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The Terrible Two

(The Terrible Two #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  8,706 ratings  ·  1,014 reviews
Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his ga ...more
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Harry N. Abrams
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Travis Tilley yup. black and white detailed

yup. black and white detailed

Elias Deffinent 5 stars. The plot in the story is very suspenseful and the characters are enthusiastic. I really enjoy the mystery of who the secret pranks…more Deffinent 5 stars. The plot in the story is very suspenseful and the characters are enthusiastic. I really enjoy the mystery of who the secret prankster is in the story and the plot of them ending up working together. 10/10 would read again.(less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  8,706 ratings  ·  1,014 reviews

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Review update: I quite literally have 12 year old boys lining up at the door asking for copies of this book by name, which, coming from the kinds of kids who don't remember to write down homework, really says something about the story's appeal.

My book talk for Terrible Two was minimal: I asked kids for examples of pranks, I told them that Miles Murphy would find those pranks junior league, and then I read out loud the passage towards the beginning where Miles Murphy is deciding what kind of pers
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So much fun! I love this way more than Big Nate or Wimpy Kid, but I think it will appeal to the same audience :)
Lori Redman
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elementary, humor
I'm not sure why this book doesn't have a solid 5.0 rating. Or at least a 4.99. This book is EXCELLENT! And I'm not just saying that because I am a huge fan of Mac Barnett and Kevin Cornell.

Miles is a new student in the town of Yawnee- a town that is mostly famous for it's cows. He hates that he had to move to this town; in his old town by the ocean, he was known as the Prankster. And on his first day of school, Miles finds out that another student already holds the title of Prankster- someone w
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a cute, quick read--great for fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life series. There are lots of jokes and pranks and facts about cows (yup...cows). Perfect for struggling and/or reluctant readers. ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun book to read with my 10 year old grandson. He really enjoyed it and gave it 4.5 stars! We picked up book 2 from the library before we were even finished with this one. I can't wait to see what shenanigans Miles and Niles get into next.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
Better than Patterson's Middle School series about Rafe, because it doesn't try too hard to be so much. There's a lot of craftsmanship here, but it doesn't show - this reads very light, funny of course, but not overly silly or crazy.

The bully, and how he is dealt with, is different than any other I've met. Instead of getting to know the families of the boys, we get to know the principal (kind of; I have to admit he's just a bit implausible). There are no diversions to mean girls, or kindly jani
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A book for all readers, particularly "particular ones" as Jon Scieska would call them. It is full of cow facts that seem to make no sense until the final resolution and what a resolution it is. A school story, a story about a bully who gets what he deserves (though his dad may shape up a bit sooner than seems real), a story about unlikely friends and about pranks..and oh what pranks they are This book should almost come with a cautionary statement, don't try these in your school. Light-hearted b ...more
Multi-award winning humorous middle school chapter book that will draw in even reluctant readers. The characters were mischievous makers of chaos, but I enjoyed that they were above average intelligent and creative ones with a code of honor. Also enjoyed the collaborating illustrator's comic panels randomly through out this chapter book that added to the story line.

Language: No profanity

Sensuality content: Squeaky G clean.

Source: Amazon Prime Reading Loan.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fred-age-8
Fred (age 9) absolutely loved this one and zipped through it in a day.
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
This was a quick and entertaining read about two boys who want to be their school's biggest pranksters. Fans of Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series would find much to enjoy in this book.
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Recently started to read on libby after waking up to get away from the habit of scrolling through social media early mornings.

This book was perfect for this. it's language is pretty simple, the story is fun and I really liked the Illustrations.
Jeff Raymond
Closer to a 3.5.

I'm always impressed that the trope of pranks and pranksters persists within middle grade books. This is another one of those stories, this time about a new kid at school who was the great pranksters at his old school up against the kid who consistently outsmarts him.

This is a fun, fast read with wide middle grade appeal even if it's not too deep and feels understandably derivative. Still a good time, though, and worth a read for this age group.
Ma'Leik Tramble
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's pictures was sooooooooo hardcore!
Pop Bop
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Hey, This Wasn't Terrible At All

There are a lot of middle grade books out there that are funny. Some are clever. Some are manic. Some are silly. But very few have the kind of deadpan wit and subtle throwaway lines that you will find in this book.

The plot is antic enough. Our hero, Miles, is the new kid at school, plans to be the school's top prankster, and has to dethrone the current anonymous top prankster. Right off the bat I was concerned, because usually prankster books turn on farts, booge
Alan Figueroa
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
***Spoiler Alert*** This book is called The Terrible Two. It's a fiction book. It is in the humorous genre. I really liked this book it was a great story.
This is character vs character. This story takes place in Yawnee Valley. A kid named Miles moved into a new school in Yawnee Valley. He wanted to become the biggest prankster in school. First he had to find out if the school already had a prankster. Since Miles is the new kid he has to stay with the school helper for the year. This kid is nam
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Miles is moving to Yawnee Valley along with his parents, a place with larger spaces, bigger lawns, and lots of cows. He had been known in his last school as the prankster, but upon arrival at his first day of school Miles discovers that there is another prankster already at work. That prankster has put the principal’s car at the top of the stairs to the entrance to the school, blocking it so that no one can enter. So Principal Barkin is forced to have each and every kid at school climb through h ...more
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Out of the many, many books I've read over my lifetime, I can safely say that I've never read one quite like The Terrible Two. Which isn't two surprising considering Mac Barnett is one of the authors. His books are always a bit wacky, in a fun way of course. I'm not particularly big on pranks myself, I think they cause too much trouble, but I did quite enjoy this book. The magnitude and quality of the pranks that Miles and his opponent conjure up are quite impressive. It would be easier to be sy ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Confidence. Mischief. Danger. Those are three things you do NOT want to see in your rival's smile.

