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Sir John Hargrave's Mischief Maker's Manual
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Sir John Hargrave's Mischief Maker's Manual

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
This is the definitive guide to pranking and mayhem. Written in the style of a training manual, but with hilarious illustrations, this book is broken up into five sections. The “Basics” shows kids how to find a pranking partner and how to pull simple pranks like making crank calls. “Prank Moves” explains how to pull pranks at places like home, school, or camp. “Do-It-Yours ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 11th 2009 by Grosset & Dunlap
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Jul 21, 2009 Betsy rated it really liked it
The prank in its purest form is custom made for children's literature. Pranks are kids' ways of grifting and over the years pranksters have popped up in books for youth, though never as consistently as you might think. There was Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Boy/Girl Battle series. There are the Weaseley brothers in the Harry Potter books. And, most impressive, there is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. But none of these dissect the very nature of prankstership. For th ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for

As the title suggests, MISCHIEF MAKER'S MANUAL is a how-to guide for kids who like to cause a little mayhem. It includes set-up details (make a plan, find a partner, etc.) and step-by-step instructions for carrying out specific pranks. My favorite parts were the tales about actual pranks that people have pulled off. The book demonstrates how a successful prank can be a thing of beauty.

MISCHIEF MAKER'S MANUAL contains clever tidbits for not only
May 30, 2009 Wrighty rated it really liked it
This is one book that I'm keeping away from my kids but I can't wait to pass it on to my nephews!

This little book is exactly what it says it is, a mischief maker's manual. The first page welcomes young pranksters to their training and advises the reader to work through the book from beginning to end. There are illustrations, charts, instructions, advice and handy tips.
The book marks itself as the ultimate handbook for pranks, practical jokes, stunts, tricks, and large scale hoaxes. It appears to
Feb 26, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic, read-in-2010
Very good, clever ideas (they included ONE of my favorite pranks, changing autocorrect on word), while maintaining that all pranksters must follow some simple rules (including, be careful, don't be a bully, be creative, don't do anything that causes damage, and make the pranks funny). None of the pranks are mean spirited, the best pranks are the ones where the person being pranked laughs the loudest.

The writing is very clever, (and true!) the book suggests that child pranksters have the advanta
Jun 16, 2009 Janine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any prankster, young or old
Coming from someone who has done the majority of these pranks, I must say I throughly enjoyed this book. It is a self-guided training manual to help the novice prankster become a 'Massive Mischief Maker'. I may not be the target audience, but as a former mischief maker in the day, I can certainly appreciate what the author is trying to do with the book. The entire book has an underlying theme that pranks should not be hurtful or damage. They should be good fun with a flare of originality. There' ...more
Feb 14, 2015 to'c rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody with a growing prankster or a are a prankster at heart themselves.
(nota bene: I did not read this book cover to cover. I jumped around a lot but enough to get a good feel for it.)

This is a fabulous book! The pranks are fun and should keep your young prankster busy. But the best part of the book turn out to be pranks on the prankster! Sir John is teaching some pretty nice lessons along with all of those pranks. Not just "be safe" and "don't be a bully". Oh no. In the section on how to get away he casually mentions that the best pranksters keep themselves in sha
Apr 11, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
This book is seriously hilarious. I'm not really the "pranking" type, but this book might just change all that. It does the reader the favor of actually giving the steps to pranks that are funny, achievable, and mostly harmless (though some are slightly illegal). It's a funny book to flip through and laugh; a good coffee table book, and one that I actually hope to put to actual use one day. If you are looking for some pranks that are mostly just harmless but hilarious fun with little effort invo ...more
Everyday QRay (Mama QRay)
Apr 28, 2009 Everyday QRay (Mama QRay) rated it it was amazing
Maybe I loved this one so much because it reminded me so much of the my best guy friends. They have been pranking eachother and creating moments of absolute humiliation (all in good fun) since we were in Jr. High (what I am now realizing was a very long time ago). I loved this book because the pranks were do-able. I can totally see "my boys" dishing these antics out on one another. Thats why I have hidden this book behind my parenting books on our shelves. :) Awesome and wickedly funny. An absol ...more
Jamie Tyrrell
Jul 08, 2009 Jamie Tyrrell rated it really liked it
My Goodreads Giveaway copy arrived today, and I'm enthralled! Although I'm too mature to take advantage of its how-to guide format, but it's still amusing to peruse. It's like a distillation of all just the mischeivous pieces of the Dangerous Book for Boys/Daring Book for Girls.

