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Former Teacher's Hilarious & Deathly-Honest New Book Captures Dilemmas & Struggles of Youth; Proving That...Well…Middle School Stinks

Masterfully crafted by Steve Henry, ‘Middle School Stinks!’ provides students from fifth to eighth grade with a frank insight into their own tumultuous lives; a literary tonic to prove that they’re not alone in their transitionary world where they don’t seem to fit in. Protagonist Likey Sinclair battles the grey area between friendship and love, helps a new friend find his long-lost father and tries to figure out if there really is a ghost in the town’s gym. Above all, the witty yet thought-provoking narrative is one grown man’s way of telling confused youngsters that everything will be okay…


McKinleyville, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2014 -- As a teacher, Steve Henry was fascinated by the Middle Grade kids he taught. They were drifting between social groups, battling the sheer terror of puberty, grappling with daily fashion crises and generally feeling lost in a world that didn't seem to accept them. Henry had of course been there (many years previously!) and could empathize with their feelings that nobody else understood them; memories so haunting that he put pen to paper to capture that age and provide a message of solace to it victims.

The aptly-titled 'Middle School Stinks!' was born. Fusing hilarity with a very-real commentary on early adolescence and the issues it brings up, the book reaches out to every middle grader with a blueprint for how to treat life as it mistreats them.


A story of Likey Sinclair, his sort of girlfriend, the bully who wants to kill him and, oh yeah, a ghost girl. Likey has more than a few problems and each one is a mystery. His buddy since birth, Giselle, is acting as if she wants to be more than just friends, but Likey is clueless about how to make that happen. Then there's The school bully, Duke, who for some unknown reason would like to pound Likey into the ground. Add into all this a ghost girl who's been trapped in the town's basketball gym for too long, and Eric, the new kid in school. He says he can help, but only if Likey helps him find his long lost dad. And now you know why, at least for Likey...Middle School Stinks!

"Likey is a microcosm of every middle grader," explains Henry. "He faces issues such as family bonds, divorce, war, developing friendships, homophobia and innocent romance. I have witnessed thousands of youngsters still trying to hold onto their innocence while grappling with the worldliness they know they need to develop. Most appeared to be lost for direction during this transitionary phase, which took me back to my own feelings of helplessness and inspired this book."

Continuing, "Every young person will see themselves in Likey and Giselle. The overall message is that they are not alone, that their place in life is just around the corner and it's important to laugh and have fun while finding it. Yes, Middle School stinks big time – but a life of joy and success waits if you pursue it!"

The book's unique premise and message has garnered a string of rave reviews. William Sise comments, "This was a good read! The characters have real problems; they have authentic and nuanced feelings about these difficulties and the plot line logically moves to a satisfying but surprising conclusion. MIDDLE SCHOOL STINKS is an engaging story that will appeal to a good fifth grade reader right on up to eighth grade level."

Ruth C. Fountain adds, "Here it is! "Middle School Stinks" is a humorous, compelling story that young adults (as well as actual adults) will relate to and enjoy. It combines the angst and insecurity, the gross humor, and the sensitivity of young people finding their way with a story line that touches on real issues like bullying, family problems, budding romance, and true friendship. AND it's a mystery!"

P. Raleigh sees wide appeal for the author's work, writing, "As a teacher who has worked with middle school students I found this book delightful. In this novel the author has managed to catch the young teenage voice. The humor, the eccentric characters, and the story line will appeal to middle school students. I have shared this book with other teachers and we agree that Middle School Stinks has a place in the classroom library."

'Middle School Stinks!' is available now: http://amzn.to/1JJcvGY

About Steve Henry
Steve Henry lives in the far reaches of Northern California in the heart of the Redwoods and by the beautiful Pacific Ocean. He loves his wife, kids and, of course, writing silly stories.