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The Terrible Two

(The Terrible Two #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  7,772 ratings  ·  928 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 ...more
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Harry N. Abrams
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Lily Halter It is amazing I love it. Also there is 2 more in the series I have read all 3 of them they were all really funny.

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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  7,772 ratings  ·  928 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
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
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.
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
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 ...more
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.
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.
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 ...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,
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...
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, audio, juvenile
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.
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.
Ma'Leik Tramble
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's pictures was sooooooooo hardcore!
A super easy and funny read that I did with my daughter!
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,
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
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 ...more
Ms. Yingling
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade readers
This is the first book in The Terrible Two series by Mac Barnett. The story is short and humorous and I loved the narration by Adam Verner - his character voices are hilarious and over-the-top, but in a wonderful way. (I love his voice for Stuart).

The concept of trying to carve out an identity, especially after having to move and start a new school is something that many children will identify with.

When Miles and his family move to Yawnee, Wyoming "Come Look at Our Cows," he decides that he is
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yawnee Valley is a small town with not much going for it, except for cows. Miles Murphy is not very happy when his family moves there. He was quite comfortable with his old home, school, and friends. Most importantly he was the uncontested best prankster at his old school. Now he has to start all over. It gets worse when he gets to his new school only to find they already have a prankster, and he is quite good. In order to take the lead spot, Miles must engage in an all out prank war!

I am not
Yawnee Valley and Principal Barkin of Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy are both obsessed with cows, pranks, and the pranksters who committed the pranks. Enter Miles Murphy, a kid who moved from a school far away where he was top prankster. He expects he will be top prankster at Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy, too.

However, the top prankster (a name I will leave unknown), has something to say about Miles expectation. This prankster is out to out-prank the supposed king of
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, ...more
Prankster Miles Murphy is definitely not thrilled by his family's relocation to Yawnee Valley--you have to love that name! He had a reputation for all sorts of tricks back at his old school, and he figures he'll establish the same sort of track record here. But it turns out that the school already has a prankster, and he's better at what he does than Miles is. Before joining forces against the principal and an insufferably arrogant classmate, they wage a brief prankster war. Readers will smile ...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 ...more
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, humor
Miles always thought he’s the best prankster at school. When the family should move to Yawnee Village, he was terribly upset. As the new student, Miles got a school helper, Niles Sparks. While didn’t look like it, it turned out that actually Niles was the brain behind the pranks at Yawnee school. Together Niles and Miles worked some genius plans to prank the school and the mean headmaster.

The interesting thing isn’t only how Niles and Miles formed the prank. The Yawnee Village had so many cows
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 ...more
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 ...more
Amery Baker
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best, childrens
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 ...more
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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)
“No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no!” 1 likes
“Principal Barkin had a list of suspects that was exactly one kid long.” 1 likes
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