Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
By James Patterson
Middle school was a time filled with crazy impulses, raging hormones, and embarrassing moments. If you ask any high schooler about their middle school days, they will probably have many negative things to say about their past. In The Worst Years of My Life written by James Patterson, the protagonist Rafe is a middle schooler who has achieved the pinnacle of what it means to be a hormonal adolescent boy. Rafe has an unmatched imagination with the art skills to draw his imagination into reality, but he feels restricted by his mom’s deadbeat boyfriend and his school’s prison-like environment. To find some joy in his restricting school life, Rafe decides to be the first person in middle school history to break every school rule in the 26-page middle school code of conduct.
The nice thing about the book is that it’s semi-realistic. Every action that Rafe did had consequences, and we see that the havoc Rafe unleashes doesn’t go unchecked. Rafe performs quite a few stunts that bring out a few chuckles, and when he is on a roll, things get pretty ridiculous in an amusing way. However, Rafe still deals with the same problems many middle schoolers go through which makes it relatable in many aspects. Grades, crushes, bullies, strict teachers, and family issues are problems that many of us have at least encountered at some point in our life. Though the start is kind of wacky and fun, the story follows a logical flow of events that keeps you immersed in the novel. If you want to have an easy read while reminiscing on your middle school days, this book is for you.
Book Review by Tim (Orem Teen Library Council)