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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 Preloaded Digital Audio Player 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 the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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.
Even though this book won't be the classic her Christmas book is, it is a delightful story with realistic, funny situations with which every elementary school kid can identify. My grand children liked it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think it was great and I gave it three stars because it was stupid how many dumb names, Gladys what were you thinking we'll it was great and funny and dumb of you to add the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cassini
The Herdmans are back and this time we get to see how they wreak havoc on normal school life--well, as normal as Woodrow Wilson School with them in it gets, anyway. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Stephanie McCall
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 8 months 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 8 months ago by Kindle Customer