Wednesday, July 13, 2011
MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE by James Patterson and Chris Tebbets
Fans of the WIMPY KID series will want to get their hands on this one. It focuses on the experiences of Rafe Khatchadorian as he enters life in middle school.
Rafe's life is not going well on many levels. He has only one friend, Leo, and that friendship is a bit odd to say the least. Home life for Rafe includes a mother working double shifts, an annoying little sister, and an even more annoying deadbeat almost step dad. The prospect of enter middle school as a less than popular, less than stellar student has Rafe seriously concerned.
With the behind the scenes help of his friend Leo, Rafe devises a plan to help him cope with the challenges of the upcoming year. He creates a survival-type game that involves breaking all the rules in the school's code of conduct handbook. The object of the game is to find creative and very public ways to break the rules. Points are assigned for each win with the added goal of preserving the three "lives" granted at the beginning of the game. Leo is in charge of point values and judging when a "life" is lost.
Rafe shows off his artistic talent by illustrating all the chaos that accompanies his crazy scheme. The combination of his colorful storytelling and his cartoon depictions make for a laugh-out-loud adventure. At the beginning some adult readers might think this is a guidebook for how NOT to behave in middle school, but as Rafe's story continues, it is evident that it is much deeper than it first appears.