A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Middle School: Just My Rotten Luck, by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, is much lighter than the other books in their Middle School series. Rafe has established a truce with bully Miller the Killer, and there's a hint of a friendship brewing because now that they're teammates on the school football team. Rafe has come to grips with some of his angst and has accepted himself and his considerable art talent. He even has a best friend.
What's the story?
In MIDDLE SCHOOL: JUST MY ROTTEN LUCK, Rafe is back at Hills Middle School, but the evil principal puts him in the special needs class. Worse, Miller the Killer is still lurking the halls. Happily, Rafe finds his first best friend, Flip, in that class. Flip, a star football player, persuades Rafe to play on the team along with Miller the Killer. Rafe finds that his new friendship with Flip makes him part of the popular crowd. This has its advantages, such as being invited to a boy-girl party, but also disadvantages, such as when he turns his back on his classmates to look cool. With some soul-searching, Rafe designs a campaign to change the bullying culture at Hills Middle School.
Is it any good?
This is a fun, light read. Gone are the terrible bullying and circumstances that plagued Rafe earlier in the series, and he finally learns to trust himself and be himself. He also figures out a way to share his considerable art talent with his classmates and develops an online presence. He's a member of the football team, has a best friend, and launches an anti-bullying campaign, making MIDDLE SCHOOL: JUST MY ROTTEN LUCK quite a happy twist in this series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how all kids learn differently. Rafe is placed in a special needs class at Hills Middle School because he needs extra support. Can you think of kids who learn differently from you?
Rafe walks away when his classmates are being bullied because he doesn't want to seem uncool. Have you ever been in a situation where it was really hard to do what's right? Would you stand up for others even if it would be embarrassing?
Rafe has a crush on one girl, and another girl has a crush on Rafe. Crushes can be exciting and fun, but feelings also can get hurt. What does it mean to have a crush on someone?
- Authors: James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts
- Illustrator: Laura Park
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publishers: Little, Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date: June 22, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.