A troubled, creative kid by the name of Rafe Khatchadorian blesses me with the stories of his eccentric seventh grade year, the pros and cons of his life, and his amazing stories and discoveries. Rafe is moved from his rural Hills Village to the foggy, thick-aired city where he is accepted into the Cathedral of Arts. “Oh! Good for him,” you think – wrong. There he is challenged with deciphering friend from foe and discovering who he genuinely is.
Rafe is so extraordinary and unpredictable, but yet he is the most relatable and realistic person you could ever imagine. If you are a child in his position you will be so enlightened, empowered, and simply ecstatic to find out how Rafe deals with problems of infinite variety. Patterson made me think. He made me think about how this would be if I were in Rafe’s perspective. Also, it makes me want to imagine how his mother, sister, and grandmother are coping with their difficulties.
The humor was something to contemplate about. Although it had the basic humor weaved into the words, there was something about it that made me want to stop and read the page over again. Some, if not most, of the material gave me instant giggle or snicker. But always I would think to myself, to be a book that suggested to be young adult, the humor was juvenile. I’m not exactly searching for some kind of explicit, devastating humor but I want to feel like a young adult. Not a fourth grader.
I will never forget Rafe. His personality and his struggles are something to remember. I can’t put it any more simple and sweet than that.
– Reviewed by Iyaana, grade 7, Fairfield Library