This looks like a great gift for the middle-schooler in your life--especially if said tween is not your child. Most of the pranks are very specific, and even include links to online resources. I'm looking forward to shar
Peter Millett
Oct 18, 2013 Peter Millett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. New to pranks? Start here and end here. There's virtually a prank a day between these covers. The encyclopedia Brittanica of puerile, juvenile malarkey and mayhem. If you are feeling old stale and tired, and in danger of lapsing into a mid life crisis, then read this book immediately. You will feel like a child again and once you prank your first victim you'll have a spring in your step.
May 13, 2009 Kleiner rated it it was amazing
Known as M3, this is a training "manual for pranks, practical jokes, stunts, tricks and large-scale hoaxes." With a secret agent approach, history lessons about infamous pranks, and quite a few science lessons, the manual emphasizes responsibility when playing practical jokes. While adult supervision may be recommended, M3 is a fun read and a sly way to get young readers reading and thinking about science.
Sep 03, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Not quite what I was expecting. When I picked up the book in the bookstore, I flipped through and landed on some of the more historical parts. (ie, the invention of sneezing powder, and the Police car on top of a building at MIT) These sections were interesting, but overall I could tell the book was geared at an audience much younger than me. Still, I learned a few things and thought it was an interesting read.
Sep 02, 2016 Jon rated it it was ok
Maybe you have a tween at home who is pulling bigger and bigger pranks. Maybe one day you come home to find fishing line rigged to drop the household upright piano on the next person through the door. Maybe you need this book to establish ground rules so that you can stay on the good side of the little sociopath. Maybe you just want to sleep with both eyes closed for once. If you're nodding right now, maybe this book's for you.
May 25, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: need-a-laugh, teen
What a fun book. I will definitely have to remember this book for April Fool’s Day, or perhaps just a Tuesday. I like how it teaches you to have fun without doing anything illegal or that will humiliate others. There is even a section on how to handle getting caught. Check out the website at
Cindy Griffin
Jan 17, 2011 Cindy Griffin rated it it was amazing
I read through this book as soon as I received it from FedEx. It is wonderful, deviously delicious. Thank goodness my boys did not have this book when they were growing up. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good laugh, but I caution you to hide it from any mischievous ones around no matter their age.
Jul 08, 2009 Wally rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, nonfiction, tween
A manual for tricksters and pranksters, this book outlines the dos and don'ts of pulling pranks, as well as plenty of set pranks with full instructions and difficulty levels. Good for middle schoolers.
Jul 08, 2009 Teen rated it liked it
A manual for tricksters and pranksters, this book outlines the dos and don'ts of pulling pranks, as well as plenty of set pranks with full instructions and difficulty levels. Good for middle schoolers.
May 16, 2013 Nicky rated it really liked it
This book made me laugh out loud. I just wished I was younger to get away with pranking my friends. I need to give this to a worthy prankster, anonymously so if they get caught, I'll be in the clear. Teehee.
Michael Cao
Nov 14, 2014 Michael Cao added it
Shelves: nov14
This book was AWESOME! This book had old classic pranks to completely original ideas. I made up my mind now, I will attempt a prank from this book. If I do pull a prank, this is the only evidence that links the prank to me. I won't get caught because it even teaches you how not to get caught.
Oct 04, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
When purchasing, I didn't realize this was aimed at teenagers. I'm not sure it's terribly clear. It's an enjoyable read even so, but I can't say I'd really recommend it. Hargrave's first book, Prank the Monkey, is a much better bet.
Nov 09, 2009 Alicia rated it really liked it
Funny and very informative instruction manual for pranking. It manages to maintain a respectful and safe approach while still banking some serious cred for the level of pranks it describes.
Mike Klein
Jul 11, 2012 Mike Klein rated it really liked it
A fun book that isn't as edgy as the title implies and that's mostly a good thing. Give it to your kids and stand back cause their creativity may be at your expense.
Very funny and full of good prank ideas. Obviously, this book was intended for an age group younger than myself, but I plan on buying a copy of it for use after the Zombie Apocalypse.
This is a fun, sophomoric, fast read. And, like a fool, I've given it to my son to read too. Maybe I'll be prepared for what's to come this way.
Kyle rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2016
Case rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2013
Joella rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2010
Sharon rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2010
Sam Rusnak!
Sam Rusnak! rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2010
Donovan Embry
Donovan Embry rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2013
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I am author, entrepreneur, and mind hacker.

I am also the CEO of Media Shower, the leading content marketing company.

I write about how improving people can help us improve our businesses and our lives.

My favorite snack is apples with peanut butter.
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