Rafe, as always, a lovable troublemaker...

— feeling clown
Middle School: Just My Rotten Luck - James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts, Laura Park

Five ROTTEN questions you'll find the answers to inside this book...

1. What's my super-secret mission that's sure to land me in hot water?

2. Is my sister, Georgia, as annoying as ever? (I'll answer this now: YES!)

3. What's Miller the Killer REALLY afraid of?

4. Who ends up being my first kiss? Is she temporarily insane?

And the most unanswerable question of all:

5. Why can't I ever stay out of trouble?

 

Rafe Khatchadorian is back in this 7th book in the Middle School series and he is up to his old tricks again - sort of. If you read any of the books in this series and liked it, you will like this one. This is a great series for reluctant readers (especially boys). There are cartoonish drawings throughout the books and they move at a fast pace.

 

The main character, Rafe, talks to the reader as if he is a friend. And Rafe is a good friend. He is still convinced he is a loser and is still terrified of Miller the Killer. But, can things actually go right for Rafe just this once? Well, you will have to read to find out.

 

My 11-year old son loves this series. He likes Rafe and the book made him laugh out loud several times. The story is highly relatable and the characters are fun. Watching Rafe deal with Middle School and all it's challenges is very entertaining (even for me).

 

I've read all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and while they are humorous, I don't like the main character, Greg Heffley. He is not a good friend and is very self-centered. I don't mind reading the books with my son, but I often point out the things Greg does that are not nice. Rafe, on the other hand, is a genuinely nice kid. He does have issues and doesn't always do the right thing (which is totally relatable for all of us), but his heart is in the right place. He knows when he has not made the best choice and he feels guilty for it and tries to atone. 

 

Recommended to:

Highly recommended to boys in grades 4-8, especially reluctant readers and lovers of humorous realistic fiction (in this case, school stories).