All Miles Murphy lives and breathes are pranks. Pranking is all he knows. It's what he's a master at. When he moves to the boring town of Yawnee Valley, famous for cows-yes, COWS, he is determined to do what he does best-prank.

However, there is already a master pranker in Yawnee. Someone, dare I say it, BETTER than Miles! Miles must figure out who this pranker is and how to beat him at his game, b
Abby Johnson
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was seriously funny and I highly recommend the audiobook. Miles is the best prankster at his school. It's what he's known for. So when his family moves from their seaside town to the town of Yawnee (about as exciting as it sounds), Miles knows he's going to have to pull some awesome pranks so that the kids at this new school know exactly who they're dealing with. But when Miles gets to school on the first day and sees that someone has parked the principal's car on top of the steps, rig ...more
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is so much fun to read! It's the ultimate trickster tale that also has something great to say about collaboration, cooperation, and friendship. I had a difficult time putting this book down, as I was so engrossed in the increasingly sophisticated pranks. I was compelled to stay up late so I could find out how the ultimate April Fool's Day prank was going to unfold. I'm a big fan of movies that feature big swindles - The Sting, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Now You See Me, etc. This book rea ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is easily one of the funniest books I've read all year. It was wildly creative and the humor was really born out of well built characters. I think one of my favorite parts of this book was how the illustrations caught the mood of each moment. Throughout the story, whenever an unusual altercation occurred, there'd be a picture of the characters beside it making such amusingly deadpan faces at me that I would burst out laughing, usually startling my wife. I can't wait to see where they go wit ...more
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Miles is starting over at a new school, meaning his reputation as a prankster will go away! He hopes maybe he can be known for that at his new school, but his hopes are dashed when he reaches his new school and there's a car blocking the path! There is also his new buddy, who happens to be the school's goody-two-shoes, and the intense principal who seems to have it out for him since day one.

This story made me chuckle a lot, and I think it will be popular with kids. I hope there are more in the
Aman 4-7
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an overall good book.I have a few connections with their struggles(Such as being blamed and framed for something I didn't do)only 'cause I pull pranks myself.This was also well thought out in the way it all played together.Only thing i'd alter is them becoming a team sooner.But hey,that's what series are for so I guess that's not a problem.I'd tell others to read this if there good with being "bad" or if they like to have a strategy for most things(also me). But if you're not those thin ...more
Amery Baker
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, best
I read this aloud to my 9 year old. She and I both loved it. I usually like the idea of reading aloud to my kids but get bored before the book even begins. This book kept me laughing and engaged the whole time. I loved all the characters in the book but Niles and Miles were the best. Their pranking was inventive and fun! I also loved all the cow references. My daughter laughed every time a "cow mooed" in the distance. It was also fun to read aloud with all the fun dialog. Definitely will read ag ...more
This will be a remarkably easy book to book talk, as the premise is genius and the delivery hilarious. It may also make some teachers break out in hives (as defense of/encouragement for pranking is wont to do), but that will only spur more kids to pick it up - reluctant readers among them. This book will be a big hit in 2015! And I look forward to seeing where the Terrible Two take us in future installments...
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Entertaining, polished, and funny. Recommended.
The Prankster's Oath

On my honor I will do my best:
To be good at being bad;
To disrupt, but not destroy;
To embarrass the dour and amuse the merry;
To devote my mind to japes, capers, shenanigans, and monkey business;
To prove the world looks better turned upside down;

For I am a prankster.

So be it.
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile, audio, 2015
I wasn't too sure about this book once I started listening to it. The narrator wasn't doing it for me. I really like Barnett's other books so I switched over to reading it myself. It was so much better and the illustrations were great! They reminded me of Blake's illustrations for Roald Dahl's books.

I enjoyed how much planning went into the pranks that were pulled in the book. Very clever.
Dana Tuss
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Clever book. The cow theme is pretty funny. Alex thought it was good too. Wasn't happy with the two flat-out lying and setting up someone else in the end.

Just reread it — so funny and clever. The writing is really perfect. Great book to read out loud. Alex and I both enjoyed it again.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about two boys met each other and being a buddy. And they are being a best friend each other and think the way how to stop what principal is doing!! So they are creating crazy ideas!!!!!!! Such a wonderful partner!!!^.^
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious read. I would recommend this to every kid who loves funny books.
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2017 Reading Chal...: The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John 1 13 Jul 03, 2016 01:22PM  
2017 Reading Chal...: The Terrible Two 1 26 Jan 07, 2015 09:30AM  

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Born to non-farmers in a California farming community, Mac Barnett now lives near San Francisco. He's on the board of directors of 826LA, a nonprofit writing center for students in Los Angeles, and he founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers.

Other books in the series

The Terrible Two (4 books)
  • The Terrible Two Get Worse (The Terrible Two, #2)
  • The Terrible Two Go Wild (The Terrible Two, #3)
  • The Terrible Two's Last Laugh (The Terrible Two, #4)

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