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Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life - Free Preview: The First 20 Chapters [Kindle Edition]

James Patterson , Laura Park , Chris Tebbetts
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
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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

Product Description

Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.

Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5964 KB
  • Print Length: 86 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 26 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005133JGS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,752 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it Aug. 26 2013
By Melissa Greenberg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved it, maybe because I can relate. The illustrations were appropriate and went well with the stories. I always enjoy a good James Patterson work no matter for what age group its targeted!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not even worth a star. June 2 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was not funny, not entertaining, and was of no interest to my children. It generally promotes bad behaviour and disrespect for school.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  2,388 reviews
116 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You never can go wrong with a James Paterson Book July 1 2011
By Rachel - Published on Amazon.com
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.
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Summer Read July 19 2011
By Kevin S. Epps - Published on Amazon.com
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...
52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Fast Moving July 5 2011
By KidsReads - Published on Amazon.com
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. Rafe is a very likable character, and readers will love laughing along with him. His rule-breaking game is incredibly imaginative and dives headfirst into the danger zone again and again. Rafe does have to face the consequences of his actions, though he does attract the attention of someone who helps him find a way to work through his issues.

This unique and fast moving storyline also has a couple of surprise bombs dropped along the way that make it even more compelling. Also noteworthy are the intensely detailed illustrations of Laura Park. They support the story line as they are the work of Rafe's friend, Leo, plus they add even more humor to the story. Patterson, Tebbetts and Park make a great team, and the proof is right here in MIDDLE SCHOOL, THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE.

--- Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman
96 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Aug. 23 2011
By David White - Published on Amazon.com
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.
64 of 77 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT suitable for a 10 year old! Nov. 26 2012
By a.sage - Published on Amazon.com
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. Mischievous and not entirely offensive at first - but Rafe becomes obsessed with acting out and eventually gets expelled from school because of his behavior (the last straw was an act of vandalism). Still - I kept waiting for the "ah-ha!" moment when Rafe would realize breaking the rules and seeking negative attention wasn't the best use of his time and energy - but nope, no such moment ever comes. In fact, his mother seems to make excuses for his behavior by revealing that his imaginary friend Leo is a manifestation of his dead twin brother. Again- WHAT?!

While reading the book I often felt as though I was reading a creative writing piece that a disturbed teenager wrote. There was no moral to the story. It was simply the rantings of an unhappy middle schooler and a chronology of his distructive behavior. I realize there are children in the world who live with step parents they don't like, or have parents who work so much they rarely see them; however, this book made no attempt to identify with the plight of those children and offer hope. It simply told a disturbing story with a very unhappy ending.

I would not recommend this book for a child under the age of 12 at least based on content - and even then a reader over age 12 would truly be wasting their time reading this.
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