The Misfits by James Howe

Oh this book. It was good. It was really good. But I was sad when I finished it. Though it doesn’t end sad. I was sad because I got this book because of Dewey. And I would’ve loved to be able to talk to her about this book. I used to always go look on Dewey’s Bookmooch wishlist and see what she was interested in reading. And then of course, I would steal those books and add them to my own wishlist :p Well, The Misfits was one of those books. And I have a feeling she really would’ve loved this one. It sums up what Dewey used to embrace and the causes she championed.

The Misfits is about a group of four kids who don’t fit in too well at school and are picked on frequently. Addie is really tall for her age and is really smart too so she gets picked on. Joe is gay and happens to also be pretty feminine most of the time. Skeezie is one of those poor kids (like I was) who’s just greasy all the time. And Bobby, our narrator is a little chubby. All of these kids are WONDERFUL. I loved them all so much. And I wish I could’ve had their initiative as a child.

They take their “problems” and try to make the world a better place because of them. They run together for student council as a new party called the “No Name Party”. Complete with signs all over that say names that they’ve been called with a line drawn through them. Howe does a wonderful job of showing how amazing these kids truly are, though doesn’t hide that they have flaws too. For instance, Addie originally wants a black kid to run for president just because he’s black…she thinks it will help their cause. Which of course is pretty much being just as racist as calling someone a name. It was the one thing that bugged me in the book, but then it didn’t too because he was making the point that it was wrong to single someone out regardless of your reasoning behind it.

I could’ve used this book as a kid. I got picked on for being too girly and for being fat when I was in school. I think bullying is one of the absolute worst problems we have. It affects you for the rest of your life. You never completely recover from being bullied. I see kids come into the hospital all the time because of suicide attempts because of bullying. If there was one cause I could champion, it would be ending bullying. People just don’t realize how horrible it is and the lifelong, catastrophic effect it has on people. I’d love to see this book made required reading in school. Overall, fantastic book.

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9 Responses

  1. *adds to wish list*

    I mentioned Dewey in my blog post yesterday. It is nice to know that people continue to think about her!

  2. I could almost swear she did get around to reading and reviewing this one… it’s been on my wishlist for years and I think that’s the reason why. So sad you can’t discuss it with her, though 😦 Thank you for reminding me that I really need to read this.

  3. People don’t have to be relatives to be missed greatly, as always, I am glad when you enjoy the books you read Chris..but I am sorry you can’t talk to Dewey about it

  4. This book sounds amazing. I’ll have to look for it because I know a handful of kids that this could benefit. My students know that I have a no tolerance for any derogatory words in my room, and because I’m fairly lenient on other choice words that they drop on occasion, they’re pretty respectful.

  5. Ooooh, I so hope this isn’t one of the bazillion of books I packed up and put in the storage unit! Not that I don’t have more than enough books left in the house that I *really really really* want to freakin’ read right. this. minute. But now this one goes to that right. this. minute. list too!

    And *hugs* … I don’t think the day will ever come when we don’t miss our beautiful friend. But as hard as the missing is, how lucky we all were to have known her in the first place.

  6. This does sound like an interesting book; I’ll have to look for it; thanks for the review!

    betty

  7. Oooh, this one’s definitely going on the wish list. It sounds terrific. The bullying thing is ubiquitous. My entire family was bullied, at some point, because we are a terribly geeky little bunch. And, it does stick with you, although every one of us reacted a little bit differently. We had a suicidal one, one who fought back, one who was determined to succeed to prove everyone wrong and one who decided to “be a duck” and let the teasing roll off his back like water off a duck’s feathers. Interesting, don’t you think?

    Dewey will always be missed. I think of her every time I see that blue book with the girl walking across the cover — the last book she read. And, during readathons, of course. It does suck not being able to talk to her, since she’s the one who recommended the book, but I think at least you’ve found a few people who are excited about the book so maybe one of us will be able to discuss it with you, soon!

  8. I understand the feeling of wishing Dewey was around to talk to. She was such a great person. I’m glad we got the chance to know her even if it was just pieces. The Misfits sounds amazing and something that everyone should read.

  9. I’m sure it was Dewey that placed this one on my wishlist too. Don’t know if that was down to a review, a comment or her bookmooch wish list (you were;t the only one to stalk it!

    Definitely want to get a copy and read it some time,

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