The Terrible Two Get Worse

terribletwogetworseby Mac Barnett and Jory John
First sentence: “Welcome back to Yawnee Valley, its green hills and cows, cows, cows.”
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Others in the seriesĀ The Terrible Two
Review copy pilfered from the ARC shelves at my place of employment
Content: It’s silly, but (mostly) harmless. It’s in the middle grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.

Niles and Miles are back, pranking the poor unsuspecting citizens — well, mostly one — of Yawnee Valley. They have gotten so bad, that the principal of their school gets fired — well, put on indefinite, unpaid leave — and his super-strict father takes over the school. He cancels everything, and effectively puts a stop to Niles and Miles’ pranks. (The best way to do that is to pretend the prank doesn’t happen. It’s the reaction that makes it a prank.) In essence, he makes Miles and Niles into “normal” students. But, because that would be a boring book, Miles and Niles team up with their former arch-enemy to kick the current principal out, and get their mojo back.

Huh. Writing that out, I sounds ridiculously stupid. (Maybe because it is…) But that’s the point, really. It lacks the cow facts of the first one that I really enjoyed, but other than that, the stupid, stupid humor of Barnett and John are back. I’m not sure it’s as funny as the first one (I liked the prank war that escalated, mostly), but it had it some moments that were pretty funny. It’s a good addition to this silly series, and I know it’ll appeal to those Wimpy Kid fans who are looking for something different.

The Terrible Two

by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Keven Cornell
First sentence: “Welcome to Yawnee Valley, an idyllic place with rolling green hills that slope down to creeks and cows as far as the eye can see.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Review copy snagged from the ARC shelves at my place of employment.
Release date: January 13, 2015
Content: It’s a bunch of silly pranks. Simple writing and lots of illustrations make it good for younger and reluctant readers. It will be in the Middle Grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.

Miles Murphy is The King of the Pranks. Or, at least he was back in his old school. But in his new one? Not so much. Oh, he tries to become the king again. But in small Yawneee Valley, Miles is finding it difficult to get a good prank in. He keeps being thwarted by someone else. Soon, it’s an all-out prank war, the like Yawnee Valley has never seen.

As soon as I saw this one, I snagged it; Mac Barnett is one of my favorite picture book writers, and I figure he and his friend (or so the bios say) Jory John had to produce something worth reading. I was right (of course!). It’s hilarious. Silly and stupid. Dumb and amusing.

It’s perfect.

Really. It’ll be great for the reluctant readers who need something silly to keep them turning pages. (Plus: illustrations!) It’s got some great conflict, a hilarious buffoon of an adult to root against, and the best. ever. prank. at the end.

What more could you ask for in a book?

Absolutely nothing.