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109 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You never can go wrong with a James Paterson Book
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...
Published on July 1, 2011 by Rachel

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56 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT suitable for a 10 year old!
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...
Published 20 months ago by a.sage


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46 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A total waste of time, July 11, 2011
This review is from: Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life (Hardcover)
We are huge fans of Big Nate and Wimpy Kid, in fact, I have read them all and could not stop laughing. However, this book is painful to try and wade through, and I really don't care to have my 10 year olds read a book with a kid in it who has a single mom shacking up with a guy who is a jerk who is purposefully unemployed. Too many kids have to live like that and it is supposed to be in kids books now? It isn't funny, nor is it age-appropriate. What it is, is in my trash can.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hooked immediately, July 17, 2011
This review is from: Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life (Hardcover)
As a middle school language arts teacher, I am constantly looking for books that my students will truly enjoy reading. So many of my students come to me already having read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books/series, which they absolutely love. I am really excited to have another book with a similar theme that both girls and boys will enjoy! I plan on using this book at the beginning of the year as my first read aloud. I think it is neat to have an author who normally writes adult books write a book for children. I know my students are going to love this!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Characters have potential, not awful, February 3, 2012
By 
Artemis (Black Diamond, WA) - See all my reviews
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First of all, I must confess to having taught middle school since just before God created dirt, so I've read my share of young adult fiction.
Second, I only got the kindle free preview, so I do not know how the adventure concludes, but based on what I've read so far, I really don't care.

As I started reading, I felt the main character held promise. He's an ordinary kid with the kinds of problems with which many teen readers would identify: He's not a big athlete, he's got a little sister who annoys him but for whom he has a real affection, his mom works long hours, his lazy step-dad-to-be is possibly a worse bully than the ones our young hero faces at school, and he has a crush on the school sweetheart. His simple plan is to make himself not-ordinary by breaking every rule in the student handbook. I smirked at this. Yes, even a stodgy old teacher such as I can see the humor.

Ker-thunk went the plot. As the story moved forward, I simply wasn't impressed. Yes, it's better than an Archie comic book, since the main character, while breaking rules, must be clever yet ethical. However, better stories are out there. I think of the classic short story, "Charles," by Shirley Jackson, and for a young adult novel with compelling characters and humor consider "Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie," by David Lubar (sadly, not available on Kindle).

On the other hand, being fast, easy reading and harmless fun, many young readers will enjoy it. They'll also enjoy that it's illustrated throughout, the author having cleverly included the illustrator as one of the main characters. Noteworthy is that some reviewers have read it together with their sons/daughters. I can see how as a shared experience that could increase the enjoyment.

