Study Guide

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Choices

By James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Choices

Life is filled with all kinds of choices…and Rafe starts to make bad ones from day one of middle school. Once he decides to start up Operation R.A.F.E., he makes progressively worse decisions until he winds up—surprise, surprise—expelled from school.

Yikes. Not good.

But it's not like Rafe makes all these choices just for the fun of it. He's got a lot of stuff on his plate. A bully who won't leave him alone. A jerky future stepdad he can't stand. A dead brother/imaginary friend who keeps encouraging him to break the rules.

Sure, Rafe occasionally acts like a jerk, but we can also see why he would just want to do something that feels good (like breaking some rules) instead of dealing with everything that makes him title his book Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.

Questions About Choices

  1. Why do you think Rafe makes his big choice in this book—to break the rules?
  2. How do you think the choices Jules is making at home affect the choices Rafe is making at school?
  3. Take a look at how Rafe and Jeanne make choices. How are they different? How are they the same?

Chew on This

Rafe has plenty of warning signs that he is going to be in serious trouble by the end of the book, but he chooses to ignore all of them because he's way too focused on how good rule-breaking makes him feel.

There are several points in the story where Rafe tries to do the right thing, but he's always nudged back into delinquency by either Miller or Bear.

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