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Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill

Last updated Monday, July 3, 2017

Author: James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
Illustrator: Laura Park
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0316231754
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2017

Synopsis: Rafe Khatchadorian, the hero of the bestselling Middle School series, is ready for a fun summer at camp -- until he finds out it's a summer school camp! Luckily, Rafe easily makes friends with his troublemaking cabin mates and bunkmate, a boy nicknamed Booger-Eater, who puts up with endless teasing from the other kids. Rafe soon realizes there's more to a person than a nickname, though, and Booger-Eater might be the kind of friend you want on your side when the boys from the Cool Cabin attack.

This fourth book in the massively popular Middle School series is an unforgettable summer of hi-jinks, new friends, and surprises, all told with the hilarity and honesty readers have come to expect from blockbuster author James Patterson.

Note to readers:
•  The kids have probably encountered our hero, Rafe Khatchadorian, before in other "Middle School" novels. This story talks about going away to camp, how different kinds of people can empathize with each other and become friends and bullying and what to do about it.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  The dust cover has a good picture on the front and good questions on the back and inside cover to review.
•  Have you ever attended summer camp or summer school? What fun things do you get to do there?
•  What do you like to do during the summer months?


•  bully - the aggressor who deliberately harasses their target -- the person who's being bullied.
•  bystanders - the kids who are aware that something cruel is going on but stay on the sidelines (either out of indifference or because they're afraid of being socially isolated or becoming a target themselves).
•  upstanders - kids who actively try to break the cycle, whether by sticking up for the target, addressing the bully directly, or notifying the appropriate authorities about what's going on.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Rafe's problems seem to go with him wherever he goes. What problems does Rafe have at Camp Wannamorra that he also had at both of the schools he attended?
•  What connection does Rafe make with Norman, the Booger Eater? How does Rafe's first impression of Norman change? What does Rafe learn about himself as a result of his relationship with Norman?
•  Why does Sherwood refuse to address the bullying issues, calling it "all in fun" and razzing, instead of mean and cruel? How does Sherwood's refusal to deal with the problem backfire and cause more problems? How is Sherwood's behavior bullying?
•  What is bullying? What can you do if you see someone bullying someone else?
•  What is "telling" versus "tattling"?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw your own picture of a place in the book. Examples: Muskrat Hut, the lake, Bobcat Alley, the chow pit, and Snake Hill
•  Pick the Worst Event at Camp Wannamorra and draw a picture of it.
•  Draw a picture of fun things you want to do this summer. (go to the beach, the park, the zoo ....)
•  Check our craft ideas for July on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!