The Best Halloween Ever

by Barbara Robinson

Hardcover, 2004



Local notes

Fic Rob





HarperCollins (2004), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 117 pages. $14.99.


Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML: The Herdmans plus Halloween have always spelled disaster. Every year, these six kidsâ??the worst in the history of Woodrow Wilson School and possibly even the worldâ??wreak havoc on the whole town. They steal candy, spray-paint kids, and take anything that's not nailed down. Now the mayor has had it. He's decided to cancel Halloween. There won't be any Herdmans to contend with this year, but there won't be any candy, either. And what's Halloween without candy? And without trick-or-treating? The Herdmans manage to turn the worst Halloween ever into the best Halloween ever in this uproarious sequel to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2008)


Original publication date


Physical description

117 p.; 8.3 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member bigorangemichael
After creating havoc at Christmas, the Herdmans are back. This time, their previous antics lead the town to cancel Halloween since the holiday has devolved into little more than the Herdman family laying in wait to beat up and steal unsuspecting trick-or-treaters candy.

This sequel to "The Best
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Christmas Pageant Ever" is a bit of a one-joke story, spread out over the course of a hundred or so pages. The central conflict is the Herdman's have led the town to cancel Halloween, which makes all the kids upset. Then, the town hatches a plan to have Halloween at the local school so they can control what's going on and in the hopes that the Herdmans won't find out or show up.

The strength of "Christmas Pageant" was while the Herdmans were the antagonists of the story, they had a human side and flashes of being more than just a bunch of surly bullies. And that's not quite the case here, where the entire book is spent talking about how horrible they are. It does lead to a nice little moment at the end involving the Herdmans and years of stolen Halloween candy, but the moments leading up to it are a bit repetitive and difficult to stomach.

Had I not read "Best Christmas Pageant" I might be more inclined to like this novel. Or maybe the big problem is this book is competing with the memory of enjoying "Pageant" in my youth.
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LibraryThing member allawishus
I loved The Best Christmas Pageant Ever when I was a kid, so it was fun to catch up on the adventures of the Herdmans! The author has a wonderful grasp on a mature child's voice and thought processes. Really cute, but not as touching as "Christmas Pageant" of course.
LibraryThing member JacobSeifert
Written incredibly well for a children's book with such depth of detail that it left me, an adult, in awe of Robinson's skill. Inventive and fun, The Best Halloween Ever is a joyful ride with pleasant tension, a cast of fully-realized characters, and many moments that make the book sing.
LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
The notorious Herdman kids have stirred up plenty of trouble around town by the time school has started and the adults fear what could happen on Halloween. The mayor cancels Halloween "out of concern for public safety." While it means no worrying about the Herdmans, it also means no
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trick-or-treating or candy for everyone else. The principal announces an all-school event to celebrate Halloween in a controlled environment. None of the students are thrilled with the sanitized event since they'd rather trick-or-treat and also because their parents are involved. But count on the Herdmans to stir the pot at the party although it's never explained why they did what they did, which wasn't all that big a deal in the end.
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LibraryThing member Theodore.Zachariades
The first two of Robinson's "Herdman's Tales" were, in my opinion, exceptionally well written and extremely funny. This one had all the earmarks of Robinson's touch but something was lacking in the punch! My boys and I felt it was not as good as the others. Still she is a very creative writer and
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it will not be a complete waste of time. If you have not read any of her stories about the infamous Herdman children, this will whet your appetite for more. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, is simply superb!
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LibraryThing member mutantpudding
I didn't read this installment of the series when I was a kid and now reading it as an adult I didn't really like it. The story isn't as strong and the Herdmans do stuff I would consider legit bad (killing animals) instead of just kid bad (stealing food, ect). I also didn't like the attempts at
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modernization like upping Luellas babysitting wages from 50 cents (in best school year) to 8 dollars! Didn't make a lot of sense.
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(47 ratings; 3.4)
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