Study Guide

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Identity

By James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Identity

Who am I, and who aren't I? With all due respect to Hamletthat is the question.

It's one Rafe struggles with throughout Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. Who is he exactly? Is he just some normal sixth grader who likes to draw and does okay in school? Or is he Rafe Khatchadorian, tragic hero and epic rule-breaker?

In the end, Rafe finds a middle ground. He's happy being an artistic kid with a family he loves and finds he doesn't have to break rules all the time to feel good about himself.

Questions About Identity

  1. Rafe keeps wondering if he's a good person. Do you think he is? What makes a "good person" anyway?
  2. Why does Rafe feel so amazing when he's breaking the rules? How does that compare to how he feels when he's just boring old Rafe?
  3. Do you think Jules and Leo are right—is normal kind of boring?

Chew on This

Rafe struggles with friendships because he's experienced some tough losses in his life. Why make a new friend if you could just end up losing them?

Sure, he has a crush on her because she's cute, but Rafe also admires Jeanne Galletta for being a good person. That's why it's such a blow when she rejects him. Tough luck, Rafe.

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