By James Patterson
Illustrated by Cory Thomas
Little Brown and Company, 2015. Fiction, 273 p
Kenny is smart and a good student, but he seems to have a "pick on me" sign on his back. He is a walking target and the brunt of every middle school bully's prank. Then one day he snaps and gets into a fight with one of the tough kids, Ray-Ray. As a punishment the new principal assigns Kenny to teach Ray-Ray chess. As they meet to practice every day after school, Ray-Ray volunteers to teach Kenny how to be a tough guy, too. But what will Kenny have to give up to end the constant bullying and become part of the rough crowd? Patterson intermingles the familiar middle school story with comic book type illustrations of Kenny's imaginary alter-ego, the superhero Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel's battle with his evil clone mirrors Kenny's internal battle as he decides between right and wrong. This is a great new, highly illustrated, novel for kids who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or NERDS.