Alexander's two brothers have money in their pockets. All he has are bus tokens. It isn't fair. He had money last Sunday when his grandparents gave them each a dollar. Now it's all gone. At first he was saving the money for a walkie-talkie. But saving money is hard. He bought gum with some of the money, but when it stopped tasting good, he had to buy more. Good-bye 15 cents. Then Eddie offered to rent him his snake for an hour, and he couldn't pass up a chance like that. Betting his brother that he could hold his breath while he counted to 300 wasn't a good idea, either. He'll never own that walkie-talkie! Judith Viorst has a gift for getting inside a little boy's head and making sense of what goes on there. Paired with Johnny Heller's acting talent, the result is a good chuckle, laced with real compassion, for the child in everyone.
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by Judith Viorst
"[Editor's Note: The following is a combined review with ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY and ALEXANDER WHO'S NOT (DO YOU HEAR ME? I MEAN IT!) GOING TO MOVE.] -- Everyone loves the cranky, downtrodden, belligerent, and lovable Alexander. We've read and re-read Viorst's three picture books about him over the years. But no reader has experienced Alexander quite like this! Johnny Heller's whiny, often-wise grammar school hero is sufficiently self-righteous to elicit sympathy from kids and knowing smiles from adults. He never gets a seat by the window, he complains. And he only punches his brothers when they deserve it, he explains. His mother never puts interesting desserts in his lunch, he moans. And his money never lasts because saving money is too hard, he groans. He won't move, he threatens. He won't pack, he wails. He won't have any friends if he goes, he sobs. Sniffling and fussing, Heller's Alexander holds up a mirror for us all--and we laugh at our own reflections. T.B. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine"
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