Wednesday, January 27, 2021

[Review] - Middle School: Field Trip Fiasco by James Patterson & Martin Chatterton

New in bookstores this week from Jimmy Patterson Books (Little, Brown, and Company) is Middle School: Field Trip Fiasco by James Patterson and Martin Chatterton. It's the 13th installment in Mr. Patterson's popular Middle School series for middle graders.

The Middle School series centers on Rafe Khatchadorian, a kid with a wild imagination. In this installment, the Advancement of Writers and Contemporary American Artists (IAWCAA) has picked Rafe to attend an educational art trip with other students from around the country. It's a week-long "Camp Culture" in California, and at the end of this event is an art exhibit. Sounds exciting, right?

Shortly after arriving at the camp, Rafe bumps into his friend (and crush) Ellie Watts, whom he had met in Middle School: Escape to Australia. To make a long story short, the duo ends up looking for the missing Brilliant Bluebird Diamond, which gets them into all sorts of trouble. 

Final Thoughts

The Middle School books have always been well-written with funny illustrations, but that's not the case with Middle School: Field Trip Fiasco. The narration feels a bit off compared to the previous installments, and this more or less has to do with the new co-author, Martin Chatterton, and illustrator, Anthony Lewis. The writing isn't up to par with the rest of the series. 


The art camp plot isn't necessarily a bad idea, but the story falls apart midway. The missing diamond subplot would be better suited for Mr. Patterson's Treasure Hunters book series. The illustrations in this book are generic at best. They don't have the same comedic look to them as were featured in the other Middle School books. 


Overall, Middle School: Field Trip Fiasco is the worst book in the series. The writing feels rushed, and the illustrations are a yawn. Let's hope this isn't going to be a new trend for the series.

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