The Misfits

The Misfits

by James Howe

Hardcover(Large Print Edition)

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Overview

Kids who get called the worst names oftentimes find each other. That's how it was with us. Skeezie Tookis and Addie Carle and Joe Bunch and me. We call ourselves the Gang of Five, but there are only four of us. We do it to keep people on their toes. Make 'em wonder. Or maybe we do it because we figure that there's one more kid out there who's going to need a gang to be a part of. A misfit, like us.
Skeezie, Addie, Joe, and Bobby — they've been friends forever. They laugh together, have lunch together, and get together once a week at the Candy Kitchen to eat ice cream and talk about important issues. Life isn't always fair, but at least they have each other — and all they really want to do is survive the seventh grade.
That turns out to be more of a challenge than any of them had anticipated. Starting with Addie's refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance and her insistence on creating a new political party to run for student council, the Gang of Five is in for the ride of their lives. Along the way they will learn about politics and popularity, love and loss, and what it means to be a misfit. After years of getting by, they are given the chance to stand up and be seen — not as the one-word jokes their classmates have tried to reduce them to, but as the full, complicated human beings they are just beginning to discover they truly are.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786266661
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 08/02/2004
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 193
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers. Bunnicula, coauthored by his late wife Deborah and published in 1979, is considered a modern classic of children’s literature. The author has written six highly popular sequels, along with the spinoff series Tales from the House of Bunnicula and Bunnicula and Friends. Among his other books are picture books such as Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores and beginning reader series that include the Pinky and Rex and Houndsley and Catina books. He has also written for older readers. The Misfits, published in 2001, inspired the antibullying initiative No Name-Calling Week, as well as three sequels, Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis. A common theme in James Howe’s books from preschool through teens is the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2

Skeezie Tookis is not the only one who gets names slapped on him just on account of how he looks. Names come Addie's way, too, only in her case it is because of her being so tall, in addition to the factor of her intelligence, both of which fall on the plus side of the ledger if you happen to be a boy and are major liabilities if you were born into the world a girl. At least, that is my impression of how it goes in the dreaded middle-school years. I will not speak for high school, having neither firsthand experience nor an older sibling to shed wisdom on the subject.

As for Joe, well, he's been called more names than the world's most stinking umpire. He even gives himself names, although they are not bad ones and would appear to arise out of a creative urge that runs deep in him. Joe is the most creative person I know — too creative for some people, and maybe that is part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that he acts more like a girl than a boy much of the time, and this makes people nervous. Especially other boys. Joe figures he is who he is and what's the big deal, and I figure he is right about that.

Me, I've been called, amongst other things, Pork Chop, Roly-Poly, Dough Boy, and Fluff. I hated that last one most of all. It was the name of choice back in third grade when I ate peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff sandwiches every day for lunch. Everybody called me Fluff that year. Or almost everybody. Not my best friends. And not the teachers. They called me Bobby or Robert, and they were all very nice to me that year, as if I had special needs. Which I guess I would have to say I did. But the way I figure it is, Who doesn't have special needs?

Anyway, most of the kids called me Fluff, and I kept thinking, This is so stupid, because there's a lot more to me than half of what I put in a sandwich. Though I expect the name had more to do with the obvious results of eating nonstop Marshmallow Fluff than the fact of doing it. But still, I wonder if maybe everybody gets names hung on them for only a little part of who they are.

Kids who get called the worst names oftentimes find each other. That's how it was with us. Skeezie Tookis and Addie Carle and Joe Bunch and me. We call ourselves the Gang of Five, but there are only four of us. We do it to keep people on their toes. Make 'em wonder. Or maybe we do it because we figure that there's one more kid out there who's going to need a gang to be a part of. A misfit, like us.

Sometimes I am sitting with Addie and Joe and Skeezie at lunch — at our table way off to the side and down at the end of the cafeteria, out of harm's way — and I get to thinking in a philosophical manner and what I'm thinking is this: Maybe it's the whole rest of the seventh grade at Paintbrush Falls Middle School who's misfits. Maybe when they grow up and go out into the big, wide world, they will see that Paintbrush Falls was the only place they could ever feel at home, because the rest of the world is made up of people more like me and the rest of the Gang of Five and Daryl Williams, who stutters and you can see in his eyes how much it hurts just to try and say hello, or that girl who moved here last year and you can hardly tell she's breathing she's so afraid of being noticed, but then she keeps drawing these amazing pictures that Mr. Minelli says are "touched by genius." In other words: people who are misfits because they're just who they are instead of "fits," who are like everybody else.

Anyway, I do not want you thinking that I or Addie or Joe or Skeezie feel sorry for ourselves. We do not. Other people may call us names or think we're weird or whatever, but that does not mean we believe them. We may be misfits, but we're okay. Leastwise, in our own eyes we are, and that's all that really matters.

Addie is the one who got us all together. Of course, Addie and I were actually "together" since before either of us can remember because our moms were best friends when we were born, so we became best friends, too. Then Joe moved in next door to Addie when we were four. As for Skeezie, well, I didn't think he'd have any friends, the way he was. In kindergarten, he got labeled a troublemaker right off the bat and everybody just kind of knew to steer clear of him; at least, you did if you didn't want a chunk of your hair cut off when you weren't looking or a gob of paste shoved down your underpants.

It was Addie who decided in the second grade that what Skeezie needed was a friend. She sent him a secret Valentine. It said, "I think you are nice even if you act like a moron." Skeezie did not know what "moron" meant. He thought it was a compliment. So he announced in front of the whole class, "If whoever wrote this Valentine tells me who they are, I will give them a dollar."

Before Miss Haskell could shush the class and tell Skeezie he would do no such thing, Addie had her hand in the air and said, "I wrote it." Of course, so did every other kid in the class because we all wanted the dollar. But Addie proved she was telling the truth by providing a sample of her handwriting and Miss Haskell believed her and Skeezie believed her and — here's the part nobody could believe — he did not cut off any of her hair or paste any of her clothing to any of her body parts. He gave her the dollar, and they became friends.

From that day on, Skeezie stopped making trouble. Just like that. Cold turkey. And even though he still acts a little tough and dresses like a fugitive from West Side Story, he is at heart the kind of person your mother wants you to be friends with. And all on account of Addie.

Addie has always been like that. If she believes something, she does not keep it inside her head like private property with a NO TRESPASSING sign up; she puts it out there in the world and says, "Deal with it." She is not afraid of anything. Not even the names people call her.

On Monday of the second week of school, she strikes again, this time in Ms. Wyman's homeroom. Ms. Wyman is the seventh-grade math teacher. She is also a believer in the religion of Self-Esteem. Her room is plastered with these signs that say things like, TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE and IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, WHO WILL? She keeps fresh flowers on her desk and she likes to start each day with these deep yoga breaths so we'll all be "centered" and "at our best." She's so sweet sometimes you swear you can smell muffins baking. But here is the bad news about Ms. Wyman: If you cross her, watch out. That smiley face of hers'll fall off like a mask that's popped its elastic, and underneath is a dragon lady. And that Ms. Wyman, I swear, wouldn't blink at removing your liver with her bare hands and eating it with a spoon.

So it is particularly nervy of Addie to do what she does, it being in Ms. Wyman's homeroom and only the second week of school and all.

"We will now stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance."

Some sixth-grade voice I do not recognize is giving the morning announcements over the P.A. Ms. Wyman looks mildly annoyed to have her morning yoga breaths interrupted, but she smiles indulgently at the box on the wall and says, "Boys and girls, please rise."

We do.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of..."

It is then I notice that not all of us has risen.

One of us is sitting with her hands folded on her desk and a new look for a new day resting comfortably on her face.

"Addie Carle," Ms. Wyman says after the rest of us finish and sit down.

"Yes, Ms. Wyman?"

"Would you care to tell the class why you did not rise and say the Pledge of Allegiance with us this morning?"

"Yes, Ms. Wyman." Addie takes a deep breath. "I looked the word 'pledge' up in the dictionary and it said — "

"Furniture polish," Kevin Hennessey mutters. A bunch of boys around him laugh, Jimmy Lemon loudest of all.

Ms. Wyman furrows her brow. "Continue, Addie," she says.

"It said, well, it actually said lots of things because the word 'pledge' has multiple meanings, as many words do, but as best I could make out, the meaning that applied to the Pledge of Allegiance was this."

She lifts a piece of paper from her desk and reads, "'Pledge: A promise or agreement by which one binds himself to do or forbear something.'"

She clears her throat.

"Now, besides the fact that the dictionary is hopelessly sexist and it should have said 'himself or herself...'"

Somebody says, "Here goes Know-It-All."

Addie presses on. "Well, admittedly, what is pledged is allegiance — or loyalty — to one's country. But isn't there the implication of a promise of liberty and justice for all? And do we have liberty and justice for all in this country? I think not."

She casts her eye on DuShawn Carter, who conveniently is seated to her right and even more conveniently is African-American.

"Addie," Ms. Wyman says. "I think perhaps — "

"Did you happen to read this morning's New York Times?" Addie continues. I make a mental note to tell Addie later about my liver-eating theory in regards to Ms. Wyman and to suggest that it might be best not to interrupt her.

"Well, my parents subscribe to The New York Times," Addie says, to the accompaniment of groans, "and it's a good thing they do. Otherwise, I wouldn't know half of what's going on in the world. Have you seen what is happening in the unfair metropolis of New York? You cannot be a black man and walk down the streets of that city without the word 'guilty' stamped on your forehead. The police arrest you — or worse — just because of the color of your skin. I do not call that liberty and — "

"Miss Carle — "

"Ms. Wyman, I will not utter empty words, falsehoods, and lies." Addie walks to the front of the room and dramatically presents Ms. Wyman with a piece of paper on which she's neatly penned her dictionary definition of the word "pledge," along with a torn-out page of the newspaper.

Returning to her seat, she says, "I rest my case."

Sitting, she lets out a gigantic fart and turns bright red. Pretty much everybody cracks up. I am sticking the sharp point of my compass into my thumb to keep from laughing because, after all, Addie is one of my best friends.

"Kevin Hennessey!" Ms. Wyman exclaims. I'm sure she figures it is Kevin who put the whoopee cushion on Addie's chair, because statistically speaking — and statistics are Ms. Wyman's raison d'être (which is French for "reason to be," in case not knowing what something means in another language gets in the way of your following the action) — you'd have a pretty good bet that Kevin is guilty of just about anything that happens in school. Anything of a subversive or out-and-out nasty nature, that is. Once Skeezie retired as School Bad Boy, Kevin took over the job. But I have the feeling it isn't Kevin this time. No, I have the feeling it is Addie's Living, Breathing Symbol of Social Injustice who has placed the whoopee cushion on her chair. I mean, DuShawn Carter is laughing so hard he is pretty near busting a gut.

Copyright © 2001 by James Howe

Chapter 3

Every Friday after school since the beginning of sixth grade, Addie, Joe, Skeezie, and I have gathered at the Candy Kitchen, last booth on the right — the one with the aforementioned torn red leatherette seats — to discuss important issues and eat ice cream. We call this the Forum. Due to the change in my employment status, we canned holding the Forum on a specific day of the week and decided we'd have it whenever we felt like it. The Friday Forum became the Floating Forum.

The minutes of the First Floating Forum of the Seventh-Grade Year are as follows:

Addie: Today's topic for discussion is "Liberty and Justice for All."

Skeezie: Do you have to write down every single word?

Addie: Talk more slowly, please.

Skeezie: Geesh.

Addie: Well, I guess we all know what happened in Ms. Wyman's homeroom class this morning.

Joe: You told us at lunch.

Skeezie: It is all you talked about at lunch.

Joe: Wait a minute, did you write my name down as Joe?

Addie: That is your name, the last I heard.

Joe: Not anymore. Now it's Scorpio.

Skeezie: Scorpio?!

Joe: You should talk, with a name like Skeezie.

Bobby: What happened to Jodan?

Joe: Oh, that putting-my-first-and-middle-names-together thing? That is sooo last week. I like Scorpio. It has, oh, I don't know, energy.

Skeezie: How about Plunger?

Joe: Plunger?

Skeezie: Yeah, like in toilet plunger. You get one of those things working, man, talk about energy.

Joe: Wait a minute, I think I hear someone laughing. Oops, my mistake, that was someone gagging in the next booth.

Skeezie: Ha.

Addie: Excuse me, could we get back to the topic?

Joe: Could you write my name as Scorpio?

Addie: Okay, fine.

Scorpio: Thank you.

Addie: You're welcome. Now, what I want to know is if you guys think there is liberty and justice for all in this country.

Scorpio: No way.

Bobby: Well, I think what the Pledge of Allegiance is about is idealism. You know, like, what we aim for.

Addie: But that's not what is says. It says promise.

Bobby: Where? It doesn't say that word.

Addie: Well, pledge, promise, same thing. The point is —

Scorpio: The point is there's no way there is freedom and justice for everybody in this country. It's, well, I don't mean it's like a total, you know, a totalism kind of thing, whatever it's called.

Addie: Totalitarianism.

Scorpio: Yeah, that. I mean, it's not like we've got some dictator guy telling everybody they have to, I don't know, like, wear polyester all the time or something grotesque like that.

Skeezie: Oh, yeah, there's a fate worse than death. Synthetics.

Addie: I think we're getting a little off the —

Bobby: It's cool that you're not saying the Pledge, Addie, I mean it's cool that you're standing up for your principles and all, but —

Addie: Thank you.

Bobby: But what difference does it make? I mean, just because you sit there and don't say the words with everybody else, that's not going to help some poor guy hundreds of miles downstate in New York City who gets beaten up just because he's black or poor or something.

Addie: I contend that it does make a difference.

Skeezie: Oo, she contends. Where's our food, if you don't mind my asking?

Addie: Yes, I contend that every act of conscience makes a difference.

Skeezie: But you're talking about New York City. We don't have the same kinds of problems here.

Scorpio: Hello. Are you kidding? Of course we do.

Addie: Just on a smaller scale. It's important to bring attention —

Bobby: My dad says it's better just to get along, not make waves. He says bringing attention can be a dangerous thing.

Addie: Of course it can! Just look at Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King or...or...

Scorpio: Madonna. Or RuPaul.

Addie: I don't think they're in quite the same league, Joe. I mean, Scorpio.

Scorpio: They bring attention! They're like, "In your face, world! Look at me! This is who I am and if you don't like it, stuff it! I'm as good as anybody else!"

Skeezie: Tell it!

Bobby: Whatever. The thing is, Ms. Wyman is not going to let you not say the Pledge, Addie, so what is the point?

Addie: Excuse me? I do not believe Ms. Wyman has the right to tell me what I can and cannot say. Have you never heard of the First Amendment?

Skeezie: Has that bozo who took our order never heard of first come, first served? Did you see that? He just gave them their food and they came in here after we did!

Bobby: Maybe they're friends of his.

Skeezie: There you are, Addie, a perfect example of how there's no liberty and justice for all. In a just world, I'd be slurping my Dr Pepper by now and instead I'm sitting here parched and deprived because Mr. HellomynameisAdam is giving preferential treatment to his friends. Justice, I say! Justice!

Addie: Skeezie, stop pounding on the table. You're making a scene.

Skeezie: Justice! Justice!

Bobby: I thought you wanted to bring attention, Addie.

Addie: There's bringing attention and then there's bringing attention. I mean, a little kid throwing a tantrum in public is bringing attention and that's closer to what Skeezie's doing right now than my standing up for —

Scorpio: I was just thinking. RuPaul. I really like the sound of that. I think I'm going to be Jodan again. Except I'll make the "D" capital, so you have to, like, emphasize the second syllable, you know? Jo-Dan.

Addie: What are you talking about?

Scorpio: No, no, don't write Scorpio, write...

Addie: Oh, I get it. Okay.

JoDan: Yeah, like that. That's cool.

Skeezie: I thought that was so last week.

JoDan: With a small "d." That was so last week.

Skeezie: Right, whatever.

Addie: So about liberty and justice for —

Skeezie: All right! Here's our food. See, a little protest'll work every time. You were right, Addie! It pays to act on your conscience. Hey, I learned something today. These Forums are way cool. Hey, hey, wait a minute.

HellomynameisAdam: What's wrong?

Skeezie: This Dr Pepper is flat, my man. You gotta get me another.

HellomynameisAdam: Look...

Skeezie: Justice! Justice!

HellomynameisAdam: All right, all right. Just cool your jets, will you?

Skeezie: Peace, brother.

We do not record the rest of the proceedings, since we never do get back on the topic. If I recall correctly, we spend the rest of our time at the Candy Kitchen that Monday talking about who are the meanest teachers in seventh grade and who are the best. Ms. Wyman scores points in both categories.

Copyright © 2001 by James Howe

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

The Misfits
by James Howe

About the Book

“ . . . Hilarious and poignant . . . An upbeat and reassuring novel that encourages preteens and teens to celebrate their individuality.” —Publishers Weekly

“Howe tells the truth about the pain and anger caused by jeers and name-calling in a fast, funny, tender story that will touch readers.” —Booklist, starred review

Bobby, Skeezie, Addie, and Joe are “the misfits.” Bobby is fat. Skeezie dresses like it’s 1957. Addie is tall, brainy, and outspoken. And Joe is gay. They’re used to being called names, but they know they’re better than the names they’re called.

Besides, they’ve always had each other when times got tough. And surviving seventh grade looks like it’s not going to be easy. Starting with Addie’s refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance and her insistence on creating a new political party to run for student council, the Gang of Five, as the four friends call themselves, is in for the year of their lives. It’s a year in which they learn about politics and popularity, love and loss, and what it means to be a misfit. After years of insults, the Gang of Five is determined to stop name-calling at their school. Finally, they are going to stand up and be seen—not as the one-word jokes their classmates have tried to reduce them to, but as the full, complicated human beings they are just beginning to discover they truly are.

Discussion Topics


• Why do you think the author chose the character of Bobby Goodspeed to tell the story of The Misfits? Could you see another character narrating the novel instead? How would the novel be different with another narrator? How is Bobby wise beyond his years?

• The Misfits is a uniquely written novel. Part of the story is written in prose and part of it is in a play format. Do you like this style of writing? Did it help you to learn more about the characters as you were reading?

• Celebrating one’s individuality is a strong theme throughout The Misfits. Which characters “celebrate their individuality” more than others?

• We don’t learn that Bobby’s mother has died until halfway through the novel. Does learning this important fact about Bobby’s life enable us to understand him better? Why do you think the author chose to withhold this information about Bobby until halfway through the story?

• Other characters in The Misfits have also endured a loss. These losses have shaped their personalities and have affected each of them differently. Discuss how this is so. Is there a “right” way to deal with loss?

• How do you feel about the character of Addie? Do you find her frustrating, or refreshingly honest? Would you be friends with Addie if you had the opportunity? Can you sympathize with Ms. Wyman regarding her feelings toward Addie? Do you think that Ms. Wyman was once a little like Addie when she was younger? And how is Addie ultimately like Ms. Wyman?

• Bobby, Skeezie, Addie, and Joe rebel against name-calling and base the platform for their new political party on banishing name-calling. However, they are guilty of calling people names themselves. Cite examples throughout the book where they fall into this trap. Do you think they realize that they are name-callers? Is name-calling a natural part of who we are or is it learned? Can name-calling ever be a positive thing?

• Examine and discuss the following pairings: Bobby and Mr. Kellerman, Addie and Ms. Wyman, Joe and Colin. How does each relationship demonstrate how people who seem outwardly very different can actually be very much alike?

• The role of family is significant in the development of each character in The Misfits. Talk about each character’s connection with his or her family. How do the families help to define each character?

• Bobby is surprised to discover that Pam was not popular when she was his age. How is this eye-opening and ultimately inspiring for Bobby? Do you think that Ms. Wyman, Mr. Kellerman and Bobby’s dad were “popular” when they were in seventh grade, or do you think they were more like the Gang of Five?

• Bobby tells his friends that his dad says, “It’s better to just get along [and] not make waves . . . [B]ringing attention can be a dangerous thing.” Why do you think he said this to Bobby?

• Mr. Kellerman makes the comment that “we’re all so ready to believe the worst about ourselves . . . we just accept them without even thinking about what they mean or even if they’re true.” Do you agree or disagree with him?

• Although the No-Name Party ultimately loses the student council election, Bobby puts the loss into perspective by saying “sometimes it is about winning something much bigger.” How does the No-Name Party “win” anyway? Can you think of other examples where something has been lost, but something much bigger has been won?

• The ending of The Misfits gives a glimpse into the Gang of Five’s future. What surprised you about the ending of the story? Can you try to predict how your circle of friends at school will end up one day? • After finishing the story, do you think Addie, Bobby, Skeezie, and Joe are really misfits?

• Does The Misfits present a realistic portrayal of life in middle school or junior high? Why or why not?

• After reading the book, do you wish that any of the characters were your friends? Who and why?

• Do you think it’s possible for two boys or two girls to go out together in your school? Why or why not?

• What do you think of the expression, “That’s so gay,” or “He/she is so gay”? Does being gay or not affect your opinion?

• Is your school and/or your community a safe place to be a “misfit”?

• What is the difference between seeing someone as “different” from you and “less than” you?

• Do you think it’s possible for a mixed-race couple to date in your school? Why or why not?

