Even though I am a week late, I wanted to finish up the Halloween Countdown! I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween! I know I did! As with every year, nothing ever goes as planned, but I always have the time of my life!
The final book for this countdown is a classic, one that is fun to read-a-loud. The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson.
THE HERDMAN’S ARE BACK! Fans of Robinson’s other works will find this addition just as good as the rest! After a very Herdman-chaos filled summer, the final straw is when the juvenile delinquent family somehow traps eight kids into the revolving door of the local bank. A chain reaction occurs with the town’s elders, and they decide to cancel Halloween. Just as the children are preparing themselves for the worst Halloween ever, with no trick-or-treating, an “event” held at the school, and the embarrassment of their parents running around school dressed up as monsters and spooks, the Herdman’s have a surprise for the town and the kids that will turn this into the Best Halloween Ever!
This story is told through the eyes of Beth, the eldest daughter in a family of four. Her younger brother, Charlie, seems to be under the sway of the Herdman’s as he always ends up stuck in a revolving door, wallpapered to a wall, or in the boiler room. Beth’s tone is that of a fourth grader, with her insights often including past information on the Herdman’s exploits that really shows how horrible this family can be. Beth’s view of her peers vs. that of her parents is always refreshing. The parents are seen to be embarrassing (Beth is very worried her mother will somehow end up traipsing around th school dressed as a witch), know-it-all-ish, and very uncaring of what the kids want. The kids, on the other hand, are seen as intelligent and useful sources of information. Beth, clearly, trusts her friends more than her parents.
As always, it’s the antics of the Herdman’s that will draw readers in. They will wonder what they will do next, what they could be possibly planning to do at the Halloween party? The best twist, at the end, is that these kids do have a heart of gold. Though they are more concerned with getting back at the adults for attempting to make Halloween “Herdman-free,” they go about it in a way that will benefit the kids and make them really remember how great this Halloween ended up being.
I hope you have found some great reads during this spook holiday season with the help of his blog! Look for more posts in the upcoming weeks. I’m going to look at Children’s Cookbooks in honor of the food loving holiday of Thanksgiving that is just a few weeks away! Hope you’ll stop back in!
Author: Barbara Robinson
Ages: 1st-7th (younger kids will enjoy this being read-a-loud to them, while older kids will enjoy the images that this prose paints for them in their imagination).
Series: The Herdman’s and the folks of this quaint suburban town can be found in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and The Best School Year Ever.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher, New York, New York