One last comment. Then I'm done. To the reviewer who was scandalized because the main character's goal is to break every rule: Get a grip! It's fiction! Just because Superman jumps off tall buildings doesn't mean your kid's going to do it too.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For tweens' eyes only, August 6, 2011
This review is from: Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life (Hardcover)
Having read quite a few books geared towards tweens and teens, I've come to the conclusion that some books are better left unread by adults. Such is the case with this one that follows Rafe Katchadorian through his first year (sixth grade) of middle school, during which he decides to break every rule in the school's code of conduct. **Note: the rest of this review contains plot spoilers.** He starts out with a bang (well, a bell) but pulling the school's fire alarm during a school assembly. Later, among other things, he: steals sodas from his mother's lazy, obnoxious fiancé in order to sell them to his classmates (somehow, though doing so regularly on school grounds, without getting caught); is intentionally tardy; vandalizes school property with graffiti (by creating an unauthorized "mural"); disrespectfully changes the words to a Shakespearean play (though cleverly keeps "Mr. Shakespeare's meter and rhyme"); chews gum; rides a scooter during PE (earning the detention he so desired); arrives at school on Halloween dressed like a ninja; repeatedly earns Ds and Fs on his report card; lies to his mother; and is eventually expelled. Ultimately, school staff reward him, because of his illustrative skills, by trying to help him gain access into an arts school instead for the following fall. Need I go on? The story's only redeeming quality is what you learn about Leo. Although I was not a fan, both my ten-year-old and twelve-year-old liked the book. In summary, the premise of the story, that the main character try to break every rule in the school's code of conduct, is probably not a theme parents will enjoy. My advice, Middle School will be better appreciated by tweens' eyes only. Better: The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my sons LOVED this book, July 15, 2011
This review is from: Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life (Hardcover)
My sons (rising 5th and 6th graders) tell me how much they don't want to read. Well they both read this book in record time and loved it. They have told me excerpts of the book and have lent it to friends to read. Yippee summer reading for the boys that isn't a chore :)
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusted by this book..., July 16, 2011
By 
Debra K Brown (Franklin, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life (Hardcover)
Any book that will get my sons reading is something that interests me. I purchased this book immediately upon seeing an interview with James Patterson promoting the need to get kids to read. The title was the first thing that put me off - why would I want my children to immediately form an association with middle school and "the worst years of my life?" I moved on - never judge a book by its cover, right? Page after page after page was nothing but junk - a handbook for breaking rules and behaving badly. The parts of the book that made an attempt to show some redeeming actions also proved to be misguided or too little too late. If you want your child to learn about breaking the law, showing disrespect at school, finding ways to break school rules, shacking up, laziness, sneaking, stealing and manipulating then this book is for you. Very disappointed Mr. Patterson - what an incredible book you could have written to influence middle schoolers positively insteady of so adversely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of Heart and Surprises, December 14, 2012
In order for Rafe Khatchadorian to survive Middle School, he decides to take drastic action - break every rule in the school's code of conduct.

Rafe's plan holds unforeseen consequences for our hero. But what about for your child? Should he read a book about a kid who blatantly breaks ALL the rules? Read on for my review (spoilers ahead)...

Violence:

There is some "bullying" in the book. For example, the school bully roughs Rafe up on more than one occasion. Plus, Rafe initiates a fist fight with him.

But the real violence is all in Rafe's head. He imagines the Lizard King (the principal) slamming him into a wall - and the vice principal hitting him with brass knuckles.

Plus, Bear (Rafe's Mom's fiancée) pushes Rafe's Mom down some stairs during an argument.

Foul Language:

None, but the A-word is hinted at when Rafe breaks the "Do Not Curse" rule.

Other Negative Stuff:

Rafe lies to his mom and Bear... hides his school detention from his mom... steals soda from Bear to sell in school... and defaces school property.

My Two Cents:

A book about a kid who breaks all the rules may sound like a good one to avoid. But "Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life" has unexpected heart. Rafe deals with many of the insecurities and struggles that other middle-schoolers - maybe even your own child - face. And he discovers that his actions do have consequences, which is a good lesson for young readers as well.

Written with quirky illustrations... clever plotting... and a few unexpected surprises, "Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life" is an appropriate, engaging read for children grade level three and up.

To read my full review, please go to InsidePopularKidsBooks.com.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars mean spirited fun, August 4, 2011
This review is from: Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life (Hardcover)
I admire James Patterson's efforts to get youngsters to read (even if it is a bit self serving.) However, a book that portrays a child pulling a fire alarm as a prank loses me right there. The premise of the book is that Rafe is going to try to break all the school rules. Easy rules will be worth just a few points, and more challenging rules will be worth more. There are amusing illustrations, short chapters, multicultural elements and large print -- all the things to draw in reluctant readers. But the overall tone is...well....just kind of negative and mean. I stopped reading after the fire alarm -- where I work, that would not be treated as humorous "boys will be boys" fun. It would get the puller in serious trouble.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Middle school the worst years of my life, August 22, 2013
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Because this book was really awesome and I really liked it a lot it had a lot of creativity. I loved this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, July 5, 2013
By 
Neofactor (Charlotte, NC, United States) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book for middle school kids and 8-14 year olds. This book is about trying to fit in in middle school except Rafe K has fun with it. A very inspirational line from the book is "Normal is boring". This teaches kids to be themselves. Overall a great read and I highly recommend it.
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Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life
Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson (Hardcover - June 27, 2011)
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