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The Worst Years of My Life
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About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Reviews

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
A #1 Indiebound BestsellerA 2010 Oregon Children's Choice Award WinnerA 2012 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers
A 2013 Hawaii's Children's Choice Award WinnerA 2013 ALSC Summer Reading List BookA 2014 Oregon Reader's Choice Award NomineeA 2014 ALSC Summer Reading List Book
"A keen appreciation of kids' insecurities and an even more astute understanding of what might propel boy readers through a book.... a perfectly pitched novel."--Los Angeles Times
* "Patterson artfully weaves a deeper and... thought-provoking tale of childhood coping mechanisms and everyday school and family realities.... Hand this book to misbehaving, socially awkward, or disengaged boys and girls.... It might help them believe that there is a place for them in the world, no matter how dire times may seem in the present."--School Library Journal, starred review
"Cleverly delves into the events that make middle school so awkward: cranky bus drivers, tardy slips, bathroom passes and lots of rules.... Hopefully, this isn't the last we hear from Rafe Khatchadorian."--The Associated Press
"It's a chatty, funny, engaging book, one that often addresses the reader directly. It's filled with energetic cartoons... that will appeal to your little rebel, depicting teachers as dungeon-keepers, matadors and flying dragons. Patterson... knows how to structure a plot and builds in some surprising--even touching--twists.... Rafe is the bad boy with a heart of gold."--The New York Times
"The book's . . . 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." --Publishers Weekly
Incredibly detailed and imaginative illustrations . . . add depth and humor. . . . an enjoyable story that even the most reluctant readers should enjoy."
--Library Media Connection
"There is substance as well as appeal here.... Patterson deftly manages the pace of revelations that take readers deeper into Rafe's fragile trust.... Readers ready for something else in the same vein but more substantive than Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Peirce's Big Nate should be introduced to Rafe."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Gr 5-7-As Rafe sits in an assembly on the first day of middle school, he has a brilliant idea. He will try to break every rule in the school handbook, such as chewing gum, running in the hallways, etc. With the help of his friend Leo, he comes up with a computer-game-like point system to reward himself for successful rule-breaking efforts. Although Rafe's antics are humorous, listeners sense that his plan is a desperate attempt to deal with countervailing forces in his life: a harsh step father, academic challenges, and loneliness. Bryan Kennedy does a great job of capturing Rafe's preteen vocal cadence and expression. There is an energy and youthful enthusiasm to his performance that will appeal to listeners. The print version of the book by James Patterson (Little, Brown, 2011) is illustrated with the main character's "own" drawings which play a central role in the story. One CD contains PDF copies of those illustrations. The text of the book is altered a little to prompt listeners to open the illustrations from the CD. It's probably simpler to listen to the recording with the print version of the book in hand. This book will appeal those who enjoyed The Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Amulet Books, 2007) several years ago, but are ready for a bit more mature story line.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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