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Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life Paperback – November 6, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Middle School
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Reprint edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316101699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316101691
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
A #1 Indiebound Bestseller
A 2010 Oregon Children's Choice Award Winner
A 2012 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers
A 2013 Hawaii's Children's Choice Award Winner
A 2013 ALSC Summer Reading List Book
A 2014 Oregon Reader's Choice Award Nominee
A 2014 ALSC Summer Reading List Book


"A keen appreciation of kids' insecurities and an even more astute understanding of what might propel boy readers through a book.... a perfectly pitched novel."Los Angeles Times

* "Patterson artfully weaves a deeper and... thought-provoking tale of childhood coping mechanisms and everyday school and family realities.... Hand this book to misbehaving, socially awkward, or disengaged boys and girls.... 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."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Cleverly delves into the events that make middle school so awkward: cranky bus drivers, tardy slips, bathroom passes and lots of rules.... Hopefully, this isn't the last we hear from Rafe Khatchadorian."—The Associated Press

"It's a chatty, funny, engaging book, one that often addresses the reader directly. It's filled with energetic cartoons... that will appeal to your little rebel, depicting teachers as dungeon-keepers, matadors and flying dragons. Patterson... knows how to structure a plot and builds in some surprising--even touching--twists.... Rafe is the bad boy with a heart of gold."
The New York Times

"The book's . . . 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."
Publishers Weekly

Incredibly detailed and imaginative illustrations . . . add depth and humor. . . . an enjoyable story that even the most reluctant readers should enjoy."
Library Media Connection

"There is substance as well as appeal here.... Patterson deftly manages the pace of revelations that take readers deeper into Rafe's fragile trust.... Readers ready for something else in the same vein but more substantive than Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Peirce's Big Nate should be introduced to Rafe."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

About the Author

James Patterson was selected by readers across America as the Children's Choice Book Awards Author of the Year in 2010. He is the internationally bestselling author of the highly praised Middle School books, Confessions of a Murder Suspect and the Maximum Ride, Witch & Wizard, Daniel X, and Alex Cross series. His books have sold over 230 million copies worldwide, making him one of the bestselling authors of all time. He lives in Florida.

Chris Tebbetts is the author of The Viking, a fantasy adventure series for young readers, and co-author of the young adult novel, M or F?, with Lisa Papademetriou. He lives in Vermont.

Laura Park is a cartoonist and illustrator. She is the author of the minicomics series Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream, and her work has appeared in the Best American Comics. She lives in Chicago.

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
1,431
4 star
401
3 star
148
2 star
77
1 star
101
See all 2,158 customer reviews
My son is 11 years old and loved this book.
Virginia Holmes
I liked it a lot I would tell everybody I know to try to get a look at this book!
Colin Michael Quattrini
I would recommend this book to fifth graders and kids that are in middle school.
abigail ross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on July 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a mother of a 10 year old. I try to find books that will keep her intrested in reading. Personally I love any book from James Patterson for myself. Then when I saw he was writting a childs book I had to get it. I per-ordered it and got this book the day after it came out. My daughter can't put it down. She is laughing while reading and can't stop telling me about what is happening in the book. As a parent this is what you want for your young child or pre-teen. This is a most have and your kids will thank you.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Kevin S. Epps on July 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a middle school teacher. When I saw this advertised I just had to get it to see things from a kids perspective. VERY fast read. Funny as heck. I could actually put some faces (teachers, students, bus drivers, lunch ladies, etc) on the characters in this book. My daughter (high school student) is reading it now and laughing and talking about it to her friends...now if she'd only read her A.P. summer reading assignments...
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Starting middle school can be rough on anybody, but for Rafe Khatchadorian, the sixth grade escalates into an absolute nightmare. First of all, his middle school resembles an ancient, high security prison. Secondly, it's staffed with angry monsters, like the dragon lady who teaches English, the three witches in the cafeteria, the ogre gym teacher, and the principal named the Lizard King. Thirdly, there's a nine-foot-tall troll of a sixth grader called Miller the Killer who is out to get him.

Things aren't much better at home, with a bratty younger sister, a mom who works all the time, and a soon-to-be stepfather who sits around the house hogging the TV and is as much of a bully as Miller the Killer. At least Rafe has his best friend, Leo, who doesn't say much but has a great imagination. In fact, Leo is the one who gave him the best idea ever. To spice things up, Rafe creates a game with the goal of breaking every rule in the middle school's code of conduct handbook. He assigns points to each rule, with bonus points available for creativity, getting laughs and being witnessed by the cutest girl in the class, Jeanne Galletta.

Life definitely gets more exciting, but Rafe also starts spending a lot more time in detention, and his mom is very disappointed in him. Then the trouble and heartache start mounding up so heavily on Rafe's shoulders where even his best friend can't help much. When the police get called in, Rafe finally crumbles. Then he gets some help from a very unexpected someone, and life promises to continue being interesting, but in a different, more positive way.

James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts team up for this amazing adventure about one boy's attempt at surviving middle school. The first thing that stands out is how absolutely hilarious the book is.
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56 of 67 people found the following review helpful By a.sage on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book based on great reviews - I was totally floored when I read this book after my 10 year old son finished it, as the book details countless inappropriate situations for a child that age.

Let me say I'm a young parent and I don't consider myself a prude by any means - I'm not overly protective of the material my child reads (I've seen parents give books bad ratings for using the word "suck" - come on now).

However, this book is THE ONLY book I've ever actually blushed while reading. The fact that Rafe calls his step father "Bear" because he's as mean as the animal was certainly disturbing to me at first. I was waiting for that "ah-ha!" moment when Rafe realizes Bear isn't such a bear after all, but that moment never comes. They depict the step father in this story as a jobless loser who is mean to his step children and sits on his behind all day watching TV while his saint of a wife (Rafe's mom) works double shifts at the local diner. And IF ONLY Bear would just get a job, poor mom wouldn't have to work so much. At one point in the book, Rafe's mom admits that she "doesn't always make the best decisions", referring to her relationship with Bear. Towards the end of the book, Rafe's mom and Bear get in an argument and he "accidentally pushes" her - he then leaves a message on their answering machine later that evening to let them know he's staying at a buddy's house and is thankfully Rafe's mom didn't press charges. WHAT?!

Beyond that - the premise of the book is that Rafe's imaginary friend Leo urges him to break all of the rules in this new middle school's Code of Conduct manual.
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88 of 108 people found the following review helpful By David White on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Middle School teacher and fan of James Patterson, I thought this would be a great book for my class library, and possibly as a read-aloud selection. I was very disappointed. I notice that there are two authors listed for the book and wonder if Patterson just put his name on it so that it would be a best-seller, as it is certainly not the caliber of writing one would expect based on his past books for adolescents.

The book glorifies breaking rules with the intent to be humorous and entertaining, of which it is seldom either. The boy ends up flunking 6th grade and is expelled, but seems ok with that, as he will probably transfer to an "art school" where he will presumably flourish. However, there is no reason to believe that he has learned any lessons, or that he will now be motivated to follow the rules.

All in all, this seems to be a quickly written book. The moral of the story seems to be, you can have a lot of fun breaking rules - and everything will turn out ok in the long run - and, if you're name is James Patterson, you can make a lot of money publishing just about anything.
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