this boy throughout the day. I connect to the story because I have two boys ...more
Christine Berger
Jan 20, 2013 Christine Berger rated it liked it
I know this is a beloved classic, but I just didn't care for it. I think my kid just takes it literally, that this boy is having a bad day and nothing is fair, and sympathizes with him. But from an adult's perspective, he's an obnoxious little whiner who resorts to saying mean things and hitting, plus he does a lot of blaming his mom for things that don't go right ("guess whose mom forgot dessert?") which sets a disrespectful example. I think by the time a kid gets old enough for the intended me ...more
Magpie67
Truly the best children's book out there.... I first read this book when I was in elementary school and since then have read it multiple times to my children, the children I babysat and today to my mentee, a fifth grader who had never heard of the book before I mentioned it. I will never forget the day I walked into my Chemistry class quoting "I'm having a terrible, horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and have my partner finish it with me.... Kindred spirits. I use this phrase on those days when li ...more
Mccalla
May 22, 2014 Mccalla rated it liked it

I read the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. It was about a young boy named Alex who wakes up to a start of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! He didn't get the window seat on the way to school and forgot the number sixteen during counting time. It gets worse, his mom forgot to pack him a dessert and took them to the dentist after school. Alex learns that moving to Australia would not solve his problems. Every once in a while you just se
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Oliver Radtke
Mar 26, 2014 Oliver Radtke rated it it was ok
I am reading “Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” by Judith Viorst. The book is about a young boy named Alexander. His bad day starts when he wakes up with gum in his hair from when he was sleeping. Many bad things happened to this kid that makes it a bad day. Some examples are, not getting a toy from the cereal box, losing his best friend, not getting what he wanted in his lunch box, and he did not get the shoes with the stripe on it that he wanted.

I did not like this
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Holli
I think this book emphasizes just about every bad day we've all had. I originally heard it on one of the many episodes of Reading Rainbow I watched growing up. Although, I can probably appreciate it more now with how Murphy's Law has very much grown to love me on pretty much on a daily basis. A cute and fast read.
Alex
Oct 22, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing
This book really gets me
Alexa Greening
Oct 24, 2014 Alexa Greening rated it liked it
"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" was a good book in my opinion. Also, the child I read it to loved it! He is 4 years old. I think people can relate to having these days and that makes the book so much more interesting. It also has some humor, which every reader likes. I would read this book again and to children too.

Many of the things that go wrong for Alexander happen in everyday live. He wakes up and he doesn't get a prize in his cereal box, then his clothes fall
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Trevor Wetzel
Oct 24, 2014 Trevor Wetzel rated it it was amazing
I read the Children’s story, “ Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” by Judith Viorst to my little brother, Wyatt. Wyatt felt very bad for Alexander and did not like all of the bad things that were happening to him. He thought it was unfair and hoped he did not have a bad day like that. Wyatt also enjoyed the book, especially the more funny parts.In this story, Alexander starts off his day realizing that he slept with gum in his mouth that ended up in his hair. Alexander’ ...more
Noah Rucks
Oct 28, 2015 Noah Rucks rated it really liked it

Personal Response:

I read the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day tomy brother. I liked this book because it was short. I also liked it, because sometimes I have those days and I can relate to how he feels if everything goes wrong. Last, it has a lot of humor and everybody loves to read books that have humor in it.

Summary:

This book was about a boy named Alexander. Alexander starts his morning off bad, because he has gum in his hair when he wakes up. Then everything f
...more
Eslammohammed
May 22, 2015 Eslammohammed rated it really liked it
ONLY 32 pages but if well-passionately written it will count as 300,

Have you ever had a bad day?,silly formula,OK after rephrasing Have you ever had your just share of bad days,and mostly the horrible ,terrible ones?,,,

How did you handle the whole situation?, What about your family and friends?, Did they participate in alleviating the burden,or as usual added their own vicious touch?

Alexander told us,shared his own misfortunes and disappointments from childish vivid humorous perspective,which ga
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Miranda Potratz
Jan 15, 2014 Miranda Potratz rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. This story is about a boy named Alexander who has a very bad day. Things like waking up with gum in his hair, losing his best friend, getting a cavity, falling in mud, and even accidently trashing his dads office at work are some of the unfortunate events Alexander goes through in one day. From the second he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed nothing seems to go right for him.

