‘Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life’ by James Patterson

This comedic book is hilarious, interesting and all round incredible. James Patterson has found a way to make you laugh while making you think. It’s a very funny book. It’s also a rebellious book. It appeals to me and I expect it’d appeal to anyone in their middle school years. As I’m Irish, I don’t get any of specific references to elementary school, middle school and grades – we call them different things.
The book is full of cartoons. I used to read lots of these types of books. I think this is what makes this book this book (if you get me). Now I’m older I use my own imagination while reading, but pictures help younger kids (like my sisters).
The book is based on a really good idea. It is about 12 year old Rafe Khatchadorian who has an amazing creative imagination. He’s a good character. It’s Rafe’s first day of 6th grade in his new school. I expect many kids feel a bit odd on their first day and so does Rafe. When I say many kids, I mean the new kids with no actual school friends.
Things get worse because Miller the Killer, a bully, is already onto him even though he’s trying not to get noticed.
Rafe’s only friend, Leo the Silent, is imaginary. This doesn’t stop them being great friends! Their relationship is a bit weird (of course!).
Jeanne, one of the prettiest girls in the school, doesn’t know he exists. He wants her to though.
From Rafe’s point of view, 6th grade is like being in a prison. The teachers in the school seem intent on making the students obey many rules – and there really are a lot of rules. Rafe thinks up an idea which he calls Operation R.A.F.E. The objective is to break every single rule in the school. Leo and Rafe think up funny ways to do this.
At home, Rafe lives with his Mum, his little sister, Georgina, and his lazy Mum’s boyfriend, ‘Bear’. Rafe starts to get into trouble for breaking the rules and his Mum freaks out. Eventually Rafe stops Operation R.A.F.E. and tries to cool it down to normal. But it’s not going very well; it seems he’s going to flunk 6th grade, so with Leo’s help, he comes up with a major plan.
He draws loads onto one of the school walls. He thinks it’s amazing but his teachers don’t. Then, that night, Bear hurts his Mum in a fight and he calls the police. His Mum kicks Bear out of the house.
Rafe is going to get expelled from his school. This isn’t so bad because Rafe’s art teacher recommends an art school he can go to.
I recommend this book if you like funny, rebellious, book. This series of books has been very successful. There’s even a movie. I’ve seen a bit of it and it was funny but not as funny as the book.

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck.



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