Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans will love Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life. Comic illustrations add greatly to this engaging story that not only entertains, but teaches some valuable lessons as well. Rafe gets in considerable trouble in all areas of his life--with his mother, authorities at school, and even with the police. He begins the story talking to his friend and bad influence, Leo, and over time, the reader learns that Leo is an imaginary friend that does not exist. Near the end of the story it is discovered that Rafe had a twin brother, Leo, who died when they were three, which does much to explain the imaginary Leo. Rafe deals with bullying, blackmail, academic struggles, terrible grades, and his mother's loser of a fiancee who ultimately is abusive. Rafe's mother does the right thing in the end by making her fiancee move out and ending their engagement, sitting down with the school authorities when Rafe is expelled, and by being open to alternative education. An extremely supportive teacher suggests that Rafe attend a local artist school for nontraditional learners, which is an excellent solution for him. Language is mild (cr-ppy, b-tt face) and some fist fighting takes place. This is an excellent choice for reluctant readers.