Ben had hoped fifth grade would be the year his life turned around. Maybe he’d even make a friend. Unfortunately, Rocko, the boy who “accidentally” knocked him down broke his clavicle is in his class and seems to turn up wherever Ben is and ruin everything. Plus Ben’s sister is still annoying, his mom won’t let him eat sugar, and a goth teenager tries to turn his room into a graveyard. It seems like fifth grade will be another miserable year for his useless self. Unless maybe his new teacher, Ms. Washington, can change things.
This story of a boy’s struggle to develop a sense of self worth may appeal to readers of books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Origami Yoda series, and the James Patterson “Middle School” books. Like those popular series, My Miserable Life is humorous, with illustrations in the margins. I would recommend it to middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction.