The Terrible Two Children’s Book Optioned by Universal

terrible twoMiles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.

It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

Universal has optioned the recently released book The Terrible Two, by Mac Barnett and Jory John with illustrations by Kevin Cornell.

Barnett and John will adapt the screenplay for the film, which centers on a middle-school kid named Miles Murphy, who is the best prankster his school has ever seen. When he’s forced to move to the sleepy town of Yawnee Valley, he expects to become the best prankster at his new school as well, but he discovers he’s got some stiff competition.

The book The Terrible Two hit shelves on Jan. 13, and debuted on the New York Times children’s middle grade best-seller list in its first week on sale. There are more than 200,000 copies in print.

The book is the first in a planned four-book series, with the second book scheduled for early 2016. The Terrible Two was acquired by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, for seven figures in a seven-publisher auction, and rights have been sold in 26 languages.

Both Barnett and John are experienced children’s book authors, and have been friends since they met in their early 20s while working at 826, a nonprofit tutoring center founded by Dave Eggers. Barnett’s previous children’s books include Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole while John is the co-author of the humor book All My Friends Are Dead.

Kristin Lowe and Elizabeth Haggard will oversee The Terrible Two for Universal.

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