Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind he's Stainlezz Steel, superpowered defender of the weak. In reality he's a chess club devotee known as a grandma's boy, a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: Can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?
James Patterson's novel is a genuinely funny yet poignant look at middle school in a challenging urban setting, where a kid's life can depend on the everyday decisions he makes.
"Will be enjoyed by middle-grade boys, particularly reluctant readers." (VOYA)
"It's a chatty, funny, engaging book, one that often addresses the reader directly. It's filled with energetic cartoons...that will appeal to your little rebel, depicting teachers as dungeon-keepers, matadors and flying dragons. Patterson...knows how to structure a plot and builds in some surprising--even touching--twists.... Rafe is the bad boy with a heart of gold." (The New York Times)
"Short chapters and a partially graphic format are sure to appeal." (Booklist)
"A keen appreciation of kids' insecuritiesand an even more astute understanding of what might propel boy readers througha book.... [A] perfectly pitched novel." (Los Angeles Times)
"As Patterson artfully weaves a deeper and more thought-provoking tale of childhood coping mechanisms and everyday school and family realities, readers are drawn into a deeper understanding of and compassion for the main characters." (School Library Journal, starred review)
Praise for Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life
A 2012 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers title
A 2013 ALSC Summer Reading List Book
A 2013 Hawaii's Children's Choice Award Winner
"Cleverly delves into the events that make middle school so awkward: cranky bus drivers, tardy slips, bathroom passes and lots of rules.... Hopefully, this isn't the last we hear from Rafe Khatchadorian." (The Associated Press)
"The book's...dynamic artwork and message that 'normal is boring' should go a long way toward assuring kids who don't fit the mold that there's a place for them, too." (Publishers Weekly)
Praise for Middle School: Get Me out of Here!
A number-one New York Times best seller
An Indiebound best seller
One of Barnes & Nobles' Best Books of 2012
"Patterson and Tebbetts have created strong characters and relationships throughout the novel. Rafe has his triumphs and failures, but he's a realistic kid whom readers would want as a friend and coconspirator." (School Library Journal)
"There is substance as well as appeal here.... Patterson deftly manages the pace of revelations that take readers deeper into Rafe's fragile trust.... Readers ready for something else in the same vein but more substantive than Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Peirce's Big Nate should be introduced to Rafe." (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)
"Incredibly detailed and imaginative illustrations...add depth and humor...an enjoyable story that even themost reluctant readers should enjoy." (Library Media Connection)
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Great for this fourth and six greater kids