Yes, THAT James Patterson. The world famous crime writer who also writes children’s books. There’s a Patterson for every reader!
‘Middle School – The Worst Years of my Life’ is a hilarious tell-all account from Rafe Khatchadorian a pupil at a very oppresive school (at least in Rafe’s opinion). Rafe has enough problems to deal with and doesn’t need school rules to worry about on top of all that and so sets about to break every single rule in the Code of Conduct.
Now, we know how these things go down and sometimes we need a little help (or hindrance) from our friends and in Rafe’s case, help comes in the form of the hilarious Leonardo the Silent! With Rafe breaking every rule from running in the hallway to setting off a fire alarm, it all starts to catch up with him and soon Rafe has more than measly detention to worry about…
I loved this book. It’s light-hearted yet deals with young angst and issues appropriately without diverting from the humour throughout the book. Fans of Jeff Kinney’s ‘Wimpy Kid’ series will love this. The illustrations, by Chris Tebetts are spot on for characterisation and are in the whole book, on almost every page.
There’s a big emphasis on Patterson’s desire to get kids reading as he too has a kid who was once reluctant to read. I think he recognises that children unconsciously like something to relate to in a book. Even if the book has the most obscure characters or monsters in, we all still need something to grasp on to, to allow us to say “Yep, I understand!” And I think James Patterson has achieved that sense of talking to the audience because really, we’ve all been there. Whether we were the class clown, the quiet hard-worker or the naughiest kid in school…we were all there all going through issues (often horrifically embarassing) every day at school!
Thinking about it, if there’s one way to describe this book, it’s Jacqueline Wilson for boys. Fantastic stuff.
MIDDLE SCHOOL – THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE by JAMES PATTERSON
HB £9.99 9780099543985
JULY 2011 . Published by Arrow (Young), Random House.