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

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  983 ratings  ·  137 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.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Yearling (first published 1982)
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3.66  · 
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 ·  983 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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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
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
good for learning.

kind of weird.

Though, I like how it gives students who struggle with being accepted by their peers as well as feeling constantly judged by both family and friends. I did like the humor and can relate to the desire to be perfect. Fun book for various books.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever and funny in a way that appeals to young kids, but also teaches an important lesson about being perfect. Good tie in to a growth-mindset discussion with emphasis on overcoming fears and doing hard things with perseverence.
Freya Hooper
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah Coller
Another silly book from childhood...

Just as silly as I'd remembered! I do wish there weren't so many negative words in it, though, as I'd like my kids to read it. (Dumb, stupid, etc.)

One nostalgic scene has Milo drinking from the fountain at school and the kids behind him calling, "Save some for the fishes!" I remember thinking that was such a clever line and repeating it every chance I got for years in school.
Daniel Fleisher
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A much needed, fun read to give me some perspective. A perfect read for adults who feel they are engrossed in their professional or personal bubbles. I had forgotten about this favorite until a iend recommended it recently.
This short read was pretty entertaining. I'm just imagining wearing a broccoli necklace to school. Ha ha. It does make some excellent points. It's no wonder my 9 year old daughter brought it home from school to read.
Read to 5th Graders as part of their Battle of the Books. Milo literally gets hit on the head by a book promising he can become perfect in three days. Made the kids laugh and press for "just one more chapter".
Speaking as a reformed perfectionist I have to say this book is GREAT! I might have even teared up a little bit. Wish I would have read it as a kid, but knowing me I would have needed to read it a few times.
Nicole Schwartz
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story with a perfect message. Anyone who would want to be perfect should read this book.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Story for Young Children

I read this book as a youth and loved it. Reading it again with my own children was a joy.
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading this book outloud to my students. It's a great reminder that it's good to make mistakes because that's how we learn and grow.
Haley Madison
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My childhood fave!
Julie Decker
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2009 rated it liked it
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

Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
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
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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