Publisher: Amulet Books
Number of Pages: 224
Published: January 9th, 2018
Opening Lines: "Summer is different. Summer is strange. Times slow and drift."
From Goodreads: "Everyone’s favorite pranksters are at it again! School’s out, and Miles and Niles are running wild in the woods outside town: climbing trees, exploring caves, and, yes, pranking. But these leafy, lazy days of mischief darken when bully Josh Barkin and his cadets from a nearby kids’ boot camp discover the merrymakers—and vow to destroy them. Are our heroes’ sharp minds any match for these hooligans’ hard fists?"
The Terrible Two Go Wild was just the book that I was looking for to start off my summer reading, something filled with hijinks, pranks, and humor. In the newest book, Niles and Miles have set up their secret summer headquarters in a cave within the Yawnee Valley Regional Park and Outdoor Recreational Area. Nearby, Josh Barkin, principal Barkin's son is a camp counselor at the Yawnee Valley Yelling and Push-Ups Camp. Josh runs Papa Company, where he whips his cadets, twins Splinters and Mudflap into shape. The pranks in the series are meant to be over the top, usually with very little consequences and are also meant to be light and fun. Niles and Miles do seem to follow a strict code of conduct and only direct their pranks at people who they feel deserve it. In this sequel, Josh claims to pull a prank when he encourages Splinter to put a rock on his head so Josh can imitate William Tell by throwing a stick to knock it off. When he misses, Josh wants to get credit for pulling off the best prank ever. It's apparent that Josh doesn't understand that pranks aren't meant to be mean. In this sequel, Josh comes off as more of a troublemaker or bully, I wasn't particularly fond of him teasing an animal that he held captive in a cage, or continually referring to his cadets as "dumb nimbuses." It's a little too close to another insult for my liking.
Now Niles and Miles, I just adored them they were so funny and sweet. A huge contrast to Josh. They have such an imagination, wearing camo outfits with flowers on them and the way that the evaded Josh and his crew in the field was very creative. I was also chuckling with how they took offense that Josh would even think of himself as a prankster on their level. Taking it upon themselves to show that pranking was "too fine an instrument for a brute's clumsy fingers." The emphasis on classic books, even using the military tactics from The Art of War made for some entertaining reading. Principal Barkin was also a pleasant surprise taking a softer tone toward Miles and Niles, almost asking to be pranked by the duo. There are some lovely interactions between Miles and Principal Barkin and the interesting idea that a prank between friends can even be a sign of affection. How Principal Barkin was incorporated into the story to show that principals and teachers have a life out of school, that they celebrate summer vacation in much of the same way that your friends from school do. If Barnett and Jory John continue to write more books in the series, I envision Principal Barkin being a whole different kind of principal, but they definitely won't become "The Terrible Three." And the illustrations by Kevin Cornell so perfectly match the story, my favorites are the stack of Niles books and the ones with Principal Barkin hiking through the woods. A nice addition to the continued adventures of these pranksters.