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Author/Book Spotlight: The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez by Peter Johnson

The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez

The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez by Peter Johnson

This heartfelt story about school, friendship, and family is perfect for readers who can’t get enough of such middle grade favorites as Jerry Spinelli and Gary D. Schmidt. From acclaimed author Peter Johnson, The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate your family all the more.

About the Book: Everyone thinks Benny Alvarez is Mr. Negativity. According to Benny, he’s just realistic about seeing the “other side” of things—when it comes to just about everything. But maybe there’s another way to deal with the things Benny can’t control—like his ailing grandfather, his wild younger brother, and the know-it-all girls at school. In this poignant novel about acceptance, Benny Alvarez will have to decide . . . Is the glass half empty or half full?


Interesting novel that boys will enjoy reading.


FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book HarperCollins Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.



  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (June 24, 2014)
  • Cost: $16.99 Hard cover


About the Author: Peter Johnson grew up in Buffalo, New York, at a time when they had a good football team, which seems like fifty years ago. Similar to Benny Alvarez and his friends, Peter always loved words, knowing he was going to be a teacher or a professional baseball player. Also, being from a long line of Irish storytellers, he loved reading and telling tales, and when he realized that his stories changed every time he told them, and that he could get paid for this kind of lying, he decided to become a novelist. His first middle grade novel, The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr. AKA Houdini, was named one of the Best Children’s Books by Kirkus Reviews, and he’s received many writing fellowships, most notably from the National Endowment for the Arts.





April 7, 2015 - Posted by | Author and Book Spotlight, Book Review, HarperCollins Book Review | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Sounds just like a book boys in Middle School would enjoy. I know at leaast two of my grandsonss would enjoy reading it. Thanks for the post.
    Carol L.

    Comment by carol L | April 8, 2015 | Reply

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