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Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life Hardcover – June 27, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,702 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the Middle School Series

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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


* "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

"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

"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

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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Series: Middle School (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: jimmy patterson; 1 edition (June 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316101877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316101875
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,702 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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...
1 Comment 56 of 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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11 Comments 123 of 144 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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2 Comments 57 of 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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.
8 Comments 110 of 133 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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