The Secrets to Ruling School (Without Even Trying)

It’s the first week of middle school, i.e., the Worst Place in the Entire World. How do you survive in a place where there are tough kids twice your size, sadistic teachers, and restrictions that make jail look like a five-star resort? Easy: with the help of Max Corrigan, middle school “expert” and life coach. Let Max teach you how to win over not just one, but all of the groups in school, from the Preps to the Band Geeks. Along the way, Max offers surefire advice and revealing tips on how to get through universal middle school experiences like gym class, detention, faking sick, dealing with jocks and bullies, and acing exams (without getting caught cheating).

In an innovative format that is part narrative and part how-to, acclaimed illustrator Neil Swaab has created a hilarious new reading experience that is reminiscent of video games and sure to engage even the most reluctant reader.

* Selected for the ILA-CBC Children’s Choices 2016 Reading List

  • Max’s proposed campaign and Swaab’s oblique storytelling style are equally engaging.

    —Kirkus Reviews
  • This [book] is for kids to pass around gleefully. Kids who, in Swaab’s/Corrigan’s words, “just want to make their horrible lives a little better.”

    —Vice.com
  • …sure to hit the mark with middle schoolers in the trenches.

    —Publishers Weekly
  • Swaab pulls off the tone of a seventh-grader: snarky, antiauthoritarian, and preoccupied with both the social pecking order and bathroom humor. There is not one bit of advice Max gives that adults would concur with—and therefore, kids ought to love it.

    —Booklist
  • Exceedingly humorous, and gives you the tricks of the trade to deal with all the different factions in school, from the cool jocks to the smartest kids in class.

    —Newsday
  • The slick narrative-cartoon combo may hook even the most school-averse readers.

    —Horn Book Review

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Series: Secrets to Ruling School
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books (September 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1419712217
ISBN-13: 978-1419712210
Book website: HelpMeMaxCorrigan.com

Foreign editions: