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

by Judith Viorst

Paperback, 1987



Call number




Atheneum Books for Young Readers (1987), Edition: Reprint, 32 pages


On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jamie_tow
"Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" is a wonderful book with great illustrations. Everyone can relate to and enjoy this story. "Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" will interest all children. It is about a day where nothing goes right. Alexander
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has the day that all children have one in awhile. This story helps children see feelings expressed that they might be just experiencing and may not know how to express them. They can see that these feelings are normal and there is nothing wrong with feeling these way. Alexander experience rejection when his friend says "he wasn't his best
friend anymore." At lunch, Alexader becomes jealous when his friend "got a hershey bar with almonds" and another friend got a "piece of jelly role". and Alexander's mother forgot to pack desert in his lunch. The language and style are just right for children reading this book. The language is neither to hard or simple. The story is one that helps children learn about emotions. The children can relate to and understand the wonderful illustration.

This book was recently read to my Pre-K class. While I was listening along with the children, I just had to crack a smile. I've had plenty of days just like Alexander. As a college student, day like this are normal occurances, but it wasn't until I read this book that I realized how much I can blow things out of perspective. Just like in the story, my bad days often begin with my bad attitude, while getting out of bed. I truly believe that this book is absolutely essential for everyone to read. If you're not having a bad day, then great, but if you are, it'll definitely put a smile on your face and help put things back in proportion. Just a reminder that good advice for everyone can come from anywhere, even a children's story book.
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LibraryThing member dylantanner
Alexander is having everything go wrong today from waking up to going to bed and no one seems to care. Maybe he'll move to Australia.

Children's picture book, realistic

I love this book, it's a classic for a reason. The language Alexander uses never sounds dated. It's got rhythm and is hilariously
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real. I relate daily to Alexander's plight.

I loved reading this book to the kids. It's easy to stop at every page and see who's fought with their brother or sister, or who had to wear ugly shoes, or who fell in the mud or got squished in the car pool. Everyone has terrible, horrible, no good very bad days. Even in Australia.
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LibraryThing member kgriffith
This is a perfect book for anyone - child OR adult - who is having a seriously bad day, or a series of bad days. If it doesn't put things in perspective, it at least lets you know that you're not alone; Alexander's right there with ya.
LibraryThing member khportlandclass
I think we can all relate to having a day like this. Even if the things that happen aren't really bad enough to warrant getting upset, after enough goes wrong the littlest thing can seem like the end of the world. I like the little details, such as how he didn't get the color shoe he wanted. It is
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good for children to have books that don't center around a character with a perfect life. While those stories can be fun, it is good to have realistic literature around too.
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LibraryThing member messelti
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is an adorable story of a young boy who wakes up with gum in his hair-and how things go downhill from there. Sparse illustrations show Alexander’s spiral down from sadness to outright grouchiness as it seems like everything is going
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wrong for him, and only him. With every turn Alexander’s day goes from not-so-great to still-not-so-great while his reaction gets worse and worse, but those around him shrug it off. His repeated insistence that he’s running away to Australia to get away is finally met with a touch of his mother’s common sense: “some days are like that…even in Australia.” Highly recommended for elementary fiction collection, in school or public libraries.
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LibraryThing member kscarlett01
This is a story about a boy who has a rather bad day. The story goes through the boy's day and all the bad events that happen throughout it. Although the book tells a story about a boy's bad day, this book can be seen as an encouraging and uplifting book to assure children that everyone has bad
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days sometimes and that's okay.
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LibraryThing member KristinWhite
This is a good book for children first to third grade. Alexander has everything bad happen to him on this day. It is a great book that allows children to relate to Alexander and talk about their feelings and experiences they have had.
LibraryThing member ChelseaGriffin
This book is a great story that every child can relate to when they are having a bad day! It is fun and entertaining!
LibraryThing member KateSanders
This book is about Alexander, a young boy who has the worst day! From cavities to falling in the mud and even kissing on TV (YUCK!), Alexander has the worst of luck. The book is charming and funny and includes many things that people can relate to I'm sure! This book could be a good prompt to have
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students write in the journals about their worst day ever, and the events that took place. Those would be fun to share in the classroom!
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LibraryThing member sarah_desrosier
Alexander just knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, when he woke up with gum in his hair. And thus begins the very long, very horrible day that just keeps getting worse. When he tells his family about his bad day, he gets no sympathy. Alexander decides he
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wants to move to Australia because it's just better there. The book ends with Alexander's mom telling him that everyone has bad days, even people in Australia.

Personal Reaction
My mom would always read this book to me or when I was older, she would make me read it, every time I got frustrated or was having a bad day, which seemed to happen a lot. This book is such an uplifting book that just reassures you that everyone has those days and not to sweat the small stuff.

