Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Terrible Two Get Worse, by Jory John and Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Staff review by Chris Saliba

Serial pranksters Miles Murphy and Niles Sparks are back in this fun filled sequel to The Terrible Two.

Readers of the original The Terrible Two will recall pranking geniuses Miles Murphy and Niles Sparks. In their secret prank lab, they came up with the most ingenious pranks, all unleashed on their school, Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy. They targeted bullies and unfair principals, using their pranks as a force for good. Cleverly, Niles Sparks concealed his true identity as school prankster by playing the role of “kiss up” to teachers and Principal Barry Barkin. He even wore a sash with “School Helper” printed on it. Miles Murphy, as a new student, had a pretty good cover in being the clueless new kid. Who would suspect him as being one half of a mastermind pranking team?

In The Terrible Two Get Worse, it’s a new year and Miles and Niles are already plotting some of their most daring pranks. Their target is bully Principal Barry Barkin. All goes well for Miles and Niles until one of their pranks unwittingly sees Principal Barkin fired. You would think this a good thing. There’s just one problem: his replacement is ten times worse. With some clever politicking, Barry Barkin’s father, Bertrand Barkin, a former principal himself, has managed to have himself installed as acting principal. Can Miles and Niles get Barry Barkin, who has descended into a type of madness by taking up craft projects, back in the principal’s seat?

The second installment of The Terrible Two is even funnier than the first, with Kevin Cornell’s hilarious illustrations keeping the good times rolling. While the subject matter is all completely bonkers, Jory John and Mac Barnett write with superb comic timing and aplomb. They know how to work up a gag and deliver a punchline. Great dialogue, inventive set pieces, brilliant characters that you’ll love, The Terrible Two Get Worse only gets better.

The Terrible Two Get Worse, by Jory John and Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Published by Abrams. ISBN:  9781419719257  RRP: $14.99

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