Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!

 
Real middle school issues mix with lots of humor.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers get a bird's eye view of the curriculum at a visual-arts middle school.

Positive messages

Although Rafe is no goody-two-shoes and often gets in trouble, he's a good kid who tries to follow the rules and make good choices. Unfortunately, run-ins with the school bullies create problems, and Rafe doesn't always do the right thing. His brand-new friend also leads him astray. In spite of that, readers will admire Rafe's determination.

Positive role models

Rafe has all the awkwardness and geekiness of a typical middle school boy, but underneath he's a nice kid. Although his decisions aren't always good, his intentions usually are. The book often portrays teachers as mean or out to get kids, but many, like Dragonlady Donatella, turn out to be kind and helpful. Rafe's mom is a hardworking, kind single mother who also dreams of being an artist.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

"Heck" and "dummies" are as rough as the language gets.

Consumerism

The authors use Rafe and the last pages of this book to promote another book about middle-schooler Jamie Grimm.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! is the sequel to James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts' Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life, both of which chronicle -- with humor -- the life of loner/misfit Rafe, a gifted artist with a good heart. Tweens will relate to Rafe, his often-misunderstood intentions, and his middle school awkwardness. This book shows a mean side of school -- bullies, cyberbullying, and what happens when a friendship turns sour -- things that most middle school kids deal with everyday. The abundant illustrations add fun and insight.

What's the story?

Things are pretty dismal for Rafe. His mom looses her job, and his family is forced to move into their grandmother's shabby house in the big city. But his favorite teacher, the Dragonlady, arranges for him to go to the Cathedral School of the Arts. Although they're gifted artists, students at Cathedral can be mean and vicious, just like at his old school. From the start, Rafe is targeted by the school bullies. Luckily he finds a friend. Although it's good to have someone to hang with, Rafe soon finds out that friendship has many meanings and that his new friend, Matty the Freak, may not be the best choice. In order to have a more interesting life, Rafe starts Operation: Get a Life to create adventures to draw about. Through Operation: Get a Life, he also discovers clues to what happened to his father, whom Rafe hasn't seen since he was 7.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Reluctant readers will relate to Rafe and his real middle school issues in this plot-driven story. As in the first book, illustrations play a key role in MIDDLE SCHOOL: GET ME OUT OF HERE! by telling what's going on in Rafe's overactive imagination. Rafe's drawings (by illustrator Laura Park) add a narrative of their own and a complexity that fleshes out the story.

Although humorous, Rafe's antics give readers plenty to think about as he navigates his new middle school. The balance of humor and real-life issues make this face-paced book a good choice for tweens who are ready to move on from Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate books.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the book depicts bullying. Someone at school posts mean lies on Rafe's student Web page. Have you ever been involved in cyberbullying, on either side?

  • Kids: Where do you go when you need help? Rafe often gets in trouble because he won't tell on a classmate, even when being bullied. Is there someone at school or home you could talk to or go to for help?

  • Rafe is determined to be an artist. Do you have anything in your life that you're passionate about?

Book details

Authors:Chris Tebbetts, James Patterson
Illustrator:Laura Park
Genre:Humor
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:May 7, 2012
Number of pages:288
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 14

This review of Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 3, 2012
age 8+
 

middle school get me out of here

Families can talk about how the book depicts bullying. Someone at school posts mean lies on Rafe's student Web page. Have you ever been involved in cyberbullying, on either side? Kids: Where do you go when you need help? Rafe often gets in trouble because he won't tell on a classmate, even when being bullied. Is there someone at school or home you could talk to or go to for help? Rafe is determined to be an artist. Do you have anything in your life that you're passionate about?
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 9 years old September 21, 2014
age 8+
 

A Middle School book review

Well, I thought that the language in this book is kind of level 2. Especially "freakin'", but I thought that it kind of taught a little bit on what NOT to in middle school.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Written byAnonymous October 4, 2014
age 13+
 

Sequel to the first one has mor laugh So+jokes but less education about middle school

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