Book Review: Mayor for a Day

Middle School Editor Bella Gonet26 deals out the drama in one of her favorite books.

Credit: Clifford B. Hicks

Middle School Editor Bella Gonet’26 deals out the drama in one of her favorite books.


A few weeks ago, I read a really good book called Alvin Fernald, Mayor for a Day by Clifford B. Hicks. If you want something funny, not too long (I don’t like very long books), and just an overall good read, I suggest this book for you.  

The book starts when Alvin, a fifth grader in Mrs. Pinkney’s class in Roosevelt School, is daydreaming about if he were mayor.  Alvin suggests that they have a mayor of the class. Mrs. Pinkney thinks this is a good idea. Alvin decides to run, and his friends, Shoie and Speedy, help him.  He finds out that his competition is Theresa.  He realizes that this might be harder than he thought.  

The class is split into two groups, girls and boys.  All of the girls vote for Theresa, and all of the boys vote for Alvin.  But the teacher realizes that it is split up evenly, and no one will win.  She decides to ask the mayor to vote for whomever he likes best.  He will also let the winner be city mayor for a day.  They have the speeches with the mayor watching. Finally, the mayor says that Alvin wins.  He is overjoyed, but Speedy tells him that since he helped so much, he must be able to walk in and out of Alvin’s office whenever he pleases. Since Speedy helped him a lot through the whole campaign, Alvin hastily agrees, wondering why he wants that.  He finds out later that Speedy just wanted to make sure that Alvin did not get mean about being mayor and to make sure that Alvin let him help.

When the great day comes, Alvin notices that the mayor is mainly just looking for publicity so that people will vote for him. 

And so his term begins. He starts to feel very bored, despite all the things he said he would do.  He realizes he must do what he promised to do, so he gets a bunch of kids to make a stop sign at a dangerous crossing.  He gets others to create a playground in an empty lot. He also tries to stop door-to-door peddlers.  Then, he finds a leather bound book in the mayor’s office with amounts of money that certain peddlers paid him, or that he was paying them.  Speedy and Alvin think that Mayor Massey is a crook, and Alvin decides to tell the FBI, since his father is the Chief of Police.  On his way upstairs after sending the message, he hears Ms. Carner talking about the mayor’s plan. Ms. Carner is the mayor’s first-hand assistant. When she figures out that they were listening, she locks them in the office. Luckily, Alvin’s father comes to the rescue. They see a response from the FBI saying that Mayor Massey is a crook who is just trying to steal money.  The mayor was trying to work with the peddlers to get paid by them and to make more money for himself. 

They make a trap for him for when he gets back from his golf tournament. Eventually, they catch him by rolling two giant monster tires down the hill, hitting his car and stopping him.  That night, they all get ice cream at Worm’s, one of Alvin’s friend’s and father’s ice cream shop.  

Alvin’s term then ends. 

This book shows that teamwork is everything, and without people to help you, you will not accomplish anything. Working together gets more done. 

I completely recommend this book for anyone looking for a book to read!

Bella Gonet ‘26, Staff Writer