Cover Image: The Worst Villain Ever

The Worst Villain Ever

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Member Reviews

This was a fun, quick read! Most of the MG fiction I read is more geared towards girls, so it was fun to read a book with a boy main character. 
George is a total softie who wants to be a villain because it has been in his family for generations. So he’s ecstatic when he gets admitted to the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing. But in order to get into the best class roster, he has to defeat the best superhero of all time, Captain Perfectus. But what happens when Captain Perfectus turns out to be different than he seems? Will George trust his instincts or become a villain worthy of the Pruwell name?
This is a silly, quirky read. The villains are not scary and are actually quite comedic. Everything is quite over the top, and I loved learning about this different world. I think Bearce did a great job crafting a hilarious universe in this book.
I loved George! He is such a nice kid which is not good for a supervillain. I loved watching him find himself and figure out who he wanted to be. I think Bearce did this in a very entertaining way, so it wasn’t too introspective for younger readers.
I would recommend this book to younger middle schoolers or anyone looking for a light read. I had a harder time getting into it, but I think that’s partly because it’s not my usual genre. So I think middle schoolers will love it! We all need a book that makes us laugh and reminds us to be kind.
Appropriate humor
No cursing, innuedos, romance
No scary fight scenes or any scary content
Conventional family values
No romance - importance of friendship
Reminder that no one’s perfect
Importance of being kind

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read the digital ARC of this book.

This was such a heartwarming, clever, funny, and creative book! Far surpassed my expectations, I absolutely adored the world created in this book. George comes from a prominent villain family, but he doesn't quite fit in. He's actually nice! And kind. And doesn't always want to do dastardly deeds. Instead, he'd rather make friends and help others.

I loved how George didn't want to disappoint his villain family. How he wanted to carry on the family name, even though he didn't have the heart for it. He stayed true to himself and realized some very valuable lessons along the way.

I thought the world building was terrific. All the footnotes and funny anecdotes sprinkled in were gold. I loved all the high tech gear and tools, and the extra details that made villains who they were. Lots of fun details that were so clever and amusing.

I couldn't help but root for George, even though he really wanted to be a good villain. I loved that by the end, he embraced being a bad villain, because that's the type of person he was!

Recommended for younger middle grade readers. I think my third grader and her friends would love this book.
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Kids go through so many changes in middle school, it’s an especially awkward time. Poor George has the added struggle of living up to his family expectations vs. being true to himself. This is an excellent book that I will recommend to kids looking for a funny and heartfelt story.
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This fun adventure story is about George, who is trying desperately to live up to his family's expectations of being a villain.  His dad is in jail for villainy, his brother is such an exceptional villain that everyone expects George to be just as bad.  However, George is actually kind and encouraging and thoughtful, all the things are true villain would not be so when he shows up at the villain academy, the entry exams are more difficult that he thought and George tries to make a big splash to prove he's the villain everyone wants him to be.  This is a fun story to read because sometimes it's hard to remember who you're really rooting for.  I think the kids will like it.
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I recieved a free eARC so I could read this book. Thank you for the opportunity. 

George has a problem. In a family devoted to Villany, he's just plain nice!

This is a sweet book about trying to be who you're not and recognizing who you are, and how often your best gifts and strengths come from just being yourself. Don't miss the footnotes. They're funny and charming. This is a fun middle grades book that will appeal to would be heroes and villains alike.
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George Pruwell, eleven, has one goal in life and that is to be the the Worst Villain of Our Time. He comes from a family of villains including his dad, his mom and even his older brother Alex. He is of course expected to make his family proud by making a name for himself in the villain world. Before he can do that though he has to make it through the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing. There is just one problem, George can’t help being himself,  not mean or nasty but eager to help those in need, something frowned upon in the villainy world. George finds himself caught between choosing a life he’s expected to lead or a life that may be different than the norm. This book was hilarious, George is a lovable character who has a lot of guts and a heart of gold. His friends help in aiding him in discovering how to be the Worst Villain of his time.
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Thank you #NetGalley for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own

