Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill
by James Patterson
Reviewed by Sam M.
McCracken School, 7th Grade
Rafe Khatchadorian doesn’t like following the rules. In fact, he practically lives to break them. This has left him with quite a record of infamy, and in order to stay in the one school that he actually enjoys, he has to do some extra academic work. This is where Camp Wannamorra comes in, a camp that Rafe will stay at for the summer. It sounds like fun in the sun–except for the part where it’s actually a summer school camp that runs on a super-strict list of rules (no electronics, curfew is 9:00p.m., lights-out 10:00p.m., wakey-wakey 7:00a.m., school 8:00 a.m., the list goes on).
Sorted into the Muskrat Hut, Rafe makes quick friends with his cabinmates (or cabin inmates, so to speak): the big guy Two Tunz, the blue-haired Smurf, the super-tall Dweebs, the super-short Cav, the “specially talented” Bombardier, and the geeky Booger Eater. If you haven’t already inferred, Booger Eater is suffering endless bullying from the other kids, and even though he hides his feelings Rafe knows that he wants it to stop. But, that is easier said than done, as they have to put with the snobby and spiteful Bobcats that have been on their backs since day one. When their heartless pranks on the Muskrats grow bigger and worse, Rafe becomes the general in this cabin-vs-cabin war, and it’s not going to be an easy victory.
I thought Patterson’s last two books were masterpieces; well-written big-hearted comedies that are easy to read and hard to forget. The same goes for this entry. When Patterson’s witty and almost tongue-in-cheek writing style makes us root for the Muskrats, feel for Booger Eater, and despise the Bobcats, that is some pretty amazing writing. And that’s a great adjective to describe this book. Any James Patterson fans or anyone who enjoys Diary of a Wimpy Kid or similar series will love this novel.
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