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Nice is Overrated.

"The perfect book for the budding Count Olaf or Sauron in your family... or for you." — Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline

NASTY ('nas-te) adj. 1. Twisted. 2. Spitefully unfair. 3. Causing dangerous and severe laughter. SYNONYMS: Hilarious. Deliciously fun. Sample usage: "What a nasty, wicked book, filled with mayhem and mischief." "Only nasty criminals would kidnap a cuddly teddy bear!" "Monsters attacking 'cause a kid picks ...

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Nice is Overrated.

"The perfect book for the budding Count Olaf or Sauron in your family... or for you." — Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline

NASTY ('nas-te) adj. 1. Twisted. 2. Spitefully unfair. 3. Causing dangerous and severe laughter. SYNONYMS: Hilarious. Deliciously fun. Sample usage: "What a nasty, wicked book, filled with mayhem and mischief." "Only nasty criminals would kidnap a cuddly teddy bear!" "Monsters attacking 'cause a kid picks his nose? That's nasty." "A witch on the Internet, a superhero who farts? All nasty too!" ANTONYMS: Nice. Boring. Plain old ordinary.

Why can’t really cool parents dump their uncool offspring?
Why can’t talented imaginary friends desert their boring creators?
Why can’t pop stars be changed... into rodents?

Well, here they can! Barry Yourgrau’s NASTYbook is jam-packed with delightful wickedness for the kind of readers who can’t get enough of bad endings, rude twists, and assorted nasty mischief...(And don’t think we don’t know who you are.)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060579784
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/26/2005
  • Series: NASTYbook Series , #1
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Writer/performer Barry Yourgrau has been making people laugh their heads off—or gasp in astonishment—with such books as Wearing Dad's Head and A Man Jumps Out of An Airplane. He's startled everyone with his appearances on MTV and National Public Radio. He even starred in a movie based on his writings, and in a music video too. He teased the world with his first book for kids, My Curious Uncle Dudley. Barry woke up one day in the US as a kid. Now Barry's ready to unleash the hysterically dark fun and games from the deepest dark of his soul. "With my NASTYbook," grins Barry, nastily, "I invite you to share in those cruel, twisted and shockingly mischeivous delights I know you secretly adore—if you dare!" He got there all the way from South Africa, he claims... Or is this just another of his jokes?

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First Chapter


Chapter One


"Luke, we have something, uh, important to tell you," says a boy's father.

The boy is sitting across from his parents at the dining room table. He's been called down here from his room, where he was happily rereading a comic book (Doom-Kids' Berserk Revenge!) and sampling from his collection of candy bars.

"All right then, Luke," says the father, looking stern. "No use beating around the bush. Here it is: You're not actually our son. Got it? Today your real parents will come and take you back with them."

"Huh?" says Luke, and he blinks.

"Luke, please don't make this more difficult than it has to be," says the mother.

"But . . .like it here," says Luke. "I like you guys. You're cool parents."

"Well of course we are!" harrumphs the father. "But haven't you ever wondered why we're slim, handsome, attractive people, full of positive energy and style? And you're kind of a porky, boring schlub, always whining and stuffing your face?"

"My God, do you stuff that face of yours!" says the mother, with a laugh that reflects contempt more than sympathy.

"B-but you're my mom and dad -- don't you love me?" blurts Luke, the full horror beginning to dawn on him.

"Didn't you hear? We're not your mother and father!" mutters the father through clenched teeth.

"Love you? How could we?" says the mother. She laughs again. "What an absurd idea! I mean, I suppose you're a decent enough kid and all -- but -- "

"But I like it here. It's my home!" cries Luke.

"Of course you like it, it's a huge, marvelous, well-furnishedhouse!" snaps the father. "We're wealthy and successful people, my wife and I, who wouldn't want to live with us? But the party's over, bud. So go upstairs and get packing."

"No, wait -- " sputters Luke.

"That's the doorbell," says the mother, standing up. "Must be your real parents now. My, they're early."

A stumpy, dumpy man and a stumpy, dumpy woman come into the dining room and throw their arms around Luke. "Son, it's great to see you again," they tell him, wiping away tears.

After he's given five minutes to pack, they drive him away in a truly smelly old car, with a brief, sudden stop to confiscate and throw out his collection of candy bars. "We don't tolerate that stuff, Ebenezer," he's told. That's his real name, apparently.


By evening he's lying numb in his new bedroom, which is a small, airless room in a small, dark, airless house next to a loud expressway. No more comics allowed either.

And that's how suddenly, and chillingly, a person's whole life can change.

NASTYbook. Copyright © by Barry Yourgrau. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Mr. Haberkorn

    Thank you Mr. H. for showing me this book. Made me laugh

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2006

    Children's short stories

    The book Nasty Book, by Barry Yourgrau, is a collection of short, funny, and imaginative stories. In reading the stories I found myself laughing as I read. The kind of people that would want to read this book are probably between the age of 4 and 9. It was very easy to read and not many challenging words. The characters included imaginary friend, young children, and talking animals. Two of the stories that involved these kinds of characters were ¿My Friend Bill¿ and ¿Happy Birthday¿. ¿My Friend Bill¿ was about a boy and his imaginary friend, Bill. The boy assigns Bill, the bear, the intimate task of making feel better about him self. ¿Happy Birthday¿ is about a monkey who lives in a zoo and asks for a real birthday party with a cake and everything. The zookeepers hear this and come up with a plot to put a bomb a cake to trick the monkey. But the monkey figured the zookeepers would do this an when the cage would explode he would run away and then the joke would be on the zookeepers. This passage from the book is from a story called ¿Sibling Rivalry¿. It is about two brothers who are climbing a tree and in the heat of the moment to win one brother, Philip, yanks on the other brother, Filmore¿s leg, which makes him fall and get stuck in the tree head first in a branch below. Page 142 ¿¿And stop yelling like that¿ he adds. ¿Sissy¿ ¿Not a sissy¿ hisses Filmore. ¿Yes you are!¿ ¿Not!¿ This passage stood out to me because it reminded me so much of how I used to fight with my little brother over stupid little things like this. I can connect most of the stories to the books I used to read as a child and before my mom would tuck me in for bed. This is a text-to-text connection. The stories also reminded me of some times in the book, Bad, by Jean Ferris when they would read the stories before bedtime.

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