• Why does Addie refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance? What do you think of her position? Do you agree or disagree with the position of the principal, Mr. Kiley?

• Of all the characters in the book, who do you think shows the most courage and why?

• Do you think the resolution of the story is realistic or a fairy-tale ending? Is it better for fiction to reflect the way things are or point the way to how things could be?

• Is it possible for unpopular kids to be friends with—or go out with —popular kids? If not, what gets in the way of making this possible?

• Addie, Joe, Bobby, and Skeezie are strong characters. What are their strengths and how do these strengths help them?

• Addie makes assumptions about DuShawn. What are they and what does she learn that’s different from what she thought? Discuss other assumptions the characters make and what they’re based on. What assumptions do you make about groups or types of people?

• Discuss the character of Kelsey. What is it that makes someone “painfully” shy?

Activities and Research
• Research the history of name-calling. Did you know that in the past, people were jailed or even killed for calling people names? Research historical situations where this was an outcome of name-calling. Can name-calling still carry significant consequences in today’s world? When has name-calling been used to oppress people?

• Cite situations today where name-calling is used to ruin a person’s reputation. Provide current examples involving celebrities, members of the media, politicians, or local figures by reading the newspaper or scanning the Internet for several days or a week.

• Find out more about the different political parties that exist in the United States, other than the Republican and Democratic parties. Why and when were these political parties launched, and what do they stand for? What party would you join?

• If you had the opportunity to create a new political party for a school election, what would your platform be? How would you promote the party? Design several potential election posters with different logos and share them with your classmates.

• Talk with your parents, grandparents, a teacher, or an older sibling about their experiences in middle school or junior high. Do they reveal anything surprising? Did you have any preconceived notions about that time in their lives, only to find out that they were actually very different?

• Research the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and the controversies that have arisen over its use in schools and students’ refusal to participate in its recital.

• Research the experiences of gay students in the past and the present. An excellent resource is www.GLSEN.org, the website of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network).

• Write about your own experiences of being a misfit, or what you imagine it is like for others who don’t fit into the mainstream in your school.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

