Monday, January 26, 2015

The Terrible Two - Review

Mom Monday

Author: Mac Barnett and Jory John
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Middle Grade Humor
Age Recommendation: 8-12
Rating: 4 Funny Stars

Book Description:

Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.

It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

In The Terrible Two, bestselling authors and friends Mac Barnett and Jory John have created a series that has its roots in classic middle-grade literature yet feels fresh and new at the same time.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this humorous tale of finding your space in the crowd, in being yourself and not the kid you think people want you to be.  

Miles Murphy is miserable.  Miles Murphy is moving to some country town full of cows.  Miles Murphy has an identity in his old town.  Miles Murphy has to decide what kind of kid he will be in this new town. What if that kid is already at the new school.

"But Miles didn't want to be any of those kids. He didn't want to be a new kind of kid at all.  Miles wanted to be the same kind of kid he was at his old school: the prankster. Miles had been the best prankster his old school had ever seen, and he'd be the best prankster at his new school too."

After being paired up with his school buddy Niles, who as Miles (yes Niles and Miles) describes him is the kiss-up kind of kid,

"There was a Niles at every school.  The kiss-up. The do--gooder. The school snitch."
he starts to make his plans to set himself up as the schools best prankster but when the moment comes his plans are foiled, again and again and again.  Who is this prank stealing prankster and how will Miles ever out prank 'him'?  

This book is full of witty humor that had myself and my 9 year old smiling and giggling the whole read.  I love the banter between all the characters, the outlandish persona of the Principal Barkin.  The Cow Facts are a wonderful addition and the illustrations perfect the book.  Don't forget to take the Prankster Oath at the end of the book as I can see this book creating a whole new era of school pranskters, if it wasn't such a fun read I am afraid teachers might hide in fear. 

This is a book that any reader will love and would be a great choice for reluctant readers, it's ridiculous, smart, hilarious, engaging, and just all around fun!  

Mac Barnett:

Born to non-farmers in a California farming community, Mac now lives near San Francisco. He's on the board of directors of 826LA, a nonprofit writing center for students in Los Angeles, and he founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers

Jory John is a writer, editor and journalist. He has written for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Believer, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the Rumpus, the Santa Cruz Sentinel and a variety of other publications and websites. He is the editor of "Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids Letters to President Obama," published by McSweeney's and featured on "This American Life."

Jory is the co-author of "All my friends are dead," and its sequel, "All my friends are STILL dead." He also co-wrote a book of humorous essays called, "I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York" and the children's book "Pirate's Log: A Handbook for Aspiring Swashbucklers," all published by Chronicle Books.

His newest books are "Goodnight Already!" (with Benji Davies) and the forthcoming "The Terrible Two" (with Mac Barnett).

Jory lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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