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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! Paperback – July 1, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Winner of five kid-voted statewide awards!

California Young Reader Medal
Charlie May Simon Award (Arkansas)
Georgia Children's Book Award
Nene Award (Hawaii)
Sunshine State Award (Florida)

More praise for Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!


"This book catches the reader with its very first sentence . . . crackling with humor . . . nearly perfect."
--Gannett Westchester Newspapers

"The only difficulty with this book is that everyone will want to be the first one to introduce it to children. . . A real gem."
--State Library of Ohio Checklist

"The moral is encased in laughs, with Manes's style reminiscent of Daniel Pinkwater's and topped by a dash of Kurt Vonnegut. Not perfect but awfully funny."
--Booklist

"What happens . . . changes chuckles to belly laughs!"
--Publishers Weekly

"This clever, funny book doesn't waste time being subtle; its mixture of slapstick/wryness will have kids laughing out loud."
--Marriage and Family Living

"Milo's home-study course in perfection makes a hilarious, zany story which readers will find hard to put down."
--Wings

". . . hysterically funny, and not without relevance for grown-ups seemingly addicted to self-development."
--New Age

"Manes' novel satirizes the countless best sellers that promise smaller waists, slimmer hips and enriched bank accounts."
--School Library Journal

". . . amazing and hilarious."
--The Times of Trenton

"This is a laughing-aloud book. It is far from great literature but very close to the funny bone."
--The Read-Aloud Handbook

"This is an original, offbeat, skillfully conceived and executed book."
--Philadelphia Inquirer

"This book was so good it made me laugh out loud."
--Detroit Free Press

"One of the best children's stories of all time!"
--Goodreads

About the Author

STEPHEN MANES is the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. His Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! won kid-voted awards in five states and is a curriculum staple in American and French schools. The sequel, Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday!, quickly became a Publishers Weekly bestseller. His books have been adapted for stage and television productions.

Manes has had a long career making arcane worlds accessible to the uninitiated. His most recent book is the highly acclaimed Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet. He was one of the creators and co-hosts of the weekly public television series "Digital Duo." He co-wrote the bestselling and much-praised biography Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry--and Made Himself the Richest Man in America. He wrote long-running columns on personal technology for The New York Times, Forbes, PC World, PC Magazine, and many other publications.

Manes has a degree in cinema from the University of Southern California. His writing credits for the screen include programs for ABC Television and KCET/Los Angeles, as well as the seventies classic movie Mother, Jugs & Speed. A native of Pittsburgh, he lives in Seattle.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440413494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440413493
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Who says that nobody's perfect? Certainly not Dr. K Pinkerton Silverfish, the clown-nosed, messy-hotdog-eating author of the book "Be a Perfect Person In Just Three Days!" that mysteriously falls on our hero's head!
Meet Milo. He's your average kid, flawed like the rest of us, and just trying to find a good book on scary monsters at the library when "Be a Perfect Person...!!" flies from the shelf and beans him a good one. The author, Dr. S, is a very strange looking character in his author photo, dressed in a half-tie and Hawaiian shirt with that messy hotdog, but something about his eyes and what may be a smirk on his lips makes Milo want to check the book out. After all, who WOULDN'T want to be perfect?
He takes it home to read and immediately finds out that the road to being perfect is paved with strange tasks. Wearing a stalk of broccoli around your neck for one day and night, and not eating anything, for example. It's enough to make people wonder if you've lost your marbles. Still, if broccoli-wearing brings Milo perfection (kinda' like fasting brings inner awareness), then so be it! Bring on the green stuff!
B.A.P.P.I.J.T.D. is a quick, fast-paced read that will entertain and draw in even the most reluctant readers. It's short, weighing in at under 100 pages, so the length won't intimidate beginning readers. It is funny, ridiculous and clips along at a pace where you can't help but keep reading to find out what could possibly happen next. The language is easy to read but not condescending to young audiences. I teach reading to a group of normally reluctant, low-level readers, and within the first page everyone was hooked! Many of my students even asked if they could read THE WHOLE THING by the next day's class. Lo and behold, most of them *DID*!! This was not my doing; this was the ease and engagement of the book itself. Don't just take MY word for it, take it from the students who normally hate reading: this is a fine, fun book!
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A Kid's Review on May 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days was a really funny book. It taught me that nobody's perfect, even the popular girls that are in my class. It was easy to read, and I'm pretty sure that even grown-ups would love it. This book definetly gets an A plus!
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Format: Hardcover
o my gosh! This was without a doubt one of my favorite books as a child....I literally borrowed it from the library every time we went!! Milo, the main character, borrows the hilarious self-help book from the library ( be a perfect person in JUST 3 DAYS!", he gets more than he bargained for! His book is equally funny and amazing, as the chapters appear to be written according to what he is thinking as he reads along on the road to being perfect....This is definitly one of the better books out there, a quick and entertaining read, that your child (or even you) will want to read again and again and again..... :) May I just reiterate that this is a wonderful book??! ok thankx :) Have a great day!
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Format: Paperback
The 20 children in my second grade class loved this book, and begged (NOT AN EXAGERATION) me to keep reading it until it was through. We talked about being perfect, laughed at the antics in the story, and none of us wanted to stop. As a matter of fact, when the book was finished, the class immediately wanted me to start reading Manes' book How to Make a Million...The only thing that stopped me was that I don't own that book.

That will be rectified the moment I'm done posting this review!
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book because it deals with the problem of feeling like a failure or being unpopular. At our school, we use this book for the whole classroom. It's fun, easy to read, and deals with problems that most middle school students face.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My first grade teacher read this book to my class when I was a little girl, because I was such a perfectionist! Even at that young age, my perfectionism was a bit debilitating. I remember being completely shocked when we reached the end of this book and came to the punch line--that you cannot be perfect, and even if you could be perfect, it wouldn't be of much use. The memory has stuck with me. Twenty years later, I bought two copies of this book--one for an extremely perfectionist first grader that I know, and the other for myself! I read through it in about an hour, and it was actually a great reminder for me. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite books.
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By A Customer on September 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is pure entertainment for the whole family. It's one laugh after another. You are led by the hand, with the author seeming to read your thoughts. It pulls you in for "just one more chapter". You wonder: Will Milo really become the first ever perfect person? It makes you ask yourself, "what does it mean to be perfect?" "who is someone to take advice from?" "would it make me perfect if someone said I was?" This is a very easy book to read. Allow 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. It will leave you laughing, and leave you thinking.
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Format: Hardcover
This story was good because Milo got hit on the head with a book. He was not a bad boy, he just wanted to be good at everything. - Tyroshan & Tyroniona
This story is funny! It is better than any other story we've read. - Alvineka & Dionne
Milo is a good boy, even if he walks with broccoli around his neck. - Victor & Lance
It is funny because Milo does everything that Dr. Silverfish tells him and Dr. Silverfish is crazy! - Matthew & Sean
I think that Milo was not perfect but that he was brave to wear broccoli around his neck. - Racquel & Rasheeda
The story is very, very funny! The funniest part in the story was when he made funny faces in the mirror. - Kimani & Jonathan
It was a funny story because Milo wore broccoli around his neck. He did some crazy things! - Catina & Brittany
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