Reviews - What do customers think about The Misfits?
Misfits Mar 17, 2008
Childish? Maybe. Fun to read? Definitely. This book is a refreshing break from more serious books.
"Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names can break our spirit." Jan 22, 2008
That's the slogan used by 12-year-old Bobby and his friends, Addie, Joe and Skeezie, as they form a No-Name Party in the upcoming junior high elections. Each of the four is tired of being called names -- Bobby for being overweight, Addie for being tall and outspoken, Joe for being gay and Skeezie for his troublemaking ways. Even if they don't win against the popular kids, they figure they'll get people's attention.
As the weeks before elections proceed, Howe explores the issues that surround each of the four's "flaws," interspersing them with humorous "transcripts" taken by Addie at the gang's weekly "forums," where they gather over snacks to discuss everything that irks them about junior high. Bobby, for example, discovers that his weight problem began in third grade, after the death of his mother -- something that his classmates would never have understood, only mocked as his worries and grief manifested themselves in his body.
Howe doesn't insult his readers with a Hollywood ending; it would be too unrealistic to assume that four unpopular adolescents could forever alter their junior high social circles simply by wishing it so. But the road toward their goal is just as interesting -- if not more so -- than the end in mind, and readers will cheer for Bobby, Addie, Joe and Skeezie as they learn more about themselves and their classmates.
"The Misfits" Sep 14, 2007
This is an excellent book for teens, and any adult who has ever been a teen once upon a time, will enjoy it, as well. As a life-long teacher (37 years) in the middle school, I truly recognize the situations that are protrayed. This should be "must reading" for students.
Liz's Review Apr 13, 2007
Have you ever been teased or been called names just because of the way you look?, I'm sure a lot of people have especially during Jr high. Everybody is different in their own way. In The Misfits by James Howe it teaches you a lesson about being different. "Misfit" means to not fit in. This book is about four friends: overweight Bobby, outspoken Addie, outrageous Joe and sloppy Skeezie. They are four best friends who are completely different from each other. The story is mostly based in 12 years old Bobby Goodspeed who has been through many hard times in his life. He lost his mother and had to start to work at a young age to help his widowed father. The group of friends formed a new political party in their seventh grade elections. They face more than one obstacle from their teachers and other students. It's about putting an end to things. I really enjoyed reading this book because it's really funny and it teaches you a great lesson, judge people by who they are not what they look like The author is known for other great books like Bunnicula Howliday inn, Night-Nightmare, and many other books. He also has more than seventy books for young readers. He is also the editor of the Color Of Absence:12 stories about loss and hope. I loved this book very much because it has so many parts of the book you can relate to. It makes you laugh and cry. It seems so real because you could relate to it. I recommend this book to everyone. GO GET IT!!!!!
The Misfits: An Adult Reader's Take On It Jun 25, 2006
Published in 2001 by James Howe, author of the popular children's "Bunnicula" series, THE MISFITS is intended for slightly older readers, primarily children in the sixth through ninth grades.
The story concerns four "misfit" seventh graders in a small town junior high school. Bobby, the narrator is overweight; Addie is tall, mouthy, and too smart for popularity; Joe is effeminate; and Skeezie has adopted the dress and mannerisms of a 1950s greaser. They have become friends for the simple reason that most other people at their school consider them outcasts, and each week they meet at a soda shop to discuss a topic designated by Addie. Some times they take it seriously, most of the time they do not, but when Addie decides they should form a third party and run for the student council they begin to take life very seriously indeed. Along the way they will have conflicts with teachers, the popular students, and even themselves--but when they decide to run a platform to end the nasty name-calling so typical of elementary, middle, and high school students they make a bigger impact than they ever expected.
From an adult point of view, THE MISFITS deals with a touchy subject--the inescapable fact that school age children have a pack mentality that leads them to verbally attack any one who seems to differ from the norm: "Fatso," "Know-It-All," "Fairy," and "Geek" are merely four of the words Bobby, Addie, Joe, and Skeezie remember when they begin to list the names they have been called over the years. It is also about the effect this sort of name-calling can have, an effect that can, as Bobby discovers, stretch out over an entire lifetime. It is also about standing against such attacks by simply being true to yourself.
Although the story is predictable, the writing is clever, and Howe raises several very interesting issues in a fairly subtle way. The first of these is race, an issue that arises when Addie presses a black boy, DuShawn, to be their candidate as president: does Addie want him to be their president because he's the right person or because she wants to make a statement through his race? Without beating the subject, Howe uses the situation to demonstrate how even smart people with good intentions can stumble into stereotypical thinking. Howe also, even less obviously, raises the question of when labeling serves a legitimate purpose--and when it is acceptable comedy--and when it crosses the line into hurtfulness.
While I found the portrait of seventh graders slightly less than realistic, Howe is not writing Cousine Bette; he knows his audience. It is unfortunate, however, that those who would most benefit from reading the book are those least likely to do so. Even so, I think most of the target audience will enjoy it quite a bit, and I think it would be a good "read along with your kid book," for this would open the door to conversations with your child on the subjects the book raises.