Review Blog

Jun 14 2012

Middle School: Get me out of here by James Patterson

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Young Arrow, 2012. ISBN 978-0-099-56753-0.
Suitable for 9 to 12 year olds. What to read after the Wimpy Kid stories? Well here's another choice. This is James Patterson's second novel about Rafe Khatchadorian, the first being the New York best seller Middle Years, The Worst Years of My Life.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, Rafe with his mother and sister have to move the big city and share cramped accommodation in his grandmother's flat. Good luck comes when the talented Rafe is able to attend art school and finds himself a new friend. Bad luck comes when he is threatened and harassed by new bullies.
Rafe seems to be in total angst about his life and often 'talks' to his deceased brother Leo who gives him advice and helps him to devise Operation Get a Life, concentrating on new experiences, not all of them helpful. He also discovers information about his missing Dad and a relative of his fathers.
So there is a lot happening in Rafe's life and at times he makes some poor decisions. Maybe it is because I am an adult and an educator but I felt uncomfortable with the way the bullying was handled. I can't recall Rafe getting any support or confiding in any adults at school or at home about some very serious bullying including cyber bullying on the school website and vandalism of his property at school. In fact he becomes involved in pay back which of course doesn't work out well. Perhaps that's the lesson.
The book is packed full of Rafe's black and white illustrations.
There is a book trailer to advertise the book
James Patterson is a very successful writer for both children and adults and is passionate about reading and has a web site
Jane Moore

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