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Whatchamacallit 138: Alvin Fernald, Superweasel

Alvin Fernald, Superweasel

Back in 2011, when my blog was busy, I asked if anybody remembered Alvin Fernald. Nobody responded.

So, a mere 9 years later, I finally decided to track down one of the books that I mentioned in that post, Alvin Fernald, Superweasel. The book is about a fourth or fifth grader who single handedly intervenes to resolve pollution problems in a small Indiana city. He takes on local polluters of water and of air, culminating in a massive collection of litter.

Looking at the book as a 46 year old – good lord, the book was published when I was born – a number of things stick out: (1) the agency and independence of the kids: even before Covid-19, kids today were kept on absurdly short leashes; (2) the escapades of the kids are almost Earth First!-esque in their execution; (3) America is a generally cleaner place than it was when I was a kid, despite the best efforts of Republicans to allow pollution.

I’m glad that I ordered the book, pleased that it showed up, and happy that it is as good a story as I remembered.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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