October 2011


Does anybody else remember Alvin Fernald?

A couple days ago I was reflecting back on the books that I read as a child – and one series I remember concerned a kid by the name of Alvin Fernald.

Alvin was a kid who constantly got himself into and out of trouble.

The two stories I remember the most are when Alvin Fernald became a local TV news anchor and when he became mayor for a day.

As the TV anchor he was incredibly popular (well, he always was) – investigating the bad food at his school and helping solve a decades long mystery – I cannot remember the specific details.

When he became the mayor for a day he uncovered the fact that the real local mayor was a crook – an actual crook in that he was embezzling funds. The mayor had pulled the same scam in city after city. Alvin discovered this as he was effecting actual change in the city over the course of his day and he reported it to the (real) police chief.

Ultimately it was Alvin and his friends who prevented the mayor from escaping town and escaping arrest.

After I thought about Alvin and the fond memories I had of these two books, I Googled him and discovered I wasn’t the only person who thinks fondly of Alvin Fernald – and I was reminded of the book Superweasel where Alvin was an environmental super-hero. In retrospect the book, authored and published in 1974, was far ahead of its time in talking about environmental issues and the costs of pollution.

It also turns out that the author, Clifford B. Hicks, died just over a year ago on 29 September 2010.

He also wrote one last Alvin Fernald book – maybe I should track it down.

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