The Misfits

James Howe, 2001. This delightful novel follows the exploits of four seventh-grade outcasts: Addie, the tall nerdy one; Skeezie, a rather uncouth and unclean kid; Bobby, fat and happy; and Joe, proudly gay. They decide to enter a third-party slate for student council, based on an anti-name-calling platform, and, well, they don’t win, but they Learn a Lot and all that.  They even learn about the problems with white do-gooders trying to address racism without involving any actual black people, which is pretty advanced for a middle-grade novel, and pretty awesome.

Joe is a happy, well-adjusted kid who likes boys, and he even gets a boyfriend in the book.  I don’t know how realistic that is; I knew gay kids in seventh grade, but I didn’t know any out-of-the-closet couples.  Of course that was 1989.  Still, this is one of those feel-good books, like Boy Meets Boy, that seems destined to be a classic. Yay.

This entry was posted in 2001, asian american, black, fat, gay male, James Howe, middle school, realistic, secondary queer character. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Misfits

  1. Elisabeth says:

    Oh yay, The Misfits! I liked this one even more when I found out it was by the same James Howe who wrote Bunnicula. The sequel, Totally Joe, is also excellent!

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