Study Guide

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Plot Analysis

By James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Plot Analysis

Exposition

Maximum Security Middle School

Rafe's a twelve-year-old kid attending a little prison known as Hills Village Middle School.

No matter how hard Rafe tries to stay out of trouble, it just manages to find him anyway. This time, it's in the form of a bully named Miller. Plus, he's only got one friend—Leo—and he's imaginary.

It's not a great start to the school year.

Rising Action

Breaking the Law

One day, Rafe has a really big idea—why not set out on a mission to break every single one of the rules in his school's Code of Conduct?

Rafe spends the entire school year breaking more and more rules and getting more and more confident. It also causes some problems with his grades and some friction at home with his mom and terrible stepdad-to-be, Bear.

Climax

Vandalism 101

Rafe finally gets caught vandalizing one of the walls outside the school, and this is pretty much the last straw for him. That night, Mom and Bear get into a fight and Mom gets hurt.

The good news is, she finally kicks Bear to the curb.

Falling Action

E is for Expulsion

Bad news is, Rafe ends up in a fight with Miller…and he also gets expelled from school for all the rule breaking…and fighting…and vandalism.

Resolution: An Artist at Heart

Luckily, Rafe's English teacher, Mrs. Donatello, steps in and recommends that Rafe attend a special art school next year. It seems she's noticed how much he loves drawing and thinks a new environment might do him good.

Rafe ends the year still expelled, but he's excited for the chance to start fresh at a new school in seventh grade.

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