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Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!
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Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  844 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
In search of perfection, Milo Crinkley earnestly tries to follow the loony instructions he finds in a library books--and learns that there are more important things in life than being perfect. "Manes' style (is) reminiscent of Daniel Pinkwater's topped with a dash of Kurt Vonnegut . . . awfully funny".--Booklist.
Mass Market Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 8th 1998 by Yearling (first published 1982)
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Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I made sure this was fiction before checking it out from my library when I was a kid. Even then I was wary of self-help books making specious claims. :)

This is about a kid named Milo who is intrigued by the title of a book called Be A Perfect Person in Just Three Days. He's got a lot of problems at home and would love to become "perfect," but this book keeps ordering him to do weird things (like put a hunk of broccoli around his neck), and he's a little suspicious of the photos of the author (wh
Freya Hooper
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
What this book is about:
When Milo gets hit in the head at the library by a falling book, he takes notice. This particular book is written by Dr. Silverfish, and it’s impressive title, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days, is just too good to pass up. Milo follows the instructions, word for word. Does it work? Do you think you could do it?

Why I love this book:
Fun and funny book. Day one is probably the funniest and my third and eighth grader were both laughing out loud. Let’s just say that ever
Alethea Kontis
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I had my Mother chase down an out of print copy for me years ago...and it was a movie tie in cover! I had no idea this book had been made into a movie--I wish I'd seen it. What smart young person doesn't strive to be perfect? If such perfection were possible in such a short time, would you attempt it? Even if it meant wearing a giant piece of broccoli around your neck? Sometimes you find books and sometimes, when you really need them, the books find YOU.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Doesn't the title itself already make you want to read this book? It definitely made me curious right away. Who knew the secret to perfection could be found in a children's book that could be read in less than a day for this year's Battle of the Books? You'll laugh all the way through as you read about Milo's adventures in his quest for perfection.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book several times, all years ago. A very funny read, this book is actually quite "wise".
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
its good, pretty good, i read it in 3rd grade, i guess i would recomend it,
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I remember being all excited to read this book in third grade, but it turned out to be more of a cautionary tale than a manual.
Nicole Schwartz
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great story with a perfect message. Anyone who would want to be perfect should read this book.
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Milo follows the instructions in a book "Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days," with hilarious results. A humorous story with a good point.
Julie Decker
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Milo's a kind of troubled kid who accidentally encounters a book called BE A PERFECT PERSON IN JUST THREE DAYS. Well, how can he resist that, right? Even if the photos of the author look a bit . . . imperfect. (Maybe his idea of perfect is just different?) Anyway, Milo follows the instructions in the book to the letter, not even reading ahead because the book insisted that he must do each task before reading ahead. But some of the tasks make Milo look foolish, and he starts to wonder what this b ...more
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked this book out for my daughter(8) and her friends to read for a book club we hosted. I read it with her, because at first the picture on the cover made her not want to read it. She didn't think it would be fun. Once we started, we laughed together and she really enjoyed it. It is a really fun book, geared toward 8-12 year old. We both liked it. I gave it 3 stars instead of 4, just because there were a lot of times during the book when they said stupid, dumb, or idiot. That is not too big ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days, written by Stephen Manes and illustrated by Tom Huffman seems as though it would be a level three on the Horning scale. The text is large, but smaller than might be found in other transitional books, and also has more complex sentences than any of the transitional readers I have read thus far. The illustrations appear to be mostly for decoration, as they do appear every few pages and they do not appear to portray exactly what happens in the text, so they w ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marie F
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read aloud with my 5th grader over the weekend. He read most of it to me, but I helped him with bits when he got too many giggles. Very silly book, my "class clown" kiddo *loved* it. The 6th grader and 3rd grader also read it (seperately, to themselves) and thought it was funny but not quite as deeply amused as their brother. I think it struck his type of humor just right, he guffawed several times and even had a rush to go pee moment. The third grader disapproved of seeing stupid (and something ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: transitional
I liked this book because it was a good reminder that not everyone is perfect. Especially going through school as a college student, I still find it annoying not being flawless with everything. I think this book would be a great transition book for 3rd graders. Because students at this age may be going through a period where they are comparing themselves to their peers and trying to be like them. However, being like someone else doesn't mean that a person becomes perfect. There is no such thing ...more
A book falls off the library shelf and lands on Milo's head. Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! seems like a good book for Milo. He isn't perfect at anything, so he decides to follow the rules set by Dr. K. Pinkerton Silverfish and achieve perfection in 3 days. Wearing broccoli around his neck and eating absolutely nothing for exactly 24 hours, is nothing compared to the third day's task...can Milo do it? Can he be perfect in 3 days? Maybe the real question it all worth it?

I read this growing up about 100 times, along with Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing and the Ramona books. I would have loved it if this book had a female protagonist -- nothing changed in the story, just a female protagonist and her mindset.

The lesson in this book is so important -- ESPECIALLY for growing girls. Be who you are, you imperfect you. Don't waste time and energy worrying about "self help" and trying to appear perfect. All the little tasks Milo had to complete didn't make him "per

Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is abuot a boy named Milo that whants to be perfect but one day at the liderery a book falls and hits Milos head then he read it the auther was Dr. sillverfish and the book tells him all these crazy things to do to be perfect in just 3 days but on the 2nd day his father caches him doing wierd things but his sister Elissa disteros his live so he just trys not to get mad but one day his sirter calls him a moron and he still does not get mad i woud get mad if someone said that to me i hop ...more
The Brothers
A quick and easy read about a little boy named Milo who sets out to be perfect about a book on the subject bonks him on the head at the library. He carefully and with purpose sets about to complete the three steps to perfection and

*spoiler alert*

fails! But in his failure, he learns the best lesson about perfection there could be. It's boring! Better to be an imperfect person, but a good one!

Both boys liked it, though they weren't riveted to their seats as with other lunchtime reading selections
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Milo has a book drop on his head in the library one day. It changes his life. The book's author, Dr.J. Pinkerton Silverfish, is on the cover of his book. He sports a huge red clown nose and tells the secrets of How To Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days.

While doing Dr. Silverfish's "days", Milo gains a lot more than perfection. He gains confidence, focus and learns what would beat being a perfect person. This was a great book for the 3rd/4th grade reading list, and the quickest read so far.
Rick Bavera
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, humor
Milo is looking for a monster book in the library, and a book falls on his head. It is called 'Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days'. Since he doesn't have anything better to do, he tries it out.

This is a truly funny book that would make kids feel good about themselves, and that it is okay to be different. It would also be good as a funny way to help a kid with self-confidence. The simple black and white drawings are humorous and work well with the text.

Susan Kedroski
Owen's thoughts: This is a very funny book. It's also a short book if you just want to read something for fun. The character is a kid that's not good at stuff and he finds the book and reads it and in the book he does really crazy things like - not eating for a day and only drinking water, wearing a stalk of broccoli around his neck, and tried to be still for 24 hours. At the end of the book it says that NOBODY is perfect so he did all that stuff just to build his character. ha!
Jul 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Be a Perfect in Just Three Days! This book was about this boy who went to the library and he was looking for one specific book,so he was searching and he step up to a book and one other book just came for the top shelf and fell on top of his head.It read Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days.So he took the book to the librarian so he could check it out.The book was not working but he still kept it and read the whole thing.
Jan 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I remember reading this as a child, of what age I can no longer remember. I picked it up at the library due to the title. I had hoped it would show me some way to be perfect. It didn't. I was dissapointed. As a child I could not immediately accept the message that the book gave and truly desired to be perfect. This book was no more than a dissapointment, but I still liked it.
Callie Stillion
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really, really funny book! I enjoyed it so much, that I didn`t want to put it down.
Some things could have been added. A few more things should have been added, because even though it was really good, there were not a lot of details.
I would read this book again, and if there were a whole series, I would read it, too.
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
THis is a hilarious book about a boy who wants to be perfect, so one day this book falls on his head the books title is "be a perfect person in just 3 dayss" the boy doesn't realize that the guy who wrote the book is insane and doesn't know what hes talking abou. this book is so so funny. but it is really short. i read it in like an hr.
This is my first read aloud every school year. It is a great story of a boy's wish to be perfect from a crazy book he finds in the library. The book instructs him to wear a brocolli necklace and to not do anything for an entire day. The lesson learned is that it is better to live and make mistakes because perfect is boring. Great leeson for everyone.
Amanda Cone
Milo works through the instructions in a book trying to learn how to be a perfect person. While the methods are unorthodox it does bring about results. Children will enjoy the antics Milo goes through to be perfect and will be satisfied by the results of his experiment. Its a keeper for the library!
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Stephen Manes (born 1949) wrote the "Digital Tools" column that appeared in every issue of Forbes until recently when he took a break. He is expected to return in the future. He is also co-host and co-executive editor of the public television series "PC World's Digital Duo," a program he helped create.

Manes was previously the Personal Computers columnist for the Science Times section of The New Yo
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