Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.
Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.
Patterson turns from the governmental oppression of his Witch & Wizard series to a more everyday form: the social and academic confines of middle school. Emboldened by his friend Leo, newly minted sixth-grader Rafe Khatchadorian embarks on a plan to break every one of his school's rules, frustrating his teachers, causing his grades to suffer, and landing him in detention. Things aren't any better at home, due to the constant, unpleasant presence of "Bear," who Rafe's mother is dating. Park's cartoons are pitch-perfect and do their share of storytelling, sometimes betraying the gap between Rafe's version of events and reality (in one scene, a teacher, portrayed as a dragon, screams, "I don't want to eat you. Just talk to me"). The subject matter gets surprisingly dark, particularly regarding Bear's emotional abusiveness and two twists involving Rafe's relationship with Leo, though the latter arrives so late its impact is weakened. But the book's ultrashort chapters, 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. Ages 8 12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Winnie the pooh
i am in 7th grade and i loved this! it made me think if i actually had the guts to do the stuff the rafe does!
A teacher's review: It's better than "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".
I'm a 6th grade E/LA teacher. I was reluctant to read this book, thinking that it was just another in a line of Wimpy Kid-clones. I'll get to my thoughts on this book in the next section, but I want to tell you that what makes this book good for "reluctant readers" is that it better than the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. (One of) my major complaints with that book, and the books that have followed it, is that it the books are being pitched as a books for "reluctant readers"; yet the books never move readers toward "real" ( non graphic-novel) books. Those books suffer from simplistic story construction without exploring any issues, or characters, beyond surface-level middle school angst. Granted, they're full of personality, but can' we expect more? And knowing that Greg Heffley character was actually meant for a 30- something audience helps me to understand why they fell like drawn out comic strips, and not books.
How is this book different? I think it can serve as a bridge between graphic- novels and novel-novels. Rafe has real problems-and real talent. His drawing makes sense in the world of the book- and not just because "all boys draw". The story has an intriguing plot, with thought-out side characters. I'm sure all of this is because James Patterson has written a slew of books, not only for tweens, but for teens, and adults too. He probably saw those other "reluctant reader" books out there and thought "I can do better." And he did. The next Harry Potter? No. A book I'll put in the hands of all my young readers? Definitely not. I will, however, put this in the hands of at child standing in from of (yet another) Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.