Anti-Valentine’s Day and Revenge! A perfect Middle-Grade Combo!


Hello, Mixed-Up Filers and welcome to my February post!

Before I begin, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day for tomorrow. As you know, Valentine’s Day is for being happy and spending time with the one you love. Unless, of course, you’re alone, in which case Valentine’s Day becomes just the absolute worst. But, that’s neither here nor there right now. What is here, is this column. And that’s what this is all about.

For the two of you who regularly read my posts, you know what I’m talking about. You know, that I always have a very difficult time deciding what to write about. But, I’m proud to report, not this time. Nope…this time I knew. This time would be easy. It was a no-brainer. My post was to come out February 13th and Valentine’s Day was February 14th. Could it be spelled out any simpler for me? I would write about books with a Valentine’s Day theme!

Oh, how fantastic it would be! Both my readers would be excited and feel all the emotion that only books associated with a holiday of love could bring. And that’s where my mistake was, in assuming anything could be that easy. And you know what happens when you assume things? Well, I can’t tell you the answer to that, it is a site for Middle Graders after all, but needless to say, it isn’t good.

Because in life, sometimes things happen and all of our best laid plans don’t always go as they should and this was one of those times. You see, earlier this week as I did my daily perusal of our wonderful, Mixed-Up Files site, I saw that my esteemed colleague, Michele Weber Hurwitz, did her post on Valentine’s Day books. I guess I really need to start attending the Mixed-Up Files meetings. So, instead of my meticulously researched list of Valentine’s Day books, I was left scrambling. I was panicky, deflated and bitter. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wasn’t alone. On Valentine’s Day, if you’re not happy and gooey in love, you were bitter.

wilted roses

And bitterness can either lead to depression, or to feelings of revenge. I’m not into letting depression take over, so here, in honor of Valentine’s Day, are my top Middle-Grade books about revenge!


In no particular order, here they are:


 Hook’s Revenge

by Heidi Shulz- This is a fun book about the daughter of Captain Hook, who must avenge him by defeating the Neverland Crocodile. Along the way, he must deal with leading inept pirates, avoiding cannibals,   the lost boys and that pesky Peter Pan.

Revenge of the Flower Girls by Jennifer Ziegler-

revenge flower girls

This book is about The Brewster triplets — Dawn, Darby, and Delaney, who prefer the guy their older sister used to date instead of the one she is set to marry. So, they take it upon themselves to stop the wedding and restore things to how they’re “supposed to be”.

Revenge of the Bully (How to Beat the Bully) by Scott Starkey-

revenge of the bully

This is the third in the How to Beat the Bully series, and it finds the main character, Rodney, on the football team, having to deal with kids twice his size as well as contend with the team bully. It is a fast-paced and funny book.

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale-


This is a graphic novel with a twist on the fairy tale, by placing Rapunzel in the wild west and teaming her up with Jack from beanstalk fame and having them try to defeat the wicked witch who posed as her mother. It is a fun book with funny dialogue.

The Loser List #2: Revenge of the Loser by H.N. Kowitt-

revenge of the loser

This is a notebook style novel, with pictures and charts, and features Danny Shine who has gotten his name off the Loser List in the girls’ bathroom, but he’s still got problems — like the new kid, Ty Randall. Ty seems perfect: handsome, serious, committed to worthy causes — everything Danny’s not. Danny has to deal with jealousy and undoing damage he’s done.

That’s it for now. As for Michele Weber Hurwitz, revenge will be mine! And by that, I of course mean, that I’ll do absolutely nothing and sit and sulk for the next half-hour and forget all about it until I can’t remember the reason why I wrote this to begin with.

And, as for the rest of you,  I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day, but for those of you with no interest in it, why not go the other route and check out one of these books about revenge and payback, because after all, isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?

no val 2

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Jonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time chauffeuring around his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into, in particular the Choose Your Own Adventure Series, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Jonathan is proud to be of Mexican-American descent, although neither country has been really willing to accept responsibility. He is the author of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, which is out now, and its sequel, From Sunset Till Sunrise. He is the co-host of the YouTube channels, Pop Culture Retro, Comics and Pop. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, FromtheMixedUpFiles.Com,, and his own website,
  1. This really made me laugh, although I am a hopeless romantic. Middle school was a whole nother thing though, so I get what your saying. There are defiantly those time where I would have loved some revenge.

    • Thanks, Brenda!
      There were definitely some kids in middle school who I would’ve loved to get revenge on. Fortunately, I can now by writing them into stories! 🙂

  2. Very funny post. I think all of us dream of revenge sometimes, even the younger set. Thanks for this list of books. I think I’ll check some of the out. And thanks for the laughs.

    • Glad you enjoyed, Rosi! 🙂
      There are some fun books on this list. Check them out!

  3. This post made me laugh. I would’ve loved checking out these books because at the time I was the shy (little chubby) new kid, the outcast, and though not bitter, I was picked on mostly by boys so Valentines didn’t come with the same appreciation from them. It felt more obligatory. I’m married now so it doesn’t matter, but anyways, to the revenge of the middle grade Anti-Valentiners!

    • Amber, as I like to tell my daughters now, boys are jerks! 🙂
      I have a very different speech for my son though. Here’s hoping they never compare notes!

  4. Ah, but remember– middle grade students aren’t old and bitter like we are! Do you remember your middle school crush? How long did you remain on that one crush before you gave up? MG readers tend to be more hopeful. They are awesome, of course (even if their hair is doing that weird thing today and they’ve got a huge zit on their nose), so EVENTUALLY their crushes will like them. But as a bitter old person, I appreciated the post!

    • Thanks! Though, I’ve taught middle-schoolers and they also feel like every little thing is the worst thing in the world. A lot of fun to deal with at times. 🙂