Study Guide

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Chapters 21 - 25

By James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Chapters 21 - 25

Chapter 21

More Bad News

  • But before Rafe can get to detention, Leo catches up with him.
  • Leo calls him out on that encounter with Miller. Seems Rafe missed a chance to break a rule about fighting on school property.
  • That means he lost one of his lives.
  • Rafe knows Leo is right, but he's really not looking forward to getting pounded on by the school bully either.
  • Can't say we blame him.

Chapter 22

And to Top It Off…

  • Inside the detention room, Rafe finds it's just him and Mrs. Donatello. Seems she wants to talk. Oh, no.
  • Rafe imagines Mrs. Donatello as a huge fire-breathing dragon. He turns into a knight and manages to fight her off with his sword until the bell finally rings and detention is over.
  • When Rafe's little daydream is over, he asks if he can go so he can catch his bus.
  • Clearly he hasn't been listening to anything Mrs. Donatello has been saying. She really thinks he has a lot of potential and he's wasting it.
  • How long can Rafe hold off this Dragon Lady?

Chapter 23

What's the Point, Anyway?

  • That night, in his room, Rafe's wondering what's the point of breaking all these rules.
  • Leo tells him that once he's earned enough points he can go base-jumping at the Grand Canyon. And white-water rafting in Colorado. Maybe even take Bear and then conveniently leave him in the woods. And invite Jeanne Galletta along, too.
  • That all sounds pretty good…if a little bit out of reach.
  • Just then, Rafe hears Mom outside his door—she needs to talk to him. Right now.
  • Leo disappears and Rafe throws his Operation R.A.F.E. notebook in his drawer. This does not sound good.

Chapter 24

I'll Take the Dragon Lady Over the Bear Any Day

  • Yup. It's not good.
  • Mom knows all about detention. And the erased message on the answering machine.
  • Mom wants to hear Rafe's side of the story, but Bear is pretty ticked. He's yelling at Rafe that he's grounded for a week.
  • Rafe tells his mom what's he's done. It doesn't make him look very good because, truthfully, he has been breaking tons of rules and getting detention.
  • Mom asks if this has anything to do with Leo, and Bear explodes.
  • He says he doesn't want to hear anything about Leo ever again and he calls Rafe a freak.
  • Mom's more sympathetic, but she still grounds Rafe for a week.
  • Back in the room, Leo has plans to get back at Bear.
  • Rafe's really annoyed. He doesn't care that he's grounded. It's not like he has tons of friends.
  • He only has one friend. And that friend doesn't even exist.
  • Yup, that's right. Leo isn't real. Guess we should have seen that one coming.

Chapter 25

Time Out…

  • Okay, so Rafe knows it's time to take a little break and address the elephant in the room. Mainly the fact that he didn't see fit to tell you, the reader, that Leo wasn't real.
  • Look, it wasn't that he was trying to keep stuff from you. And, yes, he knows it's weird he's in the sixth grade and has an imaginary friend.
  • But Leo's kind of like an inner voice who's on his side and helps him figure stuff out. That's not so weird, is it?
  • Plus, he's told you lots of things. More than he's ever told anyone else. He's told you about Operation R.A.F.E. and his horrible future stepfather and his crush on Jeanne Galletta. He's really opened up a ton.
  • You know all this stuff about him and he doesn't even know anything about you. Are you still even reading? Can he really trust you? Are you a good person?
  • Okay, maybe that's not a fair question. After all Rafe's not totally sure he's a good person. He has done some pretty questionable things so far.
  • If you think he's okay, you may want to stick around. But if you think he's a pretty awful guy, then you might want to just put this book down (Shmoop side note: we'd keep reading if we were you).
  • Anyway, here's the rest of the story. Hope you're ready for it.

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