Wednesday, February 10

The Terrible Two Get Worse

The Terrible Two Get Worse
Written by Mac Barnett & Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-1419716805
Publisher: Henry N. Abrams
Date of publication: January 12, 2016
Age: Grades 3 - 7
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: pranks, consequences, friendship, principals

On their own, pranksters Miles and Niles were pretty devious. Now that they’ve formed a pranking duo, they’re terrible! But their powers will be tested when their favorite nemesis, Principal Barkin, is replaced by his stern and cunning father, Former Principal Barkin. Now Miles and Niles will do just about anything to get their old antagonist back—including pranking alongside him.

"It is only a prank if we react." And so begins the downfall of the Terrible Two. And it was actually pretty sad! Former Principal Barkin is a hard-nosed dictator with preposterous demands and unfair biases, an utterly ridiculous character that really made me mad. I understand that's how I'm supposed to feel about him...but seriously! It really takes away from the humor and joy of the last book. Of course, there are still some great lines and jabs of humor, but I'm going to stick with my gut and say the first one was better (it was a top favorite of mine last year). This one had less pranks, and the climax prank was far less impressive and somewhat out-of-nowhere. But I'm glad it happened in terms of the story.

Overall, kids who loved the first book will definitely pick up the second one and still enjoy it. There's some added depth to the characters, particularly Niles and Principal Barkin, that I really appreciated. The sporadic illustrations are fantastic and add much to the humor of the story. I probably wouldn't recommend it in and of itself, but to those who enjoyed the first, I'd say give it a go.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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