August 12, 2018

Back to School Reads: Middle School: From Hero to Zero by James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Jimmy Patterson; 280 pages; $13.99
Published earlier this year by Jimmy Patterson (a division of Little, Brown and Company) was Middle School: From Hero To Zero by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, which I believe is the 10th entry in the series. I read the book earlier this year, but I never got around to writing the review for it; so I reread the book a few days ago and thought I would feature it as a "Back to School Reads."

The book centers on Rafe Khatchadorian, a not so-popular middle grader who's only real pal is Leo, an imaginary friend who represents Leonardo, his twin died of meningitis when they were toddlers. This time around he's headed to London with his classmates for a school trip. Well, actually it's a contest where schools from around the country will write a "Living-Learning Report." The school with the best report will win the Grand Prize of ten thousand dollars worth of books and supplies. One student on the winning team will win a thousand dollar cash prize.

What should have been a fun experience, quickly turns into a disaster when Rafe learns that his bully Miller (AKA Miller the Killer) is also coming on the trip. To make matters even worse, Rafe has to share a room with Miller, who makes him sleep in the bathroom! Then their teacher assigns Rafe as the main editor of the "Living-Learning Report." Most students would be happy about the opportunity, but Rafe isn't, as he's afraid he will mess everything up. Plus, his fellow classmates don't exactly see him as leader. They see him more as a world-class loser.

Final Thoughts

Like the other Middle School books, I found this one to be extremely likeable, thanks to a creative plot, fun dialogue, and wonderful illustrations by Laura Park. Rafe, the main character, is easily relatable, so readers should like him, especially those who feel like an outsider. The chapters are really short. I believe there are 58 total. Having short chapters in a children's book doesn't bother me one bit, as it will help kids stay interested in the story and keep them turning the pages.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Middle Grade: From Hero To Zero. Whether you're a kid or an adult, you'll get a kick out of reading about Rafe Khatchadorian!

* Note - I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher.
All opinions are my own.

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