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Download The Best School Year Ever Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Best School Year Ever, by Barbara Robinson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (906 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Robinson Narrator: Elaine Stritch Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Herdmans Series Release Date:
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What nice things can you say about the worst kids in the history of the world?

When anything goes wrong at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, from the hexing of Bus Six to the mysterious disappearance of the kindergarten gerbil, it’s sure to have a Herdman behind it. The Herdmans are more than famous—they’re outlaws. They smoke cigars, lie, and set fire to things, and that’s only when they bother to come to school.

Then a school project forces the students to think of compliments for all their classmates—including the Herdmans. Is it possible that behind their outrageous pranks there may be something good about this crazy clan after all?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The many readers who have laughed out loud at Robinson’s uproarious 1972 novel, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, will enthusiastically welcome the return of the six cigar-smoking Herdman kids…A broader focus [paves] the way for more varied misadventures, virtually all of which the Herdmans craftily orchestrate.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[The Best School Year Ever will] have children laughing out loud at the Herdmans’ antics and believing that even such remarkably bad kids have some good qualities…Yet Robinson doesn’t just play the Herdmans for laughs. Beth’s identification of Imogene’s strengths gives the book a level of humanity that makes the novel more than a series of humorous anecdotes. Readers can only hope that the Herdmans will not reform—at least not until after a few more sequels. Few characters in children’s fiction are so unredeemed, so uncivilized, and so out-and-out funny.”


  • “The Herdmans are back in this audio version of Barbara Robinson’s riotous sequel to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever…The vignettes are hilarious. Actress Elaine Stritch’s earthy, worldly, almost boozy voice is perfect for Beth, the narrator. This audiobook is a must-have for school and public library collections. Listeners can only hope that it won’t take another twenty years for the Herdmans to return.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Elaine Stritch lends her dry voice to this recording of the long-awaited sequel to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Although clearly not a child’s voice, Stritch’s raspy, sardonic tone suits the story well, giving the sense of a wry, old teacher recounting an exaggerated tale of her own school days. Listeners will enjoy hearing the continuing misadventures of the Herdmans so pluckily recounted.”


  • “Not just your average naughty children, the Herdmans occasionally step over the line into juvenile delinquency—but they do it with such panache that the reader cannot help but be impressed. The Herdmans will delight readers of this spirited sequel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the 1997 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kate | 2/4/2014

    " Robinson keeps up the easy narrative style that made the first Herdman tale so readable and funny, but the story arc is forced and the individual stories are full of odd contradictions. Fun, but not a patch on Best Christmas Ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Rain | 2/1/2014

    " haha. total bunch of laughs. if you have kids or have grown up with a bunch of brothers and sisters....well, pick up a copy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nickcole | 1/23/2014

    " Sometimes these brothers and sisters remind me of my sisters. I love how they are crazy and do what they want, but in the end they always do the right thing no matter what =) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Bonnie | 1/9/2014

    " A funny read, for children, but still fun to dapple in as an adult. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author
Author Barbara Robinson

Barbara Robinson has written several popular books for children, including My Brother Louis Measures Worms, The Best School Year Ever, The Best Halloween Ever, and the enormously popular bestselling novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, first published in 1972 and made into a classic television movie. The play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is produced annually in theaters, schools, and churches all over the world. Ms. Robinson has two daughters and three grandchildren.