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The Best School Year Ever Paperback – April 12, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064404927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064404921
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The many readers who have laughed out loud at Robinson's uproarious 1972 novel, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever , will enthusiastically welcome the return of the six cigar-smoking Herdman kids. These six waste no time bending rules: they break them outright. While the original story centered on the church Christmas pageant, the sequel has a broader focus, paving the way for more varied misadventures, virtually all of which the Herdmans craftily orchestrate. Among the dastardly deeds are the siblings' kidnapping of a bald baby, whose head they "tattoo" and show to other kids for a fee; their attempt to wash their cat (which is "missing one eye and part of an ear and most of its tail and all of whatever good nature it ever had") in a laundromat machine; and their ingenious sabotage of the school's Fire Safety Day observance. In one of the funniest scenes, cunning Imogene Herdman comes to the rescue of a boy whose head (thanks to Imogene's brother) is stuck in a bike rack: she flattens his prominent ears with Scotch tape and slathers his head with margarine so it slides through the bars. If this novel doesn't have quite the consistently razor-sharp repartee of its predecessor, it comes very, very close. Ages 8-up. 50,000 first printing.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-The long-awaited sequel to the popular The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (HarperCollins, 1972). A dangerous, shifty, fearless, cigar-smoking family of thieves and fight-instigators, the horrible Herdmans are distributed one per grade at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, and it is unclear whether junior high or jail will be their next step. Sixth-grader Beth Bradley, the narrator, has the misfortune of drawing Imogene Herdman's name for a class project in which students must think of "Compliments for Classmates" at the end of the year. How will she find something good to say about Imogene? Just as the Herdmans discover something about the meaning of Christmas in the first book, Beth and her classmates realize that there is good in everyone-even in Imogene Herdman. While Beth's vignettes of the school year are hilarious, this story lacks the tension of the earlier novel, created by the build-up to the climactic event of the pageant. Nevertheless, this book is certain to be a hit with fans old and new.
Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Required reading for my son's 6th grad class.
elizabeth wilburn
I love reading about the Heardmans, I first read about them in "The Best Christmas Pagent Ever" This book was well worth reading.
Amazon Customer
If you love to laugh, like reading about interesting characters, and enjoy a great story don't miss this book!
Loving2Learn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Elísabet Kvaran on April 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
The six Herdmans are back in this hilarious sequel of Best Christmas Pageant ever.

The main characters, Beth Bradley (the narrator) and Imogene Herdman (second oldest Herdman) are both in sixth grade. The class is given an yearlong assignment "compliments for Classmates" and Beth begins to worry immediatedly. How can she possibly compliment the second-meanest girl she knows (Gladys is meaner)?

Each chapter is about a little "crime" the Herdmans do this school year, and those "crimes", oddly enough, help Beth to understand that there is far more in Imogene than meanness and mischieve, she is in fact very intelligent and probably has a very loving heart underneath her tough-girl attitude. Readers learn that there's good in everyone, even in bullies.

Barbara Robinson does a fine job writing this story. Kids see a funny story, the older ones see a funny story with a serious undertone. Everyone has let the Herdmans down: their father abandoning them, their mother neglecting them, social workers not doing their job, teachers letting them pass grades even though they don't learn anything, adults in town who are too uptight to realize the real reason behind the childrens' bad behaviour. They've practically raised each other since their parents seem to be pretty useless, and feel insecure in the company of well-bred, neat children with a stay-at-home mom etc. They bully the other children to protect themselves and each other, and figure negative attention is better than no attention.

You can only hope something og someone will help them put of their misery, but not until after a few more sequels ;)
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on May 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This follows THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, again told by Beth and focusing on the Herdman clan. Beth is now in the 6th grade at Woodrow Wilson Elementary and of course, once again Imogene Herdman is a classmate. There is a Herdman for each grade, 6 in all, and even though they never do assignments or seem to learn anything they are always promoted to the next grade. Beth's father offers a theory that the faculty at Woodrow Wilson have a clause in their contracts assuring that there will be only one Herdman per class.

There Herdmans hold the school and perhaps even the community in terror with their misdeeds. Beth relates their adventures for the year including kidnapping someone's little brother, 'tattoing' his bald head with magic marker, destroying a school assembly, taking over a school bus, and probably causing an epidemic of chicken pox to name but a few. Hanging over Beth's head is the year long assignment given the first day of school - to find a compliment for each classmate and several for one classmate in particular. Beth's special assignment is Imogene. As Beth struggles to find honest nice things to say about Imogene she begins to see new qualities in her classmate and by the end of the year has begun to develop insights far beyond her years.

This book is hysterically funny. Not funny in the sense that it causes the reader to smile or chuckle but rather funny as in laughing out loud to the point of tears. Beth's matter-of-fact descriptions of the Herdman capers are delivered with a delightfully wry sense of humor.

The reading level for this book is listed as 3-6 but the interest level is much greater. A younger child would be able to follow and enjoy being read this short novel and an adult (like this one) would find this hilarious.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is truly the best book ever. If I could I would rate this book up to 1 million. I like this book because it's about how a family called the Herdmans always gets in trouble or is just up to no good. I also like the book because it's split up into stories about the Herdmans. My favorite one was when a kid got his head stuck in a bike rack and one of the Herdmans named Gladys said they were going to cut his ears off to get him out. Then when the teachers called the fire department they shouted out the window,"They're coming to cut you loose." I thought that was so funny. I would read this book if I were you to get some great laughs. You heard it from me and the whole world.
From,
Joanna
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is about a family that is very bad and very sneaky. Their name is the Herdmans. They lie and steal. No one in town likes them. And no one in town wants to be with them. Because you never now what they will do to you. Their town just opened a new Landry mat. They hoped that the Herdmans don't come. Because is they do the will probably just ruin it. But shire enough, they came. And they came to wash their cat in the mashings. But all they did was ruin the whole store. And now there is a mad cat running all over the town. There school is planning to have a play with a brunch at the end of it, but they are worried about the Herdmans. They might steel all the food and ruin the whole play. What will they do next?

This book was pretty good it is not the best book in the world. I have read better. But, I liked it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
fiction

In the Herdman family there were six children and no one liked them and they were all very distructive. one student named Brenda had to write a class assigment about a Herdman. It took her all year to find the perfect compliment.

What I liked most about the was how funny the Herdmans were.

I didn't like a girl named Alice because she was a brat.

My favorite character was Imogene because I thought the things she did were funny such asputting the cat in the washing to clean it

pg.113 Brenda giving compliments about herself.I had to come up with compliments for my teachers on teachers day

I would say the book is entertaining and funny

My strongest reason for recominding this book is it keeps the reader interested the whole book
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