Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review: Middle School - Save Rafe! by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Publisher: Arrow
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: October 9th, 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Amazon summary:

After a rough summer, Rafe is heading back to the dreaded Hills Village Middle School, the site of the very worst years of his life. And as if that's not bad enough, Rafe's learned that he's going to be held back a year unless he can prove himself on an outdoor survival excursion – complete with dangerous white-water rafting, dizzying rock climbing and military style counsellors. Rafe and the rest of the pack of 'delinquent' trainees are forced to cooperate as they prepare for the final test: a solo excursion in the deep woods. Can Rafe come out of the experience in one piece? And if he does, will anyone recognise him as the kid they once knew? 


Save Rafe! is the sixth book in the Middle School series written by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts. It continues chronicling the life of middle school student Rafe Khatchadorian and his unfortunate brushes with trouble.

In Save Rafe!, Rafe is spending a week in the wilderness in order to be accepted back into Hills Village Middle School, which is now under new management. His week away is supposed to teach him to survive, be disciplined and respectful of his elders which, as you can expect, isn't all that the survival course brings with it!

I really enjoy this Middle School series and can see why it's been such a hit with its target age. Rafe is a fun character with very realistic qualities and a hatred of school, and his family are just as likeable as him. Rafe tells it like it is, and even though he has trouble at school he tries his best and writes books to help others through the trauma. He's also funny and quick-witted, especially when faced with new situations like a survival week!

Laura Park has fully illustrated this book, and it compliments the writing perfectly. The pictures all have a middle school feel to them and it's easy to believe that Rafe's included comics are really drawn by him. Above all, the illustrations are comical and well placed, making Save Rafe! a fun read all round.

The Middle School series is one of those series I almost overlooked, but I'm glad I didn't. Save Rafe! ended up being a lot better than I thought it would be, and now I really must go back and read the first four novels in the series. I'm sure Rafe's previous stories are hilarious to read, and no doubt his next mischievous adventure will be just as enjoyable to dig into.

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