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The Best School Year Ever Paperback – April 12, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Holly May Pickel, Bluffton Branch Library, SC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ;)
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 ›
This book was pretty good it is not the best book in the world. I have read better. But, I liked it.
Unfortunately, the magic that was in the first book just doesnÕt carry over to this sequel. The same characters are here. The Herdmans are still the kind of uncivilized kids that make parents and teachers (and even less rowdy kids) squirm. Beth, the narrator, is still the kind of sweet, observant girl who fits in with others but is open enough to find the good in those who donÕt fit in. But it just doesnÕt come together here. The HerdmansÕ antics arenÕt as funny as they were in the first book (a few, in fact, are simply recycled from the first book). And if youÕve read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, where Beth comes to see the good in the seemingly irredeemable Imogene Herdman, it seems odd that in the new book sheÕs back to viewing Imogene as a monster. What happened to the insight she gained at the end of the last book?
The book has a few funny moments. ItÕs not dreadful. But after The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, it is certainly a disappointment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes I would recommend this book and others by this author.
Will read the book to my grandchildren. I give this book an A plus.
This is another winner by Barbara Robinson. Life as a child and learning to get through school with people who are not easy to get along with. Read morePublished 1 month ago by my brood of chicks
It is interesting how Barbara Robinson can use the Herdmans to teach us a moral. I actually wish there were more stories about the Herdmans. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
I’m a fourth grade student in Hilliard, OH. I think this book would be a great book for kids my age because it is hilarious because all the crazy things that happened in the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Arny D Martin
This is one of the best books ever. The main characters were Beth Bradley and Imogene HermanPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I thought my students would like it, but they had to read 'The Best Christmas Play Ever" first. They didn't have a clue who the Herdmans were.Published 3 months ago by supermom1010