Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Misfits by James Howe

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Howe, James. The Misfits. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. Print.

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Four outcast friends run for student council as the No Name Party as a protest against bullying in school.

Loser. Fatty. Dweeb. Geek. Fag. What names have you been called?

Middle school is tough, especially when you aren’t popular. Bobby Goodspeed lives in a trailer with his dad, and even though he is only 12, works as a tie salesman at the local department store to make ends meet. Addie, Joe, and Skeezie have been his best friends as long as he can remember. Even though there are only four of them, they call themselves the Gang of Five – it sounds cooler. They are used to being outcasts, but when student council elections come around, Addie decides that it’s time for a change. In order to start a third party, they have to prove that they are representing a group of students that isn’t covered by Democrats or Republicans. Bobby thinks of the names he gets called every day for being fat – Lardo, Fatass, Dough Boy. The others quickly join in. Joe’s been called Faggot, Sissy,Twinkle Toes, Fairy; Skeezie gets Retard and Slimeball; Addie is Beanpole, Know-it-all, Big Mouth. Combined with the usual Loser, Geek, Dweeb, and Nerd, they fill a page in no time. This is their angle. They will be the No Name Party. Will the rest of the school stand behind their push to eliminate name calling and bullying?

“Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit.” (142)

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