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


4.22  ·  Rating details ·  178,176 ratings  ·  2,937 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
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 15th 1987 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1972)
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Cacelia Moore The reason he got in trouble because his brother tripped him and then Alexander tried to punch his brother but, when his mom came with the car his mom…moreThe reason he got in trouble because his brother tripped him and then Alexander tried to punch his brother but, when his mom came with the car his mom thought that Alexander was being mean to his brothers.(less)

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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  178,176 ratings  ·  2,937 reviews

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Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Burned in my brain forever. First, because of the wonderful list of descriptors in the title, repeated throughout the story. I must have hit it at the right time in language development, because it stuck in my mind. I think I used that phrase "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day," for a couple of decades, usually in jest or as a way of mocking my drama. Second, because it was the first library book I ever lost. I'm pretty sure I was freaked out, but I remember the librarians as being nicel ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst

Alexander could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When he got out of bed, he tripped over his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing
Michael Finocchiaro
My son and I adore this book! It is a wonderful story about a kid who is really having a tough time. Maybe he should move to Australia? The artwork is wonderful. This is the PERFECT book for kids who are feeling the blues and need a bit of perspective. Fantastic.
Robin Hobb
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids
Who hasn't had this sort of a day? For Alexander, it starts out bad and just gets worse and worse.

A great book to share with a kid who gets frustrated when 'everything seems to go wrong for me!'

I love the illustrations in this, the simple situations gone bad, and Alexander's very real reactions to them.
2 Bad Day ★'s

“It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

I read this to my little niece the other day, let's just say we weren't very impressed by this book. I get the meaning behind it and it's true sometimes you just have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Days where one thing after another go wrong and it puts you in a terrible mood but... still, I didn't like the overall negative feeling of this book. Really Alexander just came across as a little brat and was a bit an
Feb 18, 2011 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
Elyse  Walters
Feb 02, 2016 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 honor of the new Bambino!!!!

Sooooooooooo Happy for you 'grandma'!
Dec 26, 2014 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.

Spencer Orey
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I remember liking this book when I was a kid, but now it's kind of a downer. Like, I guess it's good that kids can empathize. There are going to be bad days. But still. Downerrrrr. ...more
I thought this book was an appropriate book to read. Alexander is having a horrible day. He wakes up out of sorts and the day is one big horror show. I think what I like most about this story is the end. The mother comes in and she doesn't try to make it better or make light of it. She says, some days are like that. Basically - this is life and it's ok. This is part of the human experience. That is the best part to me.

I was sick yesterday, which is why I didn't post. I pretty much slept the ent
May 26, 2007 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
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First Read: I read this at my sister's house and thought it was one of the best children's books I had ever read. I laughed and laughed. Enjoyed it so much.

Second * Read: Something about this book that has tickled me in every way. So I found another copy and have read it several times. Then this last week I went to the library and found a video of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." Again we enjoyed it so much and laughed and laughed. We don't always enjoy life as much
Shelle Perry
Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair and his day just goes downhill from there. His breakfast is no fun, his best friend has new besties and the shoes that he wants are out of stock leaving him with the plain ones, not to mention, he has a visit to the dentist looming in his future. His parents aren’t exactly sympathetic and it still isn’t over because before his day is done he is going to have to watch kissing on television and eat lima beans for dinner. (Actually, I think I got off easy. I ...more

“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 great
Jun 13, 2013 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. ...more
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, young-children
My oldest son loved this book when he was younger. I must have read it a hundred times to him!
CG is sick of this sick, sick world...
Some days are just the worst.
Christine Berger
Jan 20, 2013 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
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
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Gosh, when I was a kid, I remember this book being awesome, but reading it again as an adult was just ok. I don't think my kid was overly impressed with it either. ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Nov 03, 2008 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
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite childhood books because somedays are like that...even in Australia!
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book really speaks to my motto, "Life is hard." Everly did not like it, and she's not going to like my motto. ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful introduction to pessimistic philosophy and nihilist literature for little ones.

I hadn't read this since I was a kid, but I knew what to expect. Alexander was going to have a bad day, but on the last page he would go to bed and dream sweet dreams and wake up to a better tomorrow. "It's okay to have bad days. We will have a better one tomorrow." That's not what I found; the ending shook me to my very core.

I cracked it open with my two year old son last night and to my surprise, even th
Sep 26, 2011 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
➸ Gwen de Sade
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I bought this for my little brother (4) because I'm religiously stalking Patrick Rothfuss' children's book reviews. He's not just a great Author, he's also a real cute Daddy, btw.

The book itself is lovely, I highly recommend it. Can't wait to read it to my little Brothers.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The ten year old's review - "These seem like solvable problems". ...more
Ian Swaner
Nov 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book may be “for kids” but it sums up adulthood pretty well
Oliver Radtke
Mar 21, 2014 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
Robert Davis
I read this as a child, but it didn't really stick in my memory. Looking at it now, all these years later, I can see myself clearly in the boy who is have the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. He is me absolutely. I wonder if it is too late to move to Australia? o_0

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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

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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
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19 likes · 4 comments
“I think I'll move to Australia.” 72 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.” 48 likes
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