Coming of age, family expectations, unexpected friendships, quirky main character figure himself out...check.  I will be recommending this book to my middle school students becuase it covers so many great topics about growing up within a fun world just different and interesting enough from out own.
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George Pruwell has always struggled to keep up with his family's legacy of evil, and it is a relief when he is finally admitted to the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing. His older brother, Alex, is the evil one in the family, and even though his mother is supportive, George always feels like he is just not evil enough. It's a rough transistion to school, even though he meets a boy, Sam, who tries to help him with some technology. Every time he tries to do something evil, George's kindhearted nature gets in his way. Will he ever be able to live up to his family's expectations of evil?

I knew there were a lot of supervillain books that had been published, but I didn't realize quite how many I had. Starting with Walden's 2008 H.I.V.E., I seem to have bought every super villain book to come out, including Fry's How to be a Supervillain, Kraatz's The Cloak Society,  Anderson's Sidekicked, Boniface's Ordinary Boy, Buckley's N.E.R.D.S, Moore's V is for Villain, Cody's Powerless, McCullough's School for Sidekicks, Bacon's Joshua Dread, Ferraiolo's Sidekicks, and finally Kupperberg's Supertown and Wallace's The Supervillain's Guide to Being a Fat Kid, both published in 2022. I love Bearce's work, but I think I might be okay on supervillain books for a bit. If you are not as well stocked, make sure that you purchase this one, especially for an elementary library!
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Amy Bearce's The Worst Villain Ever was a funny read.  

George Pruwell, an 11-year-old, comes from a family of successful super villains, but that doesn't stop George from stumbling at the Academy of Villainy while having to defeat the world's greatest superhero, Captain Perfectus.  

I loved this fast-paced story.  I read it with my 7-year-old and 13-year-old.  It's a cute story with an amazing dilemma.  It was a great way to show my littles that not every is or wants to be a bully/villain.  That people can put others first and that doesn't mean you are any less.  Great read and something that we can always go back to for a fun story night. 
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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What worked:
Young readers like the unusual and being contrary and this book flips social expectations upside down. Villain life can’t include any manners, compassion, or niceties and George’s own mother discourages these signs of weakness in him. Thank you’s, hugs, smiles, and laughs (unless they’re evil cackles) are taboo. The expectation of evilness at the school makes readers wonder who can be trusted. George meets a ghost (the name for kids trying to become accepted into the academy) named Sam and they seem to have some things in common. Is there some ulterior motive behind Sam’s willingness to secretly offer advice or his willingness to spend time with George? George is in extreme contrast with his brother Alex who was a diabolical star at the school and is becoming a well-known, ruthless villain since his graduation.
George’s internal conflict of wanting to be an excellent bad guy while actually having a kind heart is at the center of the whole story. Readers will wonder if his kindness will get him kicked out of school, or even worse, find him dumped into Roster C. Helping others and being nice is instinctive for George so he must consciously stop himself from helping others. That’s very hard to do. When he aids others, he tries to do it sneakily, like an evil thief would do, and hopes none of the instructors notice these kind gestures. George really wants to carry on the family tradition of villainy excellence but he doesn’t like to hurt other people and he likes cute animals. What’s a potential villain supposed to do?
The story includes inventions and gizmos that will interest lovers of science or technology. The possibility of magic is also introduced early in the book and Sam has displayed a talent in that area. It feels like this book could become a series so I’m wondering if magic might become more of a factor in future books. Readers might be surprised to learn villains don’t have superpowers and use electromagnetic capes to fly. Sam gives George a multipurpose tool set that helps him unlock doors and disable electric fences. An evil-looking black, full-length, trench coat keeps George cool and covers the flame-designed outfit he likes to wear. 
What didn’t work as well:
This will be a strange thought, but the publisher’s synopsis reveals too much information. The mission to stop Captain Perfectus, and George’s brother offering help, occur two-thirds of the way into the book. Publishers usually give readers vague hints about the book so this blurb mutes the awaiting surprises. I keep waiting and waiting for the plot to get to Captain Perfectus only to discover it doesn’t happen until there’s only a third of the book left. The book is still very entertaining but the synopsis doesn’t leave much room for surprises.
The Final Verdict:
The essence of the story isn’t unique as George reluctantly strives to fulfill family expectations. It’s easy to root for nice guys so readers should make connections with his character. Overall, the events move fairly quickly and I recommend young readers give it a shot.
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A cool cover for a cool story!

