Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Best Halloween Ever

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Best Halloween Ever Book Poster Image
The awful Herdman kids are back, but watered down.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

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

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

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

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 year old Written byeswanson April 9, 2008

My 6 yo enjoyed

This certainly isn't the finest piece of literature ever written but my 6 yo enjoyed it. I'd recommend it for parents whose kids are interested in ch... Continue reading
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

I laughed

this was a funny book

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate