Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday



Kid-friendly language and funny illustrations.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Alexander's older brothers tease him, and Alexanders calls them names and kicks them. (His father fines him.)

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that readers can't help but be amused by the humorous ways Alexander dwindles his dollar.

What's the story?

To a young child, a dollar's reach is limitless. Hopeful Alexander envisions buying a walkie-talkie, but, cent by cent, his money proves too hard to hold on to and he's left with nothing but bus tokens. A perfect combination of kid-friendly language and emotion-riddled illustrations make this a kid favorite.


Is it any good?


Once again, author Judith Viorst proves she knows kids inside and out. Illustrator Ray Cruz is back, too, bringing life to Viorst's messy-haired hero with skillfully drawn emotions ranging from utter joy to abject disappointment.

What's great about Alexander is that he learns his lessons the hard (and humorous) way. Although small purchases of bubble gum don't seem to make a dent in his budget, going through three pieces as quickly as he can chew them is not only funny but also realistic. And betting his mother that she can't guess which hand his purple marble is hidden in--and then being dumbfounded that "moms made children pay," is pure entertainment. One five-year-old reader with siblings understood Alexander's frustration when his brothers tease him, as well as his indignity when his father fines him five cents for calling them names.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the value of money. Are you surprised by how quickly Alexander used up his dollar? What would you do with a dollar? This could be a good springboard for discussions about allowance, the value of goods, and spending habits.

Book details

Author:Judith Viorst
Illustrator:Ray Cruz
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 1, 1995
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byDrCool June 6, 2012

LOL! are A LOT of funny moments! Like Alexander crying when he loses money! :D
Kid, 10 years old August 31, 2010


o loi,lk
What other families should know
Great role models


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