James Patterson is the internationally bestselling author of House of Robots and the I Funny, Middle School, Treasure Hunters books, as well as the Confessions, Maximum Ride, Witch & Wizard, Daniel X, and Alex Cross series. His books have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, making him one of the bestselling authors of all time. He lives in Florida.
Chris Tebbetts has collaborated with James Patterson on three books in the Middle School series and is also the author of The Viking, a fantasy-adventure series for young readers. He lives in Vermont.
Cory Thomas is an illustrator and cartoonist based in Atlanta, GA. His syndicated comic strip, Watch Your Head, appears in newspapers across the country.
Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he's Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he's a chess club devotee known as a "Grandma's Boy," a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?
Featuring more than 150 pieces of line art and comic-style sequences, James Patterson's newest illustrated novel is a genuinely funny yet poignant look at middle school in a challenging urban setting, where a kid's life can depend on the everyday decisions he makes.
"It's a chatty, funny, engaging book, one that often addresses the reader directly. It's filled with energetic cartoons... that will appeal to your little rebel, depicting teachers as dungeon-keepers, matadors and flying dragons. Patterson... knows how to structure a plot and builds in some surprising--even touching--twists.... Rafe is the bad boy with a heart of gold."—The New York Times
"The book's... dynamic artwork and message that 'normal is boring' should go a long way toward assuring kids who don't fit the mold that there's a place for them, too."—Publishers Weekly
* "As Patterson artfully weaves a deeper and more thought-provoking tale of childhood coping mechanisms and everyday school and family realities, readers are drawn into a deeper understanding of and compassion for the main characters."—School Library Journal, starred review
"Incredibly detailed and imaginative
illustrations . . . add depth and humor. . . . an enjoyable story that even the
most reluctant readers should enjoy."—Library Media Connection
"A keen appreciation of kids' insecurities
and an even more astute understanding of what might propel boy readers through
a book.... a perfectly pitched novel."
—Los Angeles Times
"Cleverly delves into the events that make
middle school so awkward: cranky bus drivers, tardy slips, bathroom passes and
lots of rules.... Hopefully, this isn't the last we hear from Rafe
—The Associated Press
"There is substance as well as appeal here.... Patterson deftly manages the pace of revelations that take readers deeper into Rafe's fragile trust.... Readers ready for something else in the same vein but more substantive than Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Peirce's Big Nate should be introduced to Rafe."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books