The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson
Also by this author: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Series: The Herdmans #3
Also in this series: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Narrator: Elaine Stritch
Length: 1 Hour 34 Minutes
Published by Harper Collins on January 4th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Holidays & Celebrations, Halloween, Humorous Stories, School & Education
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The Herdmans plus Halloween have always spelled disaster. Every year these six kids -- the worst in the history of Woodrow Wilson School, and possibly even the world -- wreak havoc on the whole town. They steal candy, spray-paint kids, and take anything that's not nailed down.
Now the mayor has had it. He's decided to cancel Halloween. There won't be any Herdmans to contend with this year, but there won't be any candy, either. And what's Halloween without candy? And without trick-or-treating? The Herdmans manage to turn the worst Halloween ever into the best Halloween ever in this uproarious sequel to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson is essentially a sequel to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It features the same cast of characters, just with a different holiday. I felt obligated to read this book as there are definitely not enough books out there that are themed around Halloween. Overall, The Best Halloween Ever is the sort of audiobook that I’d recommend right on Halloween and specifically for primary school aged children.
So, the premise behind The Best Halloween Ever is that the Herdman kids are raising hell all over town as expected. Of course, this mischief really peaks right on Halloween. So, the adults all decide to cancel Halloween and trick or treating. Instead, they decide to host an event at the school but decide not to invite the Herdman kids. This way, Halloween is nice and safe and controlled.
Of course, the Herdmans find out that their presence is not exactly wanted and hilarity ensues. There’s some funny moments with a fur coat and a costume contest. Basically, mischief does indeed occur and everyone learns an important lesson in the end.
Overall, I would say that The Best Halloween Ever is not exactly better than The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The funny moments don’t really have poignant moments to go with them. However, this is not a terrible sequel. Plus, it does add to the children’s Halloween genre, which I am certainly a fan of.
The audiobook is narrated by Elaine Stritch. It’s is 1 hour and 33 minutes unabridged. The audiobook is an okay listen. I mean, I was sort of riveted. It felt kind of like my grandmother reading me a story. I think results may vary with the audiobook, just as with the actual physical book itself.
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Other reviews of The Best Halloween Ever:
- Reading For Sanity – “fun to read on Halloween night after the festivities are winding down“
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Frazzled by Booki Vivat
Published by HarperCollins on September 27th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Humorous Stories, Comics & Graphic Novels, General, Social Themes, Emotions & Feelings
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“Hilarious.” (NPR’s All Things Considered)
"Honest, sweet, and laugh-out-loud funny. Fans of Smile and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will appreciate this debut." (Brightly.com)
Meet Abbie Wu. Abbie is in crisis—and not just because she’s starting middle school or because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because everyone seems to have a Thing except her. Abbie Wu is always in crisis.
From debut author and professional doodler Booki Vivat, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is and where she belongs. Akin to Smile by Raina Telgemeier, Frazzled is heavily illustrated, embarrassingly honest, and sure to appeal to anyone in the middle of figuring out how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up.
Frazzled: Everyday Disasters And Impending Doom by Booki Vivat is an absolutely charming middle grade debut. I’ll admit, I was pretty excited to read this book on the basis of how great of a publicist Booki was like two years ago. Y’all, Frazzled totally lived up to my expectations and middle grade me could totally relate.
Frazzled is about this girl named Abbie Wu. Abbie is the middle child and she’s just starting out in middle school. Her older brother Peter is basically perfect. Her baby sister whose name I forget because I am the worst is super cute. Abbie, however, is kind of neurotic. She’s easily frazzled as you can probably tell by the title. Her main issue and worry is that she doesn’t have a “thing” like everyone else.
Straight up, I wanted to pull Abbie aside and mentor her. I wanted to be like, girl we have all been there and we all eventually find our way. Of course, she does find her way and starts a little bit of a revolution and a ruckus. So, not only is Abbie someone I could have related to in middle school, but she’s someone I would have admired based upon her agitating skills. She’s sort of a rabble rouser and I loved it.
ALSO! How could I not mention! THERE ARE PICTURES in Booki Vivat’s Frazzled. If you’ve followed Vivat’s Instagram, you’ll know what to expect with the pictures. She’s got a fun ink style. I don’t know any of the technical terms, just that I like it. Frazzled: Everyday Disasters And Impending Doom is sure to appeal to neurotic middle graders who are looking to find their way.
Support Good Books & Good Wine with your purchase of Frazzled by Booki Vivat:
Other reviews of Frazzled:
- Xpresso Reads – “absolutely adorable, quotable and extremely relatable“
- Swoony Boys Podcast – “didn’t stop smiling once“
- This Kid Reviews Books – “a pretty funny book“
I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Almost Super by Marion Jensen
Narrator: Mike Chamberlain
Length: 6 Hours 3 Minutes
Published by Harper Collins on January 21st 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Humorous Stories, Action & Adventure, General, Fantasy & Magic
Format: Audiobook, eARC
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Perfect for fans of Pixar's The Incredibles, Almost Super is a fresh, funny middle grade adventure about two brothers in a family of superheroes who must find a way to be heroic despite receiving powers that are total duds. Filled with humor, heart, and just the right kind of heroics, Almost Super is a winning story that will satisfy would-be heroes and regular kids alike.
Everyone over the age of twelve in the Bailey family gets a superpower. No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it's their duty to protect the world from the evil, supervillainous Johnson family. *shake fists*
But when Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny get their superpowers, they're, well . . . super-lame. Rafter can strike matches on polyester, and Benny can turn his innie belly button into an outie. Along with Rafter's algebra class nemesis, Juanita Johnson, Rafter and Benny realize that what they thought they knew about superheroes and supervillains may be all wrong. And it's up to the three of them to put asides their differences and make things right. They may not have great powers, but together, they're almost super.
Watching The Incredibles before I listened to Almost Super by Marion Jensen felt like a pretty good life choice. You see, Almost Super is a middle grade book about superheroes. It certainly does not skimp on humor. And as the official description does mention The Incredibles, I have to say that the book and the movie definitely pair really well together.
Rafter and Benny Bailey both hail from a family of super heroes. The two brothers are really looking forward to this year. You see, it is the year when they will get their super power. Unfortunately, the powers that they get really kind of suck. I mean, one can change their belly button from an innie to an outie. The other has a power which I can’t even remember. Rafter blames this girl in his class, Juanita Johnson. The Johnsons are super villains, after all.
There are definitely super suits involved in Almost Super. There’s also an actual villain to catch and old rivalries to re-examine. Readers who are into super hero movies should really enjoy this book. It’s full of humor and action. There’s some predictable moments to be sure. This is not a major issue though and the book does manage to still be quite charming.
The narrator of the audiobook for Almost Super is Mike Chamberlain. The audiobook is 6 hours and like 30-ish minutes long. It’s a very, very quick listen. I’d say this book is a good story regardless of your preference for audio or printed copy. It doesn’t need a good narrator to make the plotting interesting.
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Other reviews of Almost Super by Marion Jensen:
- The Hiding Spot – “a must read“
- This Kid Reads – “a fun superhero story that has a different twist“
- The Book Monsters – “great mix of humor, action and mystery“