HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Terrible Two Get Worse
Authors: Mac Barnett and Jory John
Illustrator: Kevin Cornell
Publisher: Amulet Books, 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1419716805 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1419716808 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1419719257 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1419719254 Paperback
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8 – 12
Rating: *** 3 stars (FAIR)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Barnett, Mac, and John, Jory. The Terrible Two Get Worse (published in 2016 by Amulet Books, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams Inc., 115 W. 18th St., New York City, NY 10011). What happens when a couple of pranksters get pranked themselves? The Terrible Two introduced Miles Murphy, the new kid in town, and Niles Sparks, the self-appointed, official School Helper, who teamed up to form a secret pranking club known as “The Terrible Two.” They are students at Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy where the principal, Barry Barkin, and his son Josh are their chief goats. But one day, when the school picture is being taken, their latest scheme goes too far and gets the principal fired. His replacement is worse–Former Principal Bertrand Barkin, Barry’s no-nonsense, iron-fisted father who runs the school like a boot camp. His new rule is “I WILL NOT PERMIT PRANKS.” Is now Former Principal Barry Barkin gone forever? And what will Niles and Miles do? Have they met their match with their new nemesis?
Aside from a few common euphemisms and childish slang terms (heck, darn, confound you, and “super-strong butt muscles”) and a reference to a school dance, the biggest objection which I, along with some other reviewers, noted was that in The Terrible Two the pranks were fairly harmless, but, while no one dies, in the sequel some of them seem a little more mean-spirited. For example, the boys put a very hot ghost pepper in the new Principal Barkin’s coffee mug. The prank actually doesn’t work, but for some people with certain health conditions that could be rather dangerous. Also, they drop someone’s pants during the last day of school assembly. A lot of people may find the idea of pantsing a person to be funny, but a lot of others think that it crosses the line because it’s vulgar and humiliating. The final verdict is that I really did not care for the book.
If you want to see my review of the first installment: