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Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar: Surviving Middle School

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Book #2 in the Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar Time Travel Series

Fresh off achieving middle school greatness, 11-year-old Roger Tarkington sets his sights on something bigger than himself. He plans to use his magic calendar to help the powerless at Jefferson Middle School and turn the tables on the school’s powerful bullies.

Just call Roger a modern-day Robin Hood!

But Roger’s very first attempt could be his last, as he uncovers a secret at the school so big that even his magic calendar may not be able to fix things!

Is Roger’s plan to right the wrongs at Jefferson Middle School foolproof or foolhardy? Are some middle school wrongs impossible to be righted?

Find out in the second book in the popular Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar middle grade time travel series, coming out in 2021!

Kindle Edition

Published February 1, 2021

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About the author

I.M. Maynard

4 books4 followers
I.M. Maynard is a survivor…middle school survivor, that is, having successfully navigated the landmines and pots of gold that occur daily during the middle grades.

Middle school was also the period in I.M. Maynard’s life when he was severely bitten by the writing bug, a devastating condition that has consumed enormous time and energy, ultimately leading to his writing of Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar: Quest for Middle School Greatness, the first in his middle grade time travel series.

When he isn't writing, I.M. Maynard enjoys reading. His favorite contemporary middle grade novelists include:

Louis Sachar (Holes),

Stuart Gibbs (Spy School),

Carl Hiaasen (Chomp),

Jerry Spinelli (Wringer),

Jack Gantos (What Would Joey Do?),

R.J. Palacio (Wonder), and

Chris Rylander (The Fourth Stall).

Born and educated in the Midwest, I.M. Maynard now resides on the East Coast, home to thousands of middle schools (and likely equal numbers of middle school bullies).


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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Bonnie DeMoss.
788 reviews90 followers
March 1, 2021
Roger Tarkington is bullied at school, and miserable until he finds a way to change it. He has discovered a magic calendar and is able to relive his embarrassing moments and make changes. But is it worth it?

This is a fun and educational book that middle schoolers will enjoy, but with parental supervision due to the bullying and other sensitive situations. The characters are interesting and the time travel premise is clever.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,701 reviews81 followers
March 11, 2021
This is an interesting take on time travel, as it is a bit of that, and a bit of Ground Hog Day, because Roger, who has a magic calendar that can allow him to travel to whatever day he points to, keeps going back to the same day to fix the thing that he messed up the first time he was in it.

And apparently, when he time travels, his current self remains in place, and goes through the days, and lets him know what he missed in the non-time travel, by leaving a voice message on his phone, which he sometimes listens to, and sometimes doesn’t which allows him to get into even more trouble.

The plot of this adventure, since it is written as though there will be another book after this, is that Roger thinks that a friend of his is being bullied into writing essays for the football team. The mystery is actually who is setting this up to happen. Roger thinks he knows who is behind it, and acts accordingly, each time he goes back to the particular day he noticed it, but keeps not listening to his recordings, and keeps jumping to conclusions.

It is an enjoyable book, but I was disappointed with the ending, although I suppose that is the way the author wanted us to know there was another book to come. Good mystery, though.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for LitPick Book Reviews.
669 reviews22 followers
January 21, 2021
Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar by I.M. Maynard is an entertaining look at daily life for students at Jefferson Middle School. Roger, a new 6th grader, is excited on the first day of school. He’s on a special mission to make his name great, and he thinks Kyle the Vile Brossman, who bullied him incessantly in elementary school, was redistricted to the brand-new Franklin Middle School. Imagine Roger’s surprise when he realizes Kyle moved over the summer. Not only do they have to go to the same school again, but Kyle doesn’t waste any time getting back to bullying Roger.

The confrontations aren’t working out in Roger’s favor until he discovers he has a magic calendar at home. When he touches a date on it, he can travel through time to that day, so he can try to improve the outcome of the circumstances. While he’s figuring out how this mystery works, he realizes altering a situation can help people but inadvertently hurt them too.

All in all, the book is a diary full of pranks and the normal ways middle school kids gang up on each other, hold grudges, betray, and moments later befriend one another. Every chapter’s title comes from a list of Roger’s 65 greatness tips that appear at the end of the book. The tips are good advice for how people should act. Through all of the story’s twists and turns, readers see there are many ways to be great, situations sometimes aren’t what they appear to be, and truth should always win out over holding a grudge and getting even.

Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar captures what middle school is all about! The ability to travel through time for the chance to turn embarrassing situations around is a fun way to add suspense to the story. The chapters read like entries in a diary, so the book is fast paced. Basically, it’s about the outrageous ways teens react to situations, how they treat each other, and their interests. I liked how the chapter titles hinted at what comes up next in the story and the clever way each one named a tip on Roger’s 65 tips for middle school greatness list. I think the book is best for 8-12-year-olds who think they are ready for middle school but still have a little while to wait before they can go. The characters are a good mix of girls and boys, and they mimic personalities commonly found at school. They’re well-rounded and can be responsible, but they’re often impulsive and overly emotional, which adds quite a bit of humor to the story. I’m also glad it was written the way it was because sometimes we all need advice and reminders about the life lessons the characters experience in this book.
1,769 reviews24 followers
March 7, 2021
Roger has a calendar that he hangs inside his locker door. Roger found out that his calendar is magical in that he can do time travel. When Roger’s class gets assigned to read Robin Hood, he decides he will be Roger Hood for his classmates. Roger does a lot of time travel to help himself besides some football players. Then due to a proble he needs to stop before becoming one, he has his friend Elizabeth go with him back to a certain day. When Elizabeth is late for class, Elizabeth says to Roger, I didn’t think it was a school day. He had forgotten to tell her that time travel skips a day when they return to the present time. When Roger finds out about a s candle, Roger enlists Elizabeth’s help again. Will they be able to stop it or not? Will they get caught doing time travel?

In the novel, Roger’s time travel adventures makes his life at times complicated. There are so many twists and turns in his adventures that he didn’t expect. It’s fun to read and see what Roger will do to solve the problems that arise. I must admit that after reading this book, I don’t think I will do time travel if I am ever given the opportunity.

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
Profile Image for Jennifer Webb.
20 reviews1 follower
March 1, 2021
Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar: Surviving Middle School by I.M. Maynard is the second installment in the middle grade Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar series that follows a Robin Hood-esque time-traveling middle schooler.

Book two finds Roger on the hunt to unravel a massive cheating ring at Jefferson Middle School. Roger and his best friend Elizabeth Emily Elliot (whom he has dubbed as E3) are on the case as they travel back in time to right the wrongs at Jefferson. The scandal rocks the school to its roots as Roger risks his reputation—and puts his magic time-traveling calendar to the test— in order to solve the crime.

Surviving Middle School is entertaining and action-packed. While it works well enough on its own, its cliff-hanger ending will have readers eagerly awaiting more books in the series.

Roger was always keen to follow his moral compass, but inevitably made mistakes along the way. It made his character more realistic and one that kids will easily relate to. Meanwhile, girls will love Roger’s BFF, E3. She’s a great role model for young readers: smart, independent, and a loyal friend.

The story is a great mix of action, humor, and time travel which will appeal to a wide range of readers. I recommend this book for kids ages 8-12 interested in action or fantasy stories starring opinionated and witty characters.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can read my full review on Reedsy Discovery.
Profile Image for Lucy-Bookworm.
669 reviews8 followers
March 7, 2021
Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar is an entertaining look at daily life for students at Jefferson Middle School.
I’m sure we’d all love to turn back time to prevent a small but potentially embarrassing moment happening (eg dropping your lunch or colliding with somebody), well Roger has a magic calendar that allows him to time travel to do just this - but he soon comes to realise that altering a situation can help people but inadvertently hurt them too. There is a moral theme that runs through the book, that situations & people sometimes aren’t quite what they seem, and truth should always win!
Our main characters are Roger & his best friend Elizabeth Emily Elliot (nicknamed E3), and the accompanying cast of characters include the personalities commonly found at school – though they are rather stereotypical.
Overall this is a fun book, written in a sort of diary format with lots of humour that 8-12 year olds will enjoy. Adults might find it a bit far fetched & confusing (you have to just accept what’s there & not try to keep tabs on what was changed & when!). It’s very American & some of the language/scenarios will not be familiar to UK children of the right age so I���m not sure I would recommend it for them.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. Whilst thanks go to the publisher for the opportunity to read it, all opinions are my own.

#BookReview #NetGalley
2 reviews
January 31, 2021
I remember the first day of middle school, I think I can relate with Roger. I was so exited and happy, ready to become the leader of the school. But when you get there it is a different story. Other kids don't care about your feeling, you need to work hard to fit in. I just gave up at one point. In this new adventure Roger encounter so many challenges and obstacles. I try to get close to my crush, Just like Roger with Camila. But she didn't like me.. Overall I liked this book very much, 20/10 stars. It was perfect to my taste, adventure, humor, and a bit of love. It easily one of the best books I read, and I am excited for the next book. I would recommend this book to anybody. I enjoyed reading it; I couldn't put the book down. I just had to keep reading it, to the point that I finished it in about 1 hour. I'm Just hoping that book 3 comes out fast. Mr. Maynard hear my prayers. :)
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