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Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday Hardcover – September 1, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Alexander Series

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Hardcover, September 1, 2009
$6.03 $1.57
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Anthony has two dollars and three quarters and one dime and seven nickels and eighteen pennies. Nicholas has one dollar and two quarters and five dimes and five nickels and thirteen pennies. Alexander has...bus tokens. And even when he's rich, pretty soon all he has is bus tokens. He was rich. Last Sunday. Grandma Betty and Grandpa Louie came and gave Anthony and Nicholas and Alexander each a dollar. Alexander was saving his. Maybe for a walkie-talkie. And then there was bubble gum, some bets with Anthony and Nicholas (that Alexander lost), a snake rental, a garage sale, and all kinds of other things to spend money on. And now all he has is bus tokens. When he used to be rich last Sunday.END --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Judith Viorst was born and brought up in New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University, moved to Greenwich Village, and has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1960, when she married Milton Viorst, a political writer. They have three sons and seven grandchildren. Viorst writes in many different areas: science books, children’s picture books, adult fiction and nonfiction, poetry for children and adults, and three musicals, which are still performed on stages around the country. She is best known for her beloved picture book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416996214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416996217
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,858,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I brought this book into a sixth grade class that was having trouble with decimals. I used it to help them make the connection between decimals and their lives. They listened with rapt attention, and then worked enthusiastically the rest of the period writing their own word problems with money. By the next day everyone got decimals. Judith Viorst is a muse! You can find everything in her works, from school and work to life and love. This book gave me (math phobic) a way to teach a math lesson from a Language Arts perspective that helped the students learn!
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Format: Paperback
Judith Viorst's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" is a classic of modern children's literature and probably many of us in my generation their first real thoughts about Australia. I was rather surprised to learn that there is a sequel of sorts from Viorst in the form of this 1978 story, "Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday." The problem is that Alexander's brother Anthony has two dollars, three quarters, one dime, seven nickels and eighteen pennies (do the math yourself) and his brother Nicholas has one dollar, two quarters, five dimes, five nickels and thirteen pennies (ditto). But all Alexander has are bus tokens. By the end of this story young readers will know why Alexander only has bus tokens despite the fact that last Sunday Alexander was rich because his Grandma Betty and Grandpa Louie came for a visit from New Jersey and gave each of the boys a dollar.
Alexander would really like to buy a walkie-talkie, but saving money is pretty hard for somebody his age. As we read this story, illustrated by Ray Cruz, we see how Alexander manages to end up with only bus tokens. I was going to say they would see what Alexander spends his money on, but spending implies getting something in return for your money and while that might apply to buying bubble gum and renting a snake, it does not apply to losing bets or being fined so saying words that little boys should not say. But then the point of Viorst's story is to make the idea of money management clear to young readers and the ways in which Alexander goes from being rich to being poor certainly drives home that particular lesson. As Alexander comes to realize, if you are absolutely positively going to save your money you have to get some money to save.
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Format: Hardcover
I just read this book for the first time to my 7 year old son. We recently re-read the original Alexander tale and he wanted to find the others in the "series" that he saw on the back cover. For my part, I have been searching for books that teach children about money, so this was great fun to read together.

This book illustrates the difficulties that children have in saving money. There are so many temptations on a daily basis to spend money that it can be hard to keep the end goal in sight. Viorst has made Alexander into a sympathetic character that most children will recognize, but his choices are clearly impulsive. The title of the book, and the way events unfold, make it possible for kids to recognize the mistakes Alexander is making. Hopefully it will lead to a bit of self-reflection.

It is a pity that some of the references in the book are out of date. My son had never heard of a bus token or deposit bottles before. Also, a few of the places where Alexander's money goes are going to seem odd to many children. For instance, he loses a small bet to his mother and is fined by his father for bad language and fighting. Still, I like that the story includes scenarios where money is lost in ways that don't have to do with spending.

I recommend this book for children ages 5-8, especially those who would benefit from a lesson in goal-setting, self-restraint and spending habits. The story also alternates between referring to coins by their name and by their value, a nice touch.
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By A Customer on November 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Here in Virginia, one of our 1st grade Standards of Learning concerns identifying and understanding concepts of economic resources. This is a great book to illustrate these concepts in a way accessible to young children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading Alexander books to my son in the past. This book in particular is a great bridge to start getting younger kids to think about the value of money. They won't be setting up their own 529s, but the next time they want to make an impulsive purchase, you can use the "remember when Alexander..." line to at least get them to understand that spending today means nothing tomorrow. It may not always work but it's a start in the right direction.
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Format: Paperback
I always loved Alexander and the Horrible Day. This book was just as good at pointing out human foibles in the body of a small child. Here Alexander is given an allowance, and somehow, it slips through his fingers by the following weekend. We can all relate, and I loved the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a classic book and great reading for anyone with young boys. It has stood the test of time as a night time read for my son and now my grandson. Parents will appreciate the humor and children will identify with the situations. All of her books in this series are excellent!
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By LindsD on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alexander! This is a great children's book. I loved it when I was a child, and my children love it now. They love giggling when hearing about Alexander's money problems & we all love the pictures in it! Definitely a good purchase!
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