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Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life
Cover of Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life
Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life
Middle School Series, Book 1
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Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.

Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.

Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.

Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.

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  • Available:
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Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.5
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
Reviews-
  • DOGO Books mysterystar - Now, there’s a pathetic family portrait you don’t want to be a part of, believe me. More on the unfortunate Village Police incident later. I need to work myself up to tell you that disaster story. So anyway, ta-da, here it is, book fans, and all of you in need of AR points at school, the true autobio of my life so far. The dreaded middle school years. If you’ve ever been a middle schooler, you understand already. If you’re not in middle school yet, you’ll understand soon enough. But let’s face it: Understanding me—I mean, really understanding me and my nutty life—isn’t so easy. That’s why it’s so hard for me to find people I can trust. The truth is, I don’t know who I can trust. So mostly I don’t trust anybody. Except my mom, Jules. (Most of the time, anyway.) So… let’s see if I can trust you." This book is about a young boy named Rafe going to middle school. He decides to break all the rules in the rulebook though- a little something called Operation R.A.F.E. This is a great book. Comedy, good illustrations, good and realistic plot line, (coughsDiaryOfAWimpyKid) and great characters. I can understand Rafe doodling everywhere (as I do it as well) and the mural was simply beautiful and amazing. Only downside? The chapters are too short. (some are one page long!) Good book, I give it 4/5.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 30, 2011
    Patterson turns from the governmental oppression of his Witch & Wizard series to a more everyday form: the social and academic confines of middle school. Emboldened by his friend Leo, newly minted sixth-grader Rafe Khatchadorian embarks on a plan to break every one of his school's rules, frustrating his teachers, causing his grades to suffer, and landing him in detention. Things aren't any better at home, due to the constant, unpleasant presence of "Bear," who Rafe's mother is dating. Park's cartoons are pitch-perfect and do their share of storytelling, sometimes betraying the gap between Rafe's version of events and reality (in one scene, a teacher, portrayed as a dragon, screams, "I don't want to eat you. Just talk to me"). The subject matter gets surprisingly dark, particularly regarding Bear's emotional abusiveness and two twists involving Rafe's relationship with Leo, though the latter arrives so late its impact is weakened. But the book's ultrashort chapters, dynamic artwork, and message that "normal is boring" should go a long way toward assuring kids who don't fit the mold that there's a place for them, too. Ages 8–12.

  • Kirkus

    In order to cope with the terrors of middle school, Rafe Khatchadorian teams up with his imaginary friend, Leo, to become a troublemaking legend.There's a fine line between a class clown and a smart aleck. Class clowns make big dopey gestures to make up for superficial insecurities, leading to inevitably poor life decisions. As Conan O'Brien once said: "The class clown is killed in a motel shoot-out." Smart alecks are different. There's a lot of potential in every one of them. And there's a lot of potential in Rafe. As his efforts to break every rule in his new school's handbook progress, Patterson and Tebbetts illuminate the psyche of a scared, angry kid who is smart, creative, bored and ever so over the "teach 'em what's on the test" mentality the U.S. education system has so ruthlessly perfected. Rafe lashes out against an establishment that is designed against him and a shattered family unit, and it's hard to push past his defense systems. But once through, readers will discover the best kind of child: one that is intelligent, artistic and brave. The authors weave these ideas through a world perfectly described through a 12-year-old's point of view, complete with humor and jokes to be expected from that bracket. Witty illustrations and wacky scenarios will rope young readers in, but the emotional undercurrents will keep them hooked.A satisfying and progressive tale with real sweetness at its center. (Fiction. 8-12) COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from November 1, 2011

    Gr 5-8-The first 20 pages of this novel seem to be a blueprint for classic middle-school rebellion. As the story continues, Patterson's ability to hog-tie his target audience into a sympathetic relationship with Rafe, the sixth-grade protagonist, becomes clear. Along with his friend Leo the Silent, Rafe concocts a plan to break every rule in the Hills Village Middle School Code of Conduct by the end of the year, creating palpable tension between him and every adult character in the book. As Patterson artfully weaves a deeper and more thought-provoking tale of childhood coping mechanisms and everyday school and family realities, readers are drawn into a deeper understanding of and compassion for the main characters. Taking the best of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (Abrams) formula, he successfully melds it with an emotional and, at times, unexpected journey. Hand this book to misbehaving, socially awkward, or disengaged boys and girls who are willing to take it. It might help them believe that there is a place for them in the world, no matter how dire times may seem in the present.-Colleen S. Banick, Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield, CT

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Little, Brown and Company
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Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life
Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life
Middle School Series, Book 1
James Patterson
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