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A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year

Have you attempted six word stories before? It is tough, to condense your thoughts into six words, and yet, make them meaningful or humorous, or even to tell a story. As the editor of A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year mentions, the concept of the six word story is linked to Ernest Hemingway. It is said that Hemingway once wrote a six-word short story as a result of a ten-dollar wager made with friends. He won the wager with this now famous and heart-wrenching six-word story: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”

These past couple of years have certainly been unexpected. Whether you consider this recent past terrible, horrible, or no good, this time has been something that has changed us all. This book offers a look at how it has impacted the students, teachers, and parents who voiced their thoughts in just six words each. Read my thoughts on the book, read the book itself, and take a moment to ponder; then go ahead and write your very own six-word memoir of your experience.

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year

Book Info

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year

Title: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year
Editor: Larry Smith
Publishers: Six-Word Memoirs (October 15, 2021)
Genre: Nonfiction (All ages) | Memoirs
Source: e-RC from NetGalley

Thank you the NetGalley and the publishers for the digital review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


The tenth book in the Six-Word Memoir series tells the story of a world we never expected to be in and can’t stop talking about. Told through the lens of students, teachers, and parents around the world, A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year offers hundreds of inspirational, playful, and profound takes on life during the pandemic. For some, this book will be a window, and for others, a mirror of their own experience. For all of us, A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year is a time capsule to be read, shared, and discussed and is certain to prompt friends, family, and neighbors to ask each other: “What’s your six-word pandemic story?”

My Thoughts

I recall reading Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak a few years ago. While I did not review it, I do recall going through a roller-coaster of emotions as I read it.

Just like that one, this book is sure to evoke a multitude of emotions from its readers. It is a poignant, tugging-at-heartstrings that makes you smile. It is sweet and truthful, filled with humor and hope, and wisdom beyond the years. Though this book focuses on the pandemic as viewed by students, teachers, and parents, it will strike a chord with you. No matter who we are, or where we live, everyone has gone through the pandemic now; so everyone will find a lot to relate in this book.

Each six-word memoir had me fall in love with humanity, with the power of words, and made me hopeful for us. I also loved the included longer essays (a few of them) which talk about ‘Lessons Learned’ and the interspersed visual six word-memoirs with artwork by students.

We can chose to devour it in just a little time, and yet, we can spend endless hours dipping back into its pages, and pondering over our own six-words for, just about anything.

The SixWordMemoirs website offers resources for teachers to use in the classroom (ideal for homeschools too), and so much more as well.

Random Selection of Six-Word Memoirs

If I had to pick my favorites, I would simply have to share the whole book. Instead, I randomly picked a few across the pages:

  • Exercise in futility; P.E. on Zoom. – Elsie Thompson, 14
  • Mask Pivot: Smile With Your Eyes
  • Social distancing myself from the fridge. – Maria Leopoldo
  • Traded homegrown avocados for toilet paper. – JL Nuss
  • My heart misses a MILLION people. – Lucette Cortese, 5

Get It Here

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And Now, the End of this Post

Dear reader, what would be your six word story for the last year? Would you consider it terrible, horrible, no good, or something else? Have you read this book or other books in the series?

5 thoughts on “A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year

  1. Wow, what an intersting book. I really enjoyed the samples you put in here and especially: “My heart misses a MILLION people. – Lucette Cortese, 5”

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