The Best School Year Ever

by Barbara Robinson

Paperback, 1997



Local notes

PB Rob




HarperTrophy (1997), 117 pages. $4.95.


The six horrible Herdmans, the worst kids in the history of the world, cause mayhem throughout the school year.


Original publication date


Physical description

117 p.; 7.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member delaney.h4
Summary: The Herdman's are enrolled in elementary school and what a terror they are! From the first and possibly their last day of school the teachers will never rest. With the six Herdman kids a-foot no one and nothing is safe.
Review: Why do I even look at that stupid reading list?
LibraryThing member mrsarey
This is a hilarious sequel to Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I love the story and I love the Herdmans.
LibraryThing member bigorangemichael
Growing up, one of my favorite books was Barbara Robinson's "The Best Christmas Pagent Ever." I read it at least once a year at Christmas and even convinced by parents to record the one-hour special version from television so we could watch it every year.

Now, I'm older and trying to find good
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books for my neice and nephew. Pondering the books I read as kid, I thought of "Best Christmas Pagent" and went looking for it at my local library to make sure it was age-appropriate for my niece. And that's when I discovered that Robinson had written a couple of sequels to her popular story.

The first sequel is "The Worst School Year Ever" which is more a series of vignettes on the Herdmann family than an actual plot. The stories are all linked by the class assignment to spend all year studying your classmates and then give them a compliment or two on the last day of school. So, we get to hear about the Herdmann's trying to wash their cat at the laundromat, trying to find their way into the teacher's lounge and carrying other such hijinx as you would expect if you'd read "Best Christmas Pagent."

And while I enjoyed the stories, I found that it lacked something the first was missing. I think part of it is that Robinson is working hard to make these stories as timeless as possible, along the lines of "Best Christmas Pagent" and left me wondering just what era these stories were taking place. And while most of the stories are extremely funny, the thing there's not really any redeeming qualities to the Herdmann family seen here as we got with "Last Christmas Pagent."
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LibraryThing member katiebobus
Not nearly as cohesive as Best Christmas Pageant Ever, this one has the same style and is quite funny but has some major logical holes/flaws. Seems like Robinson just had more stories about the Herdmanns but didn't bother to put together a real plot. It was all right.
LibraryThing member dbhutch
It was about someone who moves to a new school and they have to draw a name from a hat and they have to write compliments to whatever person's name they draw.
LibraryThing member amandawebster
The worst kids in school, the Herdmans, are the famous outlaws of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. When anything goes wrong, it is certain there is a Herman behind it. Though when a school project forces all the students to think of compliments for all of their classmates, we see that there might
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just be something good inside these kids after all.
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LibraryThing member lalfonso
The Herdman’s are back. School is starting again and Beth’s class is given an assignment in which they need to record complements for each class member. In addition they will choose a name and write additional complements for that individual. As luck would have it, Beth chooses Imogene Herdman.
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How will she complement one of the meanest children she knows? This book is hilarious. In fact, it is laugh out loud funny. The Herdman’s antics are farfetched and fun. Children from 3rd -6th grade will love this book. I know that my 4th graders did.
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LibraryThing member AlexaP.B3
This story was about what the Herdmans did during the school year. The Herdmans are a family of six. They are outlaws who smoke and cause trouble around the school. In the beginning of the school year everyone had a project were they had to pull a name out of a hat. At the end of the year they had
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to say a few nice things about them. Beth (who is the main character) pulled Imogene who is one of the Herdmans.

One story about the Herdmans is when one of characters has to watch her little brother while her mom is gone. She leaves her little brother outside while she shops. But one of the Herdmans takes the brother and draws on his head.(because he has no hair) When she finishes shopping she realizes that her brother is gone and asks around it anyone saw him. A boy on the street says that he gave the Herdmans 25 cents to see a tattooed baby. (You know the rest of the story...)

Near the end of the year, the same character had to bring her brother to school. The brother screamed, yelled, and held his breath if he didn't have his blanket. During recess all of the kids wanted to see the little boy turn purple so they stole his blanket. Imogene told them to stop and they did. Near the end of the day no one could find the boys blanket. Imogene gave him hers and told them that is was his. On the last day of school they told the person a few nice things that they thought about them. Beth told Imogene that she was brave, patriotic , resourceful, cunning, shrewd and creative.

I expected the book to be better than it was. I didn't like the book as much because there were a lot of little stories. I hoped that it would be one long story about Beth surviving school with the Herdmans.I also think that it would have been cooler if it was from the Herdman's perspective instead of Beth's. But I still enjoyed the book because there were some parts that were funny and that kept me interested. I rated this book a 3 because it wasn't great nor was it bad. I do recommend it if you need a short funny(ish) story to read.
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LibraryThing member egiddi1
I liked this book for the characters, they are believable and well developed. For instance the Herdman kids behave poorly in and out of school. Readers may be able to relate, or can think of peers that are the same way. With relating the characters to peers, it forces students to think about tough
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issues. If there is a peer that misbehaves like the Herdman kids, it will make the reader think harder about why their peer acts the way that they do. It also makes the readers think about what they could do to help the misbehaved peers, just like in the book how they have to give each student a compliment. The message of this story is to find the good in everyone.
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LibraryThing member mutantpudding
A funny, creative, and (for me at least) very nostalgic read. The Herdmans cause a lot of trouble but I actually quite like them, particularly Imogen. I know I would much rather spend time with her than Alice Wendlekin.

One thing I don't think I noticed reading as a kid, this book is randomly
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fatphobic which was not appreciated.
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LibraryThing member MollyGroff
Though not as funny as The Best Christmas Pagent Ever, this book is still a funny sequel and very fun to read

Other editions




½ (110 ratings; 3.6)
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