Study Guide

Miller "the Killer" in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

By James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Miller "the Killer"

Right off the bat, Rafe knows that Miller is going to be bad news. You don't get a nickname like "Miller the Killer" because you like to cuddle fluffy bunnies in your spare time. You get it because you like to pick on kids in homeroom during the first five minutes of sixth grade.

Miller's pretty much a jerk through and through. He picks on Rafe in homeroom. He picks on Rafe in the hallways. He picks on Rafe by his locker. Oh, and he picks fights with Rafe, too. But the coup de grâce is when he steals Rafe's notebook:

Miller already had it open to the first page. "Operation R.A.F.E.?" he said. "What are you? Six years old?"

"I told you, it's nothing," I said. I reached, but he pulled away.

"If it's nothing, why do you look like you're going to wet your pants?" Miller said. I couldn't believe this was happening […]

Miller was flipping through the pages, looking at everything I'd written, and smiling like he'd just found a box of money. (35.17-19, 21)

Miller's trump card is that he's physically stronger than Rafe, so he can hold onto the notebook and there's not much Rafe can do about it except give in to his demands for money.

Of course, Rafe is way smarter than Miller, so he does get a little revenge here and there. He's able to earn money to buy the notebook pages back slowly but surely. And it's pretty great when Rafe puts up all those "Miller the Killer Chicken" posters around school.

But at the end of the book, Miller has the last laugh, in a way. He drops off a whole envelope filled with photocopied drawings from the Operation R.A.F.E. notebook at Rafe's house. This causes a fight between Bear and Jules, and then the police are called, so it's pretty serious. Then, the next day, Miller is gloating about it:

Miller was leaning against the trophy case, watching when I came in. He had that same stupid smile on his face as always, like a giant baby who just made a good poop in his diaper.

"Hey, Khatchadorian!" he yelled over. "You get my package?" (71.3-4)

Yup. If you were expecting Miller to learn something or grow as a person, you'd be pretty disappointed. He's the same guy as he was at the beginning—a gloating, dumb bully. We never even find out anything about him. What's his family like? Who are his friends? Why does he do the things he does? And why is he so obsessed with taking Rafe Khatchadorian down a peg?

Oh, Miller, we hardly knew ye…but of course, maybe that's a good thing.

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