Miss Nelson Is Missing

Common Sense Media says

Top-notch tale of teacher from the dark side.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Children are rowdy and rude, but are later transformed into disciplined, polite little people.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will have fun reading this book while they learn the lesson of appreciating others and the value of discipline. Marshall's artwork provides lots of laughs.

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Kids say

What's the story?

Miss Nelson, a sweet and shrewd teacher who has to deal with a wild class of schoolkids, makes her winning picture-book debut. Harry Allard's wit and James Marshall's illustrations make this top-notch tale of the substitute teacher from the dark side a hilarious hit.

Is it any good?


Allard delivers a crowd pleaser with his rowdy students and a substitute teacher that kids love to hate. His deadpan writing style underscores his comedy; school-age kids will be laughing out loud. Marshal's expressive and colorful pen, ink, and wash illustrations escalate silliness levels; he personifies mischievousness in the kids, kindness in Miss Nelson and vileness in Swamp.

The point that runs through the story -- that you ought to treat others with respect and consideration -- is clear yet tactfully unspoken. Along with the jokes, children seem to intuitively appreciate that the story could come true.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the characters in the story. Which are your favorite characters? How does the author make unlikable characters so funny?

Book details

Author:Harry Allard
Illustrator:James Marshall
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:January 1, 1977
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Miss Nelson Is Missing was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old April 12, 2010

Awesome for everyone!

I love this book! My school is doing it as a play and it has an awesome message! The pictures are lol as well!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bynerdgirl96 January 16, 2011

awesome!! I love this book!!

Man, this is nostalgia inducing. This used to be one of my favorites. I used to like that you could go back through once you knew what happened and see the clues and foreshadowing. Definitely a good one.


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