A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Provides overview of some popular tour of major attractions in London, including the Saatchi Gallery, the Globe Theatre, and the National Portrait Gallery. Illustrates how teams can capitalize on unique talents of individual members, and how getting involved in a creative project can bring people together.
Strong message on importance of empathy in understanding and connecting with others. Emphasizes honesty, sincerity, and kindness. Shows how expressing feelings can relieve anxiety and emotional burdens -- even though it doesn't always lead to hoped-for outcomes.
Positive Role Models
Rafe makes a great effort to be kind, even to people who don't show him the same consideration: He comforts a classmate who hates flying, gives up his good seat to others, and helps a shorter classmate get a better view. He shows great empathy for classmates, including some who've been mean to him. Jeanne is warm toward Rafe and willing to give him a chance. She takes note of his strengths and tries to be an honest, open-minded friend. She and a few other students stand up for Rafe when he's targeted by others. But teachers and other adults are not very understanding or patient.
Violence & Scariness
Rafe has to room with a longtime bully who orders him to sleep in the bathroom and harasses him. A jealous classmate acts possessively toward his girlfriend and attacks and endangers Rafe.
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Products & Purchases
References to Kleenex, YouTube, snack foods (Coke, Cadbury, Snickers, Walkers Crisps).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rafe continues to mature in Middle School: From Hero to Zero, the 10th book in the popular Middle School series by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts. While there's some ugly behavior by kids including ostracizing, threats, intimidation, and fighting, there are important moments of emotional vulnerability, connection, and loyalty. Rafe imagines his dead twin brother as a confidant and supporter. There's a little bit of gross-out humor, notably an epic incident of airsickness.
Is It Any Good?
The latest in the funny, fast-paced Middle School series has Rafe feeling trapped with his greatest tormenters -- but he finds his way through it by being observant, kind, and emotionally courageous. Middle School: From Hero to Zero continues to show Rafe's growing maturity even as he stumbles awkwardly through misadventures only sometimes of his own making. Co-authors James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts pack in the laughs as they capture the everyday angst of a middle-schooler on the fringes of the crowd.
Much of the humor is in plentiful illustrations by Laura Park, showing how Rafe processes his worries and stress through exaggerated drawings and cartoons. Lots of fun and plenty of heart.
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