After we learn what a nightmare sixth grade is for Rafe, we get to see that his home life is…also a nightmare. Maybe he should have called this book Bear: The Worst Years of My Life instead of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.
Even though his mom and sister seem pretty great, his stepdad-to-be is anything but. Bear's a loud, lazy, jerk who likes to hog the remote and thinks Jules isn't "hard enough" on her kids. He won't be winning that Stepfather of the Year award anytime soon.
Rafe's family life makes you really feel for what he's going through at school. It's pretty hard to just head off to class every day and be a normal kid when you've got to come home to this mess. Thank goodness family unity wins in the end.
Questions About Family
How would you describe Rafe's relationship with his mom? How about his little sister?
Jules must see something in Bear, right? Do you think he has any redeeming qualities?
Do you think Bear was the main reason that there was so much tension in the Khatchadorian home? Or could other stuff have been going on, too?
Chew on This
Leo may have died when he was only three years old, but he will always be a member of the Khatchadorian family, even if Rafe doesn't keep him "alive" via imaginary friend status.
Even though Jules was willing to put up with some emotional and verbal abuse from Bear, she finally draws the line at the first sign of physical abuse. Thank goodness.