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The Misfits 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I read this book, it was 3 years ago in the sixth grade. I saw it again at the library last week, and read it again, remebering I liked it. But The Misfits just seemed juvenille now. It seems like James Howe just guessed what middle school was like. I mean campaigning about name caliing? Come on. And what kind of 7th grader admits they are gay? Let alone TWO 7th graders, it just seems a little hopeful. What was with the 'I like you' notes? I also think he took racism a little far. An over dramatic book if you ask me. I did like how he summed up the characters lives on the last two pages, though. It gives you a sense of conclusion. Overall, the book had a good message and a good idea going, but it was executed poorly.
KHTH More than 1 year ago
We are reading this as part of a summer reading group. Thankfully, some of the members of our group have paperback copies. The NOOK version has many typos, and all of the Forum conversations are unreadable on the NOOK. This is very disappointing. If you plan to read this, buy the paperback version!
iluvvideo More than 1 year ago
"Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit." Is that a lesson for us all or what? The first book in the 'misfits' trilogy (so far) introduces us to the gang of five; friends who have come together for support and camaraderie. They are the teased, the bullied, outcasts at school, and worse, even in their own minds. Don't dare call these kids 'losers' however. They realize that each of them is OK - just the way they are. They decide to take action in the elections for Student Council. They meet opposition from many sides, including the school administrators. But instead of just quietly disappearing, they plan to achieve success in spite of the obstacles. Do they make it? Read the book and find out! James Howe, the author shows a keen ear for the voices of young people, in this case seventh grade. They ring true and make the story that much more believable. I recommend this book especially for middle school aged folks. It's a fun read and very empowering. I look forward to more books in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need to read this bookover the summer and write a letter to my princepal about it but i cant buy th book what should i do Please help Ps please say yes then i will start asking questions please can u help me answer them Thaanks very much i dont know hiw i can pay back to you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its an okay book. I mean i can relate because im a misfit myself. Bein an emo in junior high is kinda sucky wif all these preps an jocks. But it was an okay book. (I AM NOT AN EMO WHO CUTS) Im just a depressin person who likes heavy metal and poetry and dark stuff. SO I can relate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Independent reading book is called The Misfits. I started reading this book by accident. We needed a independent reading book for class and I left the one I wanted at home, so I went to my principle of my school and asked him for one of his many books in his office. I took it to my teacher and he approved the book. This book is a kind of funny book even though its not suppose to be. This book is a book about these group of kids in a middle school who call themselves the misfits. This group is not one of those popular groups in the school. The main character is Bobby, and he works in a convenience store. There is an election in the school for president and vice president in the school. One of Bobby's friends Addie is running for president. She is worried that she will not win because she is not popular herself in the school, so she gets some popular jock named Du'Sean on her campaign. This causes lots of problems for the misfits. The rest of the book talks about the election and all the pressure of it and name calling. To me the book is okay because again I thought it was kind of funny. Especially when this kid was on the phone with some girl and kept repeating the same stuff. I recommend this book for someone who is having trouble with society because in the book there are these two kids that admit they are gay and there was a campaign on it. In other words this book is good for emotional people.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bobby Goodspeed and his friends have been friends and misfits for years. Now in 7th grade, they figure they have been called at least 72 different names, and decide to run for student council on a "no names" party line.
sexy_librarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Basically the story of just about every high school outcast, this is amazingly easy to get in to. When four "misfits" decide to run for school council, it causes it bit of a stir. One is a too tall, too smart girl, another a motherless, fat boy, a third is a a fashionable diva boy, and the last as a too tough, rough and tumble boy. The four of them together form the Gang of Five (just to keep people on their toes). At first they only run to take a stand, but when they run to make a difference, people start paying attention. This is really an easy book to slip into and enjoy. The message is straight forward, and of course everything resolves itself in the end, even going so far as to have a follow up on the characters adult lives. Suggested for teens in general.
elizabethholloway on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bob and his friends, who are seventh grade social outcasts, decide to start a political party based on the premise that name-calling is wrong. Not only do they gain a lot of support from their classmates, they gain inner strength as well. this confidence aloows Bob to pursue the girl he really likes and for Joe to come out to his friends. Good for middle school and ninth grade.
amspicer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Have you ever been called a mean name? Been picked on? Felt like you don't fit in? We all know that words can wound but more importantly, friendships may heal. The misfits is a great book about a group of kids in middle school who are viewed as the 'outcasts'. This group of students call themselves the "Gang of Five." When it is time for student council elections, Addie, one of the "Gang of five" decides to take a stand and give all of those who don't normally have a voice, a chance to be heard. This third party that they create brings the reader on a mix of emotions from happy to angry to sad. This is a wonderful book and is especially great for classroom discussion.
kirkonly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Misfits is a great book about four kids who call themselves the ¿Gang of Five¿. Bobby, the narrator of the story and a fat kid, Addie, a brainier, Skeezie, a greaser, and Joe, a gay boy, are the Misfits of the school. Well one day they are told that the school elections are going to be held soon. Addie, being an activist, wants to make a different party to run against the Democrats and Republicans. So the Misfits become the No-Name party. You are taken on an emotional roller coaster throughout the book. But it is an amazing ride!!As a student reading this book I found myself having tears in my eyes at times, but then turning the page and laughing out loud. This book took me back to my middle school days. I even remember having some of the same things happen to me that happened to them. This is a great read!!!!As a teacher this book is another great discussion starter. You can talk to your kids about any of the topics or characters in the book and have a lengthy discussion. This book brings up some controversial issues that might need to be explored in your classrooms as well. Awesome book!!!
ewyatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Four long-time friends take a stand against name calling within their school by running for student government. Bobby, the narrator, has a great voice for telling the story. You will cheer for these underdogs as they try to change the culture of their school.
iluvvideo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit." Is that a lesson for us all or what?The first book in the 'misfits' trilogy (so far) introduces us to the gang of five; friends who have come together for support and camaraderie. They are the teased, the bullied, outcasts at school, and worse, even in their own minds. Don't dare call these kids 'losers' however. They realize that each of them is OK - just the way they are. They decide to take action in the elections for Student Council. They meet opposition from many sides, including the school administrators. But instead of just quietly disappearing, they plan to achieve success in spite of the obstacles. Do they make it? Read the book and find out!James Howe, the author shows a keen ear for the voices of young people, in this case seventh grade. They ring true and make the story that much more believable. I recommend this book especially for middle school aged folks. It's a fun read and very empowering. I look forward to more books in this series.
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I love this book we read it in class and it gave me a whole new perspective on people and how they look my theory is if you dont judge a book by a cover dont judges a person that way and its true people all over are dealing with bullying help stop it
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The best book i have ever read and the characters make me laugh everytime they say some thing