timely, sensitive, laugh-out-loud must-read for all center school students and teachers. This publication is needed.” — Voice the Youth Advocates
“Thank girlfriend for writing The Misfits since it teach me therefore much around friendship and about being yourself. The book taught me that i didn’t have to be that other children wanted me come be.”
“Today’s society is all around being ‘normal’ and ‘perfect.’ If friend are various you are taken into consideration weird, but really friend should take on being different and also be you.”

After year of gaining by, lock are provided the chance to was standing up and be seen—not together the one-word jokes your classmates have tried to minimize them to, however as the full, complex human beings they are just beginning to discover they important are.

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The misfits by james howe summary


From the creator the The Misfits, the publication that inspired NATIONAL NO NAME-CALLING WEEK, come the story the Joe Bunch....


Told in elegant, obtainable verse, ADDIE ~ above THE INSIDE provides readers a look at a strong, smart, and sensitive girl struggling through the box society wants to put her in.


Skeezie’s got the leather jacket the a hard guy, yet a love of gold—and his story, the fourth and also final thing of the lovely Misfits series, is brimming v life’s hard choices, love in every directions, and enough sweet potato fries to walk around.


All four of the Misfits books, the middle school collection that inspired National No Name-Calling Week, room now accessible in a collectible boxed set.

No Name-Calling Week

No Name-Calling mainly was inspired by the well-known young adult novel The Misfits by James Howe. The No Name-Calling mainly Coalition, produced by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children"s Publishing, organized an yes, really No Name-Calling main in schools throughout the nation, which started in 2004. Since then, No Name-Calling Week has actually been embraced by schools everywhere and has grown into one of the largest bullying-prevention efforts in the country.

To learn more about No Name-Calling Week, visit the teachers & parental page.


Adapted from the Author’s keep in mind that very first appeared in the 10th Anniversary execution of The Misfits

The Misfits is devoted to my daughter, Zoey. That couldn’t have been dedicated to everyone else, since it to be Zoey’s experience in middle school that influenced me to create the book. I’ve mutual her story v students in every middle school I have visited since the book was very first published in 2001, and with many parents and teachers as well. Once I request Zoey once how she felt about my telling her story come so plenty of strangers, she said, “If hearing about what i went v in middle school helps do things much better for even one person, then i feel good about it. Ns proud to have inspired The Misfits.”

I’d choose to think that Zoey’s story and The Misfits have actually made things better for more 보다 one person, yet I deserve to speak with certainty only about the one human I know has been adjusted for the better. That person is me. I don’t think i would ever before have dubbed myself “a get-along kind of guy,” as Bobby describes himself before he turns into “somebody who renders a difference,” but I can speak to myself something I never ever was before: one activist. Many thanks to Zoey – and also Bobby and Addie and also Skeezie and Joe – ns regularly discover myself speaking in schools and at conferences to young people, parents, and educators – speak up for what i believe, speaking out against name-calling, bullying, and homophobia.

When I collection out to compose the book, I had no idea that this it wherein it would certainly lead. An unfinished short story ns rescued native a drawer gave me the personalities of Skeezie and Bobby (who had a various name that I’ve due to the fact that forgotten); the little town the Paintbrush Falls, new York; Awkworth & Ames department Store, whereby a twelve-year-old boy was working, for factors unknown (even come me), together a tie salesman; and, across the street, the liquid Kitchen and its “back booth v the torn red leatherette upholstery.” There, the “gang” waited. However who the corridor was, or what they were wait for, ns didn’t know. Ns took the unfinished story and also let it lead me where it would – come Addie and also Joe and the Forum and also Kevin Hennessey and Ms. Wyman and also Aunt Pam and also Addie’s refusal to speak the Pledge that Allegiance. Ns remember composing that scene – once Addie refuses come say the Pledge – as the minute I knew the the novel would go in a political direction, and it would certainly be Addie that would it is in the steering force.

I’m regularly asked what elements of the story space real. So:

Paintbrush Falls, new York: not real, but based in component on the town of Webster, brand-new York, where I prospered up. Webster is close to Rochester, in the western component of the state. For some factor (possibly to carry out with my relocating from Webster in the seventh grade), ns mentally picked the town up and relocated it to the northeastern component of the state near Saratoga Springs and Albany.The candy Kitchen: real. Not only did the liquid Kitchen in Webster have actually booths and burgers and ice cream, it marketed handmade chocolates (hence that is name). Together a lover that chocolate, perform I have to tell you that the candy Kitchen was among my favorite places?Awkworth & Ames: real, other than for the name. There was a tiny department store across the street native the liquid Kitchen in Webster, yet I nothing remember what it to be called. “Awkworth & Ames” just came to me together I wrote.Skeezie Tookis: Skeezie’s name also came as I wrote, as names regularly do because that me. The is not based upon anyone real, however. A character who is real is Aunt Pam, who is modeled ~ above my nephew Pam.Joe Bunch: Joe is partially based on someone real. I’ll gain to that in a minute.