Eleven-year-old George Pruwell comes from a family line of super villains, with his older brother, Alex being the recent outstanding graduate from the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing. George however, has never been great at villainy because he’s “too nice” but dreams of making his family proud. When George is finally admitted to the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing, things don’t go so well and he ends up needing to complete the nearly impossible assignment of defeating the world’s greatest superhero, Captain Perfectus! 

I absolutely enjoyed this fast-paced story. It reads almost like a TV show with its cinematic descriptions and narration. I loved the idea of foot notes describing villainy items and terms George mentioned throughout the book. There weren’t too many that would make it tedious; it was enough to understand the item whilst adding a little comedic relief. The comedy in this story was fun and the themes of friendship and caring are strong components of this book. 

This book is easy to read and the writing style is very animated at times. There are some sudden skips to avoid unnecessary scenes which throws off the reader regarding the timeline however it’s not too significant. The pacing is well measured throughout and reads very calm. The action and suspense, although not a huge part of this book, is captured well and not overexaggerated. 

The plot was interesting and kept me on my toes. From the first page of this book, I was invested in George’s story. George, unlike other villain kids his age, thrives on being nice and caring. From leaving his home to attend the Academy, to trial weeks, to studying in the school, George is always trying his best while making mistakes. He’s conflicted throughout the book and as he understands himself in the most dangerous and weirdest place, it felt good knowing George probably made the best call for himself. I also liked how George saw his new “friends” differently than the teachers. George saw them with more potential than just the general consensus and surprisingly they were all interesting. It was a bit unfortunate we couldn’t expand on them though. 

Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable read. I absolutely loved George and his growth in the book. I wish this was a series instead so we could see what happens next in George’s life. The unexpected twists near the end were really enjoyable as well. This entertaining story comes with a powerful message regarding the importance of being true to oneself!
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A look at the life of an 11 year old boy born into a family of villains that just wants to be kind. 

I found this book very creative and fun to read. Great for a class room or home library.
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Cool cover. Cool title. George is the worst villain. Although it's not what you think. He's not the worst villain because he's the baddest. He's the worst villain because he's too nice. And villains aren't supposed to be nice. 

George comes from a long line of successful super villains. His dad's in prison for villain crimes and his big brother was a star student at the villain academy. Expectations for George are high. He doesn't want to disappoint his family, so when he gets a letter inviting him to audition for the villain school in New York, he's pretty stoked. But right from the start he knows he's different. While all the other students try to act tough and aloof, George is just thinking about how he's going to get out to see the city. 

Then come auditions. George survives and advances to trial week, but bombs because he's too darn nice. Stopping to help other villain wannabes complete their challenge is a big fat no-no. Self-centeredness is the name of the game. In the end, George gets into C class which is one step above being sent home. He could maybe be a sidekick one day. Then the head of school offers him a challenge to redeem himself. A challenge so big that even A class students aren't interested. He's going to have to be very bad if he's going to succeed.

Cute story. I love the dilemma. Most kids would love the green light to act as selfishly as they wanted. That's what being a villain is all about. Putting others before yourself is a job, and here's a kid that thrives on it. With the massive popularity of superheroes and this catchy book cover, this book is an easy sell. Put it on display in your library and I guarantee it will get checked out.
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I really enjoyed reading this, it was a good children's novel. I was invested in the characters and what was going on with them. The plot works for the story and it was a quick read, I enjoyed the way Amy Bearce writes and I look forward to more from her.

"Perfectus’s indignation was soothing. George had thought it was unfair too. Okay, sure, they were villains, but even villains needed to have someone to trust, right?"
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