The characters in this stor
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Athena Shardbearer
Oct 20, 2014 Athena Shardbearer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-sakura
I read this one to my daughter, the spanish version and she loved it. I just seen they are making this into a movie and I hope they do!
Morgan Folk
May 21, 2015 Morgan Folk rated it really liked it
Personal Response:

I liked this book because it was short. I also liked it, because sometimes I have those days and I can relate to how he feels if everything goes wrong. Last, it has a lot of humor and everybody loves to read books that have humor in it.

Summary:

This book was about a boy named Alexander. Alexander starts his morning off bad, because he has gum in his hair when he wakes up. Then everything from that moment goes bad. First off, his brothers get a toy in there cereal box and he d
...more
Shelley
Feb 17, 2011 Shelley rated it it was amazing
We read this one last night. It is one of our favorite books. It SO reminds me of my youngest daughter. She is so melodramatic and has those days when she feels like EVERYONE is picking on her and her sisters are getting EVERYTHING! :) Especially the cereal. As a parent of three you have to make hard choices- 1) Buy the cereal with no toys that tastes like cardboard flakes or 2) Hide the cereal until you have time to get the toy out, re-seal the box, and then pretend the company left the toy out ...more
Kawsor Shepu
Jul 26, 2012 Kawsor Shepu rated it really liked it
Title: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Author: Viorst Judith

In this story the author takes us through a day in the life of a boy called Alexander. But this is no ordinary day. It’s one of those days that we have all had and we all try to avoid. Alexander woke up with bubble gum stuck in his hair and he could already tell that “It was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!”
Just as Alexander expected, the day was not getting any better for him. This sto
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Riley Conway
Sep 14, 2011 Riley Conway rated it it was amazing
Narrated by our protagonist, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (illustrated by Ray Cruz), demonstrates the many perils of childhood, like tripping, getting gum in your hair, and not getting the prize out of the cereal box. Fortunately, Alexander has a plan--a remedy--that pops up as an amusing refrain throughout the story: he's going to move to Australia. Before the story—and the day—comes to a close, Alexander’s best friend demotes him, he fails to imp ...more
Jeannie
Sep 25, 2011 Jeannie rated it liked it
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz (illustrator), (Aladdin Paperbacks, 1972), 32p. Picture Book

Genre- Contemporary

Summary - This story is an account of a day in the life of a young boy named Alexander. We chuckle sympathetically as Alexander experiences a day in which nothing goes his way from sun-up to sundown.

Critique:
(a) The strength and humor of this story comes through the voice of Alexander.
(b) The use of run-on sentences, irrational respo
...more
Baylee Washburn
Feb 17, 2010 Baylee Washburn rated it really liked it
The many disappointments and unfortunate events that Alexander encounters in this story are realistic and authentic to young readers who encounter this book. The book uses repetitive phrases such as “It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” that allow listeners to become active in the reading when hearing this story read aloud. This repetition used in the story also contributes to reading ease and ties together the many terrible, horrible events that occur in the story. Additionally, ...more
Lisa
Mar 30, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day By: Judith Viorst ISBN: 978-0689711732, 1987. Alexander’s day starts out bad from the moment he wakes up! He wakes up to find gum in his hair, he tripped on his skateboard and then dropped his sweater in the sink! His brothers don’t make life any easier for him either!...School is no better and then the dentist is horrible, he gets the elevator door shut on him and he doesn’t get the good shoes at the shoe store! And it’s not over yet!. ...more
Becca
Aug 02, 2011 Becca rated it it was amazing
I’ve never met a child that does not love this book. It is funny and touchingly honest and skilfully told from the viewpoint of a child having a rotten day. But the message is so universal that I also can’t think of a single adult who
couldn’t thoroughly relate as well. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day continues to be a classic in my family, now fully grown. Whenever one of my adult siblings is going through a particularly rough experience—be it at work or in marriage or
...more
Judy
Feb 15, 2014 Judy rated it liked it
Shelves: young-fiction

Some days are like that, and I guess they are. I can see how it could relate to kids after a bad day. I am unsure if it would be my choice to read to them on a truly horrible day. But let's face it, if a kid picks a favourite book and it connects with them, go with it.

I have been reading my way through a list of 9 Lessons of Life Everyone Can Learn From Classic Children's Books. Sat and read it in the library. I have always loved the children's section in libraries. All the books are so invitin
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UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book review 6 1 7 Aug 21, 2014 10:38AM  
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 1 13 Dec 02, 2013 02:46PM  
Reading log #7 9 57 Nov 20, 2013 12:01PM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Alexander (4 books)
  • Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
  • Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move
  • Alexander, Who's Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever

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“I think I'll move to Australia.” 60 likes
“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.” 41 likes
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