Parents' Guide to

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life: Middle School, Book 1

By Barbara Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Irreverent look at school life explores complex feelings.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life: Middle School, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

my opinion on middle school...

My opinion was that it was a nice book to read . and it had way to many p.o.v. it would alway switch. But it will make you laugh a little. It had alot of drama in it .

This title has:

Educational value
age 9+


Its great gave it to my 9 yr old

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (29 ):

This irreverent story pokes fun at everything about middle school while creating a fresh, indelible character in Rafe. The wonderful cartoon illustrations by Laura Park (ostensibly done by Rafe's friend Leo) will attract Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans, but these detailed drawings also reveal much about Rafe’s character and how he views the world. Teachers and parents might be offended by the harshness and irreverence with which Rafe portrays Hills Village Middle School, but kids who feel as trapped and alone as he does will relate. Rafe sees himself as a geek, but readers will see his other side -- a sweet boy trying to do what's right.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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.

See how we rate