The Misfits was a how amazing easy book for me come write. As soon as I had actually my 4 main characters and also the basic situation, I just let lock go whereby they wanted to and also enjoyed the ride. This isn’t to to speak that ns didn’t think and also plan and also plot. Ns did, yet with higher ease 보다 I’ve well-known in writing most of my other books. I loved the personalities from the get-go. They quickly involved feel favor old friends; it was virtually as if I was the 5th member of the corridor of Five. For this reason spending time through friends was one factor the writing went for this reason smoothly. The various other was that i cared deeply around the subject matter of the book. And I cared especially around the character of Joe.

When ns asked which character i am most like, I generally say, since it’s true, that I have a bit of every of them in me. But the greater truth is that ns was most like Joe once I was growing up, although ns lacked his self-confidence and wasn’t together “out there” together he is. Yet I plot “more choose a girl 보다 a boy lot of the time,” as Bobby states of Joe. And like Joe, i am gay. Ns was gay as soon as I to be twelve, too, but I didn’t have the indigenous to recognize it or feel good about it earlier then. The just words ns knew were negative ones, bad in the feeling of telling me that I was bad. Together I have Mr. Kellerman say, “I thought every name ns was referred to as in school and also took them v me into the rest of mine life.” that took many years for me come realize the the names I had actually been called when i was cultivation up had everything to do with others and also nothing to perform with me. When I finally concerned feel great about who I am, ns was angry the I had wasted so much time believing the lies that others (much choose the fictitious Kevin Hennessey) had actually insisted were true. I determined to rewrite my own story, so to speak, by producing a character that is growing up gay and feels good about who he is, that is the human I might have been had actually I grown increase in a different time through different role models. Role models choose Joe Bunch.

It wasn’t until I had practically finished composing the book that it occurred to me that schools could take the upon us to establish their own No-Name Day, as the characters in The Misfits do. Not just did individual schools in different parts the the nation do exactly that in ~ months of the book’s publication, however a national organization working to make schools safe for every students contacted me around creating a national No Name-Calling Week, making use of The Misfits together its inspiration. Once I to be asked if I would certainly be a component of this initiative, ns jumped in ~ the opportunity. Along with forty other organizations, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and also Straight education and learning Network) has sponsored No Name-Calling Week since March 2004. NNCW now takes location the critical week in January (or whenever separation, personal, instance schools select to participate), and thousands of colleges take part annually.

The Misfits and No Name-Calling Week have actually occasionally come under attack for being component of the so-called “gay agenda,” everything that’s supposed to be. But the variety of schools where the publication is check out as part of the Language art curriculum or together an “all-school read” and also those participating in NNCW far outnumber the few individuals or neighborhoods that discover the message of inclusion and respect somehow threatening.

The genuine agenda, if over there is one, is come make schools a location where everyone can be that he or she is, without having actually to are afraid ridicule or attack. The first time i spoke about these issues was at Merrill middle School in Des Moines, Iowa, during the first No Name-Calling main in 2004. Ns spoke throughout a large gym floor to 650 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders arrayed in bleachers prior to me. I’ll be honest: ns was terrified. But when ns finished speaking, something happened that had never taken place to me before. The students offered me a was standing ovation. All day long I met with little groups, and also later I got letters, and what ns heard over and over to be this: friend told us the truth. You have the right to read part of what I said to those students the day by clicking on What deserve to You carry out to finish Name-Calling and also Bullying? in the Teachers and Parents section of this website. It’s a downloadable PDF, so feel complimentary to download it and make copies if girlfriend wish. Ns hope it will certainly speak fact to you together well.

I have always believed in the power of language. Words deserve to hurt. Words can heal. Words can result change. Words have actually been what i have functioned with because that over thirty years now. I’ve written over ninety books and more speeches than I can remember. After ~ The Misfits I wrote Totally Joe, come tell Joe’s story, Addie ~ above the Inside, to tell Addie’s, and Also recognized