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West Creek Middle School Books In Order

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Publication Order of West Creek Middle School Books

Losers, Inc. (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
You're a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lizzie At Last (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alex RyanStop That! (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Makeovers by Marcia (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

West Creek Middle School is a series of novels written by Claudia Mills. The books are written with young readers in mind and they attempt to explore and understand the psychology of children as they maneuver the challenges of their lives.

+The Story

The West Creek Middle School series tells the story of a group of misfits who undertake journeys that help them understand their place in life and the roles they are supposed to play as they progress through middle school.

Calling the kids misfits might be a bit of an exaggeration. The protagonists of the West Creek Middle Schools series feel like they do not fit in. This is not always the truth of the matter. However, Claudia Mills’ novels are more interested in exploring how the kids view themselves than looking at the actual facts on the ground.

Leading the charge in the West Creek Books is Ethan Winfield. Along with his friend Julius, Ethan is a part of a two-man club called Losers Inc. Ethan was never that smart, or so he thinks. The shadow his older brother Peter cast was always too large to overcome. And after concluding that he would never be as good as Peter, Ethan simply stops trying.

People think he’s a loser so he decides to accept that label. Not only does he stop attempting to meet the expectations of his teachers and parents, Ethan begins taking pride in his existence as a loser who will never amount to anything.

With his friend Julius, Ethan finds that things are better when one accepts their lot in life. Though he initially seems rather determined to embrace the good-for-nothing lifestyle, Ethan’s mindset is challenged when a student teacher joins their school.

Grace Gunderson is as beautiful as she is intelligent, and both Julius and Ethan fall for her. However, only Ethan is willing to do what it takes to impress her. He begins perking up in class, doing his assignments on time and even coming to the aid of Lizzie who is being bullied, all in an attempt to make Grace notice him.

Julius is none too pleased by the development. Ethan might have talked big but he is definitely no loser. As their friendship begins to struggle, the Losers Inc. club inevitably shuts down.

Julius seems set to walk the path of a loser on his own, still proud of the role he fulfills in life. However, circumstances emerge that challenge Julius Zimmerman’s opinion of himself. He might be happy to live life as a loser but his mother isn’t.

She uses his summer vacation to rehabilitate him, not only enrolling him in extra classes but also charging him with babysitting a little boy. Caring for the child slowly but surely begins to change Julius’ mindset, this while he struggles to potty train the little boy. And before long, Julius begins to question whether or not he is truly a loser.

Lizzie Archer isn’t exactly in the same boat as Ethan and Julius. She crosses paths with the Losers club when Ethan tries to protect her from a bully in an attempt to impress his teacher. The act is misunderstood as a sign of Ethan’s love for Lizzie.

Ethan denies the claims. He only has eyes for Grace Gunderson. That doesn’t stop Lizzie from developing a crush on Ethan. Her attempts to get his attention and to eventually evolve to become one of the cool kids drive her to abandon her nerdy ways.

Not only does she give up on her poetry but she also changes her attire and even intentionally performs poorly in school all so she can find acceptance. It takes inspiration from Emily Dickinson for Lizzie to appreciate the importance of individuality in the face of external opinions.

Alex is initially unconnected to the Losers’ Inc. club, though he would fit right in. upon introduction, Alex is revealed to be the class clown. He has spent his school life making a fool of his person. The only time his antics work against him is when he is in the presence of Marcia, the girl he has a crush on and around whom he is always making a fool of himself.

As he struggles to make Marcia like him, Alex begins to learn what it means to be mature and courageous.

With Marcia, her image issues begin to challenge her understanding of her own self-worth. Having spent so much of her school life as the pretty girl, Marcia learns just how fleeting popularity can be when she gains weight.

A stint at a local nursing home begins to change her perspective on life.

The West Creek Middle School Series is written with a younger audience in mind, and most parents will find that their 10 to 13-year-olds appreciate Claudia Mills’ work. The books take a very stark and realistic look at life in middle school.

Claudia explores the issues that plague young minds as they struggle to define themselves in the face of peer pressure and their own desire to be loved and adored. The books show that life as a middle schooler can be harsh and unkind. The books also show that trying hard doesn’t always deliver expected results but that there is still merit in doing one’s best and failing honorably.

The West Creek Middle School Series is pretty short but it has the ability to impact the lives of the young boys and girls who choose to read it.

+Losers Inc.

Ethan Winfield thought he was a loser. He even started a club with his best friend Julius that celebrated the good-for-nothing lives they were both living. Then a new student teacher came to school and changed everything for Ethan.

Suddenly he was willing to do everything in his power to impress her, even if it meant changing his entire loser persona.

+You’re a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman

Julius wasn’t happy when the Losers Inc. club was disbanded. But his best friend abandoned their shared ideals as losers so there was no helping it. Julius thinks he can continue pursuing the Losers Inc. creed on his own.

He is certain that he is the loser everyone sees him as, so he continues to act like it. His mother isn’t so convinced and quickly sets in motion a plan to use Julius’ summer vacation to prove to him that he might not be the loser he thinks.

Book Series In Order » Characters » West Creek Middle School

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