The Best Halloween Ever

Common Sense Media says

The awful Herdman kids are back, but watered down.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The neglected Herdman kids misbehave in a variety of outrageous and creative ways, including stealing and bullying, mostly without consequences.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that adults cancel Halloween festivities out of concern for the behavior of one family's kids.

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Kids say

What's the story?

The six wild Herdman kids, a destructive force in town at any time, tend to really let loose on Halloween, and the town has had enough. So the Mayor cancels Halloween, and the PTA decides to put on a \"safe and controlled and peaceful and boring\" celebration at the school. The kids have mixed feelings -- it means no Herdmans, but also no candy, and possibly no fun.

But when the Herdmans get wind of it, and of the town's desire to have a Herdman-free Halloween, they make their own plans.

Is it any good?


"Safe and controlled and peaceful and boring" could well describe this book. The Herdmans hardly make an actual appearance at all, and most of the book is just a talky lead-up to Halloween. By then the author has built up so much anticipation that the actual event is a big letdown -- tame to the point of being lame.

We get to know the characters so little that many young readers, if they haven't read the first book, may not even realize that the narrator is a girl until well into the story. Virtually nonexistent characterizations, the thinnest of plots, and the mildest of humor make this a sad sequel to the funny and touching Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes a great Halloween. They also can talk about what constitutes misbehavior and how adults should control it.

Book details

Author:Barbara Robinson
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:October 2, 2004
Number of pages:117
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 14

This review of The Best Halloween Ever was written by

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  • 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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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK 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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Teen, 13 years old Written byThreeDaysGracesGirl October 28, 2010
I remember that book. Sc*** Common Sense Media.
Teen, 14 years old Written bybabygiggles98 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

I laughed

this was a funny book
Teen, 13 years old Written byattitude36 December 1, 2011


there is a family that the kids act up so i sugest thatthat if your kid would act up after reading that then they shouldnt read it.
What other families should know
Great messages


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