Sunday, January 8, 2012
Middle School, The Worst Years of my Life
Middle School, The Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts is a humorous story about a troubled middle school kid named Rafe. For good reason, many authors are following Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid format – chapters with cartoons throughout. The kids love books like these! Cartoonist Laura Park creatively illustrates this story. Rafe narrates his story and often draws the reader in by asking reflective questions. Rafe’s home life is the worst. He and his younger sister, Georgia, hardly see their hardworking mother while her low-life, live-in boyfriend sits on their couch and watches television all day. On the first day of middle school, the vice principal boringly discusses each rule in the Code of Conduct handbook with all the students. Rafe, negatively influenced by a boy named Leo, decides the only way he will survive this school year is if he creates a game in which he scores points for breaking all of the rules discussed. Will Rafe learn the best way to fit in at his middle school or will the consequences of his bad behavior crash down on him? Reviews I read about this book were either 5 stars (the kids love it) or 1 star (I am assuming the adults due to the deviant behavior)…I am somewhere in the middle. To me, there is still nothing quite like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Other great books by James Patterson include the Maximum Ride and Daniel X series – both are great for reluctant reader because of the action packed storylines and short chapters.