Classroom Extension
I would have the kids think of the worst thing that has happened to them and draw it out on paper. Then I would have them individually discuss it in front of everyone and whether or not their day gets worse when something goes wrong. Then have them come up with ways to resolve their bad feelings and what makes them feel better.
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LibraryThing member rachel3212
A short book that tells the story of a boy not having a very good day and wanting to move to Alstrallia.
LibraryThing member stharp
This a wonderfully written realistic fiction. Unfortunately this sort of a day can happen for kids and adults in life, and kids &adults alike can feel like 'anywhere is better than here'. This book is written in the perfect point of view for the story, especially since it is about a kid feeling
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like his day seems to being going all wrong. It is written in first person, so Alexander is the one telling you, in his own words, how he feels and what his day has really been like. An excellent book for kids to read, and parents to remember that being a kid is tough sometimes!
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LibraryThing member ksjeffcoat
This book talks about a boy who has everything go wrong and he always says he wants to move to Austrailia and his mother tells him that things go wrong in Austrailia too. This book is done in black and white drawings. Kids of all ages will like this story because it is entertaining and humorous.
LibraryThing member Leshauck
Bad days happen to all of us. how are we going to fix those days is what this book is all about.
LibraryThing member EricaD
Great book to read with kids, also great use of commas and sentence structure,
LibraryThing member heather_hill
From the minute he woke up, Alexander would tell he was going to have a terrible day. He probably didn't expect to have everything that could possibly go wrong, go wrong. Alexander pouts his way through the day as he feels mistreated by the world!

This story makes me feel sorry for Alexander! His
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day is horrible and nothing seems to go right for him. I love this story because bad days will inevitably happen to all of us.

As an extension, the class could read the book after giving them an assignment of writing about the best day they've ever had. Descriptive words should be used and many examples showing why it was the best day. Then going over the book, the students could point out the descriptive words he used and what made his day so terrible. This would also be a good book to read after studying the continents. The students could then write about which continent they would like to visit and why.
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LibraryThing member shelbyweryavah
Alexander is a small child who is having a bad day. Horrible things happen to him from the time he wakes up to when he goes to sleep. He wishes he were in Australia and he soon realizes that some days are bad, even in Australia.

I liked this book, I could really relate to it. I have had days that
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start awful and just end awful. But I always remember that that is life and some days are bad days.

Before the book is read, each student will tell their neighbor about a bad day that they have had. After the book, we will see if anyone has had any of the same problems as alexander did. We would make a list on the board of problems that a bad day would consist of. Each student would choose one problem out of that list and draw a picture of them having a bad day with that problem.
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LibraryThing member MerryMary
The best. Everybody has days like this, but no one can make it all seem so real as Judith Viorst. A classic.
LibraryThing member daffyduck24
I this book Alexander woke up one morning and nothing would go right for him, he had a horrible day from home to school and even until he went to bed that night. His day got so bad that he wanted to run away to Australia. At the end of the story his mom told him that everybody has bad days, even in
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I have read this book since I was little and I have always loved it. It shows just how some of us feel whenever we have a bad day that keeps getting worse and Alexander's mom is right there are bad days everywhere.

In the classroom I could have students tell me a bad day that they have experienced so they could share with the class and relate to the book. Another extension idea would be to let the students draw pictures of their bad days.
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LibraryThing member curiousbutterpants
I'm always pressed when somebody asks what my favorite picture book is - "a favorite? as in, only one?" - but "Alexander" is almost always one that jumps to the top of my mind.

LibraryThing member kyoder06
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Appropriateness: primary, intermediate
Media: Pen and ink

This is a good example of realistic fiction because while Alexander may be a fictional character, his daily encounters are not unlike ones we may also find. Bad days happen and sometimes things just don’t go our
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way and that is exactly what Alexander faces in this story. Its not hard to connect with the feeling of wishing you and stayed in bed.
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LibraryThing member cctaylor1
In this book of "fairness" a little boy has a "terrible horrible, no good, very bad day! Everything goes wrong for him that could and he wants to move to Australia. At the end his mom reminds him that everything goes wrong for everyone sometimes...even in Australia.
LibraryThing member kalonzo
Alexander just has one of those days! This contemporary realistic fiction tells of Alexander having a horrible day. His problems range from waking up with gum in his hair to being the only kid in his family having a cavity and not getting the shoes he picked out. He thinks moving to Australia will
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solve all his problems. His mom tells him everyone has one of those of those days, even in Australia.

I think anyone can relate to this book. We have all had bad days and sometimes it just seems to get worse as the day moves one. The best thing is that we can go to bed and wake up with a fresh new start to make it a different and better day.

For an inclass activity I would have the student write about a bad day that they have had. What happen to make that day so bad? Did their day get better? How did it get better? Was there someone who made it better for them?
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LibraryThing member ingahatch
This contemporary realistic fiction story is about Alexander waking in the morning to a horrible day. His bad day was everything from gum in his hair to finding out he has a cavity. His day got so bad that he wanted to run away to Australia. At the end of the story his mom told him that everybody
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has bad days, even in Australia.

This story was great especially for young children. It allows they to realize that even kids are allowed to have horrible days but in the end it will be alright.

Some extension ideas would be to have children draw pictures of a time when they had a bad day, or they can go around a circle and share a time when they had a day when horrible things happened to them.
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LibraryThing member jlowens4
I really enjoyed reading the book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very bad Day." I remember reading this book as a child and enjoying it then. I would read this book to second, third, or fourth grade. The story is about the little boy Alexander, and he has a very bad day. It starts
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out with Alexander waking up with gum in his hair and dropping his sweater into the sink. Other bad things such as; no toy in his cereal box, the store sold out of the shoes he wants, and alexander falling in the mud take place. the book goes on with different reasons why Alexander is having a bad day. In the end of the book the little boy is talking to his mom about is terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. ALexander's mom explains to him that some days are just like that. Everyone has a bad day. I think that this is a very good book to read to students. It explains to them that little things like no toy in their cereal box is not the end of the world. It also can teach the students that if you do have a bad day that it is okay, and that the sun will come out again tomorrow. I would strongly advise this book to any teacher.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

10 x 7.5 inches


0689711735 / 9780689711732
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