Alexander's Bad Day: A Lesson For All Essays

Alexander's Bad Day: A Lesson For All Essays

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“I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” Alexander continuously reiterates throughout the classic children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The author, Judith Viorst, presents a particularly awful day in the life of a child named Alexander. The moment Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, he presumes that it is going to be a terrible day. The story continues with Alexander tripping on his skateboard, losing his best friend, and singing too loud at school. To his misfortune, Alexander’s teacher does not like the picture he draws of an invisible castle. At lunch time, the main character’s unusually horrible day continues with the lack of a dessert in his lunch bag. When visiting the dentist, he is the only one in his family with a cavity; consequently, Alexander’s brothers tease him for crying. Alexander’s dreadful day seems to worsen at home where there are lima beans for dinner and people kissing on the television. The family’s pet cat refuses to sleep with Alexander, but not before his Mickey Mouse night-light burns out. An incredibly distraught Alexander is determined to move to Australia where, apparently, distressing days never occur. In the midst of all the terrible events, the protagonist never considers that the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day could be the result of his own actions. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a classic book for children as it teaches responsibility while following professional guidelines for what constitutes a good children’s book.
As a child reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, I recall noticing that Alexander caused several of the problems throughout his very awful day....


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...s tiny matters into great problems, and everyone yearns to retreat to a place where, ideally, problems do not exist. For Alexander, that place is Australia. For myself and countless other college students, that place is home. It is not difficult to allow one horrible day persuade students into giving up academics and returning home, but as Alexander’s mother explains to her son at the conclusion of the book, “Everyone has bad days … Even in Australia” (26-27). Like Alexander and other children, adults must also learn to assume responsibility for personal actions, even on terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.



Works Cited

Lehrman, Sara. “What is a Good Children’s Book?” The Reading Teacher. JSTOR. October 1969. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.
Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1972. Print.

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