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My Name Is Not Alexander

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A New York Times Bestseller! Just How Big Can a Little Boy Dream? Who is your hero? Alexander takes a rip-roaring historical adventure! Through his imaginative journey, Alexander discovers how great men become the roughest rider can be surprisingly gentle, a strong leader is also the most peaceful, and sometimes, being brave about what makes you different will not only help you break records, but inspire others. Join Alexander as he learns how these remarkable men changed the world and encouraged him to find the hero within himself. "Clever text and exuberant illustrations makes this book a perfect way to introduce kids to historical figures."―Deborah Underwood, New York Time s bestselling author of The Quiet Book Recognition for My Name Is Not Isabella :

32 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2011

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About the author

Jennifer Fosberry

13 books44 followers
Jennifer Fosberry is a science geek turned children's book author. After working in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and running away to Costa Rica for a few years, she returned to the San Francisco Bay area to read, write, raise kids, and get out of doing the housework. She lives with her patient husband, her three darling children, and her two little dogs, too.

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5 stars
175 (36%)
4 stars
176 (36%)
3 stars
97 (20%)
2 stars
23 (4%)
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7 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 86 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,802 reviews1,235 followers
March 30, 2011
I read this book at the same time/immediately after I read My Name is Not Isabella.

One thing that bugs me about this one, in the Isabella book, the subtitle is “Just how big can a little girl dream?” So, are boys not allowed to dream?! Here the subtitle is “Just how big can a little kid dream?” This book is the boy counterpart to the Isabella girl book, so why the change of terminology?

So, the premise is fun. Alexander claims he’s not Alexander but a whole different set of people, a different person each time, as he goes through his day. While Isabella relates with her mother, Alexander relates with his father. Alexander does not pick names he just likes, but real men in history. So, this is a message book and can work as a history book too. It’s silly and fun, but a bit forced, depending on how the reader sees it.

At the end, which I hope is shared with even younger children, the men Alexander has imagined himself to be have mini biographical blurbs. These men who changed the world are: Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (President), Thomas Alva Edison (inventor), Chief Joseph (warrior), Fred Astaire (dancer), Jackie Robinson (ball player), and daddy, who I was gratified to see shares the same job description as the mommy in the Isabella book: “a father is a person who uses love and wisdom to raise children to be caring, accomplished adults.” The last page has a list of works consulted, both books and websites. I really loved the wording of the acknowledgments section in this book, and in the Isabella book too.

The art style of the illustrations would not have appealed to me at all without the context of this story. Within the story, the pictures work quite well.

3 1/2 stars
Profile Image for Angela.
680 reviews12 followers
December 4, 2021
5 STARS for building children’s self-esteem! I’m all for encouraging young ones to believe in themselves and their abilities. Bravo!
Profile Image for Janelle.
Author 2 books16 followers
February 15, 2016
I'm not a fan of this book. I found the text stiff, the bolding of words strange, and the vocabulary corny. The illustrations were an improvement on the text, but still not to my taste.
I found this book for free on Kindle, and after reading thought perhaps the quality of the book was reflected in the price. But looking at other reviews, it seems it's quite popular.
19 reviews
February 5, 2017
I absolutely loved this book because Alexander imagining and pretending that he is a certain famous person that he has learned about. At different times he is Theodore Roosevelt or Thomas Edison or even Jackie Robinson. It shows how much history he has already learned and that he is applying those different peoples personalities throughout his day. I feel that it can be very relatable to children because they are learning about all of these people and doing activities like dressing up like chief joseph, or how a president comes to be a president.
Throughout the book Alexander is changing who he is at certain times of the day, he tells his father " I am not alexander, I am Theodore." and this continues throughout the whole story, every page he is a new figure.
I want to say that the artwork is compromised of some sort of computer pad drawing program or a program similar to it. The artist did an amazing job at portraying the timeframe and what setting each individual figure would be placed in. But it also shows his life around all of his imaginations.
The pov for My Name Is Not Alexander would be third person limited, because the narrator is only really showing what alexander is feeling, and we don't know anything else about anyone around him for it the be omniscient.
Alexander is a BIG personality. Throughout the book he not only tells of what qualities a certain figure would have, for example he says that he is "the greatest, bravest ball player there ever was", but after the end of the day he also says all of these good things about himself which shows that he has a big personality, but also that he has good self-esteem. He is a kid who dreams and this is shown in his words and his actions. Alexander has a lot of confidence in his dreams and in who he may want to be or be like when he grows up.
Profile Image for Cheryl Rainfield.
Author 13 books608 followers
April 1, 2011
In My Name Is Not Alexander, a young boy goes throughout his day, refusing to be called by his own name, Alexander, but rather choosing, each time, a new (historical) hero to be called after. Each time his father calls him the name he last used, he chooses a new name–that of a specific hero. The story has a playful feel to it, and a good rhythm, with the reader quickly expecting that the boy will try on a new hero and name. In the first few pages the text felt a bit stilted, but it quickly became a very enjoyable read. The story encourages the reader to dream big–to know that they can do anything they want to, become anything they want. I like that the heroes are not just traditional ones, but also include an inventor and a dancer.

At first I found the text “the father,” and “the boy” disconcerting and distancing, but I grew to expect it, and I suspect that wording was used to make the characters more universal, more easily identified with by the reader. The father goes along with the boy’s new name each time, being patient and encouraging, and always understanding which hero the boy means, though the boy only uses first names (which helps with the story flow). Fosberry’s text is made up entirely of dialog, which helps the story move quickly, as does that Fosberry made sure we only see each new name and event they are going to, not any extraneous details.

Read my entire review here:
Profile Image for Melissa.
776 reviews69 followers
August 17, 2011
Things I like: The way the dad plays along (ALL DAY) with the boy's game, remembering who he was each time; the way the dad responds in kind to each persona ("Let me see that BRILLIANT smile LIGHT up the room," when the boy is brushing his teeth and being Edison). I like the notes in the back, the long paragraph with biographical details, and the short definition of "President," "Dancer," "Inventor," etc. I liked the things the two did together (have breakfast, go to a ball game, visit Grandma, clean up after dinner). The illustrations are bold and bright, with interesting details to notice. The book is well designed in text and illustration to lead the reader on (the spot illustrations of the Dad's question, "Then who is going to...").

Something is rubbing at me though about the theme itself. I'm not wild about motivational books for children that only talk in terms of the best and the brightest, or books that reduce a historical figure's achievements to a sound bite. Where's the wiggle room then for a child to identify with that person? Is perfection really motivational? Not every success in a child's life is of the "bravest, coolest, grandest" variety. Most of their achievements are very small and particular. I much prefer the slice of life books that showcase those small and particular moments, either in a fictional or factual character. Don't say, "Hey, this person was the BEST!" Show kids one step, or a part of a step, or a decision, that helped the person move toward their goal. That's what will give them a blueprint so they can try to move forward on theirs.
Profile Image for Joanne Roberts.
1,038 reviews14 followers
January 18, 2017
His name is not Alexander because every time his dad asks him to do something, the boy says he is someone else. For example, he wants to be called Teddy because he wants to explore. He wants to be called Fred because he is in a dancing mood. The clever dad is flexible, humoring his son, getting things accomplished while still allowing his boy to imagine. Other characters include Thomas Edison, Chief Joseph Jackie Robinson. Author uses interesting words bringing to mind aspects of the famous person's history, but this isn't a biography book. What it is, is a smart, inventive, bonding book great for reading aloud. The heart-warming ending is both expected and perfect. Tons of links in the back matter plus a spread of biographical info.
380 reviews1 follower
June 16, 2019
In this story, a boy named Alexander dreams of being different historical heroes, from Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, to Jackie Robinson, the baseball player in the Major Leagues.
By adopting a boy’s dreams and pretend play, the author illustrated five heroes in the history of the United States. For instance, when he visited his grandmother at the retirement community center, he became Fred, who is the creative dancer in the art industry. What I liked throughout the story was the diverse text styles according to the hero. The name of the heroes and their achievement were bolded and stylized according to the occupations. For instance, Jackie’s name was embroidered by the symbolic color of blue and Italic, cursive, and slanted fonts. These diverse text styles also play a role in enticing children to read the story by increasing the visual appeal. Moreover, the last hero he dreamed of was his daddy. I hope that daddy would be all children’s heroes in their life. I also wondered what if the protagonist was a girl, then who would be her heroines?
Profile Image for Margarita.
329 reviews5 followers
February 23, 2019
Me ha gustado la idea que desarrolla. Puede que el texto sea un poco simple y repetitivo, pero para los primeros lectores es perfecto. Además, promueve el uso de la imaginación, el poder ser una persona diferente. A través de esto, también conocemos personajes famosos y sus historias.
Para los que están aprendiendo inglés, esta parte tiene expresiones que me han resultado útil.
I liked the idea. The text may be a bit a simple and repetitive, but for the first readers it is perfect. In addition, it promotes the use of the imagination, being able to be a different person. Through this, we also know famous people and their stories.
For those who are learning English, this part has expressions that have been useful to me.

58 reviews
January 22, 2019
An excellent story about a boy and his imagination. When Alexander's name is used, his response is my name is not Alexander, and that he is Theodore. This pattern continues with characters such as Thomas Edison, Fred Astaire, Jackie Robinson, Chief Joseph, and his own dad. This book is perfect for kids who are just beginning to imagine what they want to be when they grow up. There is also another book targeted for little girls. I really enjoyed reading this book and would love to read it to my own kids at bedtime someday.
54 reviews
April 16, 2020
My Name is not Alexander is such a cute book about a boy named Alexander who refused to be called Alexander. Alexander instead wanted to be called names of a few men who changed the world. A couple of them were Theodore Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, and Alexander's amazing Daddy. Alexander had a pretty big imagination and as he slept he dreamt of who he will be tomorrow. The word usage in this children's book is very playful and appealing. The words that symbolized the person that Alexander was imagining were bold and stood out.
Profile Image for Rose Rosetree.
Author 15 books209 followers
March 20, 2023
This cute book is -- to this Goodreader, at least -- definitely written on two levels:

The child will like the story and pictures, with their sense of great fun.
While the adult will chuckle at the clever plays on words, such as:

* ALEXANDER: "I am Thomas, the greatest, brightest inventor who ever was!"
* LONG-SUFFERING, GOOD SPORT DAD: "Well, Thomas, let me see that BRILLIANT smile LIGHT up the room."

Thanks again, author Jennifer Fosberry and artist Mike Litwin! Surely this book deserves its place on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Profile Image for Debra.
2,048 reviews8 followers
May 13, 2018
An fun way to introduce or review famous figures. Since this boy is pretending to be famous people, can your elementary kids tell you who these people are OR can they find out about them and relate their finds to the rest of the group. A film clip of Teddy Roosevelt in real life and then in Night at the Museum, a clip of Fred Astair dancing and a clip of Jackie Robinson in action should enliven the second read.
Profile Image for Jill.
1,491 reviews11 followers
November 30, 2017
Great story on many levels. It features a boy and his Dad as they make their way through the day. The boy imagines himself as different famous people throughout history and Dad plays along, calling him by the name he wants to use. The end pages features information about the different men Alexander pretends to be.
157 reviews
January 31, 2019
My girls loved the fact that as soon as I pulled this out of the book basket they could see that this was like My name is not Isabella. Love how much these books look to parents as some of the greatest people for kids to look up to...I feel like we always need reminders that we are the greatest influences on our kids and we can be the people they want to be when they grow up.
68 reviews
February 24, 2019
This book is all about a little boy who pretends to be different history-making men throughout the course of a day. The boy has a great time playing make believe, but at the end of the day, is happy to be himself. It is an inspiring book for boys to be confident in who they are and to be inspired to change history. It would a good picture book for kids in second or third grade.
Profile Image for Lynn  Davidson.
6,095 reviews25 followers
June 1, 2020
Fun illustrations round out the story of Alexander who, each time his father called him, was not using Alexander as his name. It was always something different - names of a president, a chief, a ballplayer, a dancer and an inventor. He told his father about each famous person he was pretending to be.

In the back of the book are brief biography blurbs about each person. Very interesting.
Profile Image for Addison.
175 reviews13 followers
December 27, 2020
"What is your name today, Alexander?" Dumbledore asked calmly.
"My name is Harry Potter, the greatest wizard who ever lived!" said the boy.

Ok, I'm sorry. I love kids books. This was another one of my favorites when I was little.
Profile Image for Debra.
757 reviews
July 19, 2023
Child sees himself as many different famous people and describes their accomplishments through vocabulary fitting their strengths. There is backmatter for each of these famous men.

This is an additional purchase for me. It is not one I would at this time. The publication date is 2011.
Profile Image for حسناء.
Author 2 books192 followers
January 17, 2019
i like the idea of this book
but i have to say it's quite funny why the Americans love chief Joseph
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,805 reviews416 followers
February 19, 2022
Roosevelt and Edison are definitely problematic. I wish Fosberry had been more careful in her choices. And maybe chosen some from outside the US, too. Neat concept, though.
Profile Image for Lindsay Weideman.
22 reviews2 followers
February 14, 2014
Synopsis: This is such a great book!! I chose this book for my text set because is a wonderful, fun story about pursuing dreams. The little boy named Alexander in the story wakes up one day and pretends to be many different people who are great heroes. There are so many things that you can do with this story and I love that it can also be used as a history lesson because of the references to famous Americans. There is also a very similar book (which I bought as well!) by the same author that can go along with this one with references to famous women from the past called, My Name is Not Isabella. These books inspire kids to imagine and dream of all the things they can be.

Opening: How many of your have pretended to be another person? (Just have them raise their hand) Was this person real or make-believe? How many people have a hero? Who is your hero? (Allow time for them to share their responses)

Today, we are going to read a book called, My Name is Not Alexander, by Jennifer Fosberry. What do we think our story is going to be about?

Let’s take a picture walk. You may recognize some of these famous Americans from our past. (Have a brief discussion about Theodore Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, etc. and ask students if they recognize these heroes)

If you could be a famous man or women from history, who would you be? Why?

As I read, since we have been talking about adjectives this week, try to pay attention to all of the great adjectives in our story! There are a lot of them!!

Opening Moves: For my opening moves, I used drawing attention to the cover, making predictions based on the title, raising interest in a topic or theme, prompting hypothesizing, inviting personal connections, and drawing attention to readers’ tools

(2011, June 01). School Library Journal. http://www.booksinprint2.com.leo.lib....#
Profile Image for Cindy Hudson.
Author 14 books23 followers
April 1, 2011
As a follow up to her delightful picture book, My Name Is Not Isabella, where a little girl dreamed about being like famous women in history, author Jennifer Fosberry has turned her attention to famous men and a little boy who dreams of being like them.

In My Name Is Not Alexander, a dad wakes his young son, saying, “Good morning, Alexander. It’s time for breakfast, and then let’s play ball.”

Alexander says, “My name is not Alexander!”

”Then who has been sleeping in my son’s bed?” asked the father.

His son tells him that he is “Theodore, the greatest, grandest president who ever was!”

As the day goes on Alexander switches his name and character to be Thomas Edison, Chief Joseph, Fred Astaire and Jackie Robinson. Once, he even says he’s Daddy, someone else to admire for sure.

I really loved the eclectic mix of men Fosberry chose for Alexander to admire. Each achieved great things in his own way, and the historical facts included about the “Men Who Changed the World” are included in the back. These can be great discussion starters with young readers, both girls and boys.

Mike Litwin’s illustrations are fun and creative. Their colored-pencil-like rendering could also be a way to encourage your kids to get out their own colored pencils and start drawing. It’s hard to go wrong adding this book to your list for your own kids or as a gift for any young ones you know.
Profile Image for Rebecca Timberlake.
Author 6 books38 followers
January 19, 2016
This is the little boy version of My Name Is Not Isabella by the same author. Much like with that story, this encourages boys to look up to great men who have done great things. I like that this one had a father-son team, mainly because I expected a mother and father's are often overlooked as active parents.

I've seen some mention by other reviewers of the terminology shift from Isabella to Alexander, mainly the change from 'How big can a girl dream' to 'How big can a kid dream'. That doesn't bother me so much because little boys are naturally encouraged to want to be President when they grow up and to have wild imaginations. The author seems to know what the issues are with common ideas in children's books, whether it's to encourage girls to dream or to show little boys it's great if you want to be president or if you want to be Daddy. I really like that about these books.
27 reviews
November 16, 2015
"My Name is Not Alexander" is a picture-book about a little boy who imagines himself as multiple historical figures throughout the course of the day. First, he is Theodore, "the greatest, grandest president who ever was", then he is Thomas the inventor, Fred the dancer, Joseph the warrior, and Jackie the baseball player. The book calls on the imagination and utilizes vibrant illustrations to paint pictures of all these roles.

Possible mentor writing trait would be sentence fluency. Examples include: "the greatest, grandest, president who ever was" "the greatest, brightest inventor who ever was" "the greatest, proudest warrior who ever was" and so on. The comment/response/question/response format is the same throughout the book.

Concepts to integrate into the classroom: imagination, historical figures, "what do you want to be when you grow up"/dreaming big and etc.

At the back of the book there is a great toolkit that gives historical biographies of each historical figure mentioned in the book. This would be a great way to tie into history/social studies lesson.
Profile Image for Margaret Chind.
3,168 reviews218 followers
March 2, 2011
In September last year I introduced you to an awesome book of inspiration (New York Times Bestseller) My Name is Not Isabella, and now there is one of the male influence with Alexander! I absolutely love the Isabella book and I really do like this Alexander book. Same artist but geared toward a different audience I have to admit I prefer the Isabella book, but then I am a girl and mother of a girl. Yet in the same manner through out the day the inspiration that this little boy thrives on is amazing. Going through so many important characters of history this little guy's imagination keeps him going places and going strong.

This is great for anyone, for homeschool or any bookshelf for great educational value and encouragement for a bright future.

*Thanks to Sourcebooks for providing a copy for review.*

Originally posted: http://creativemadnessmama.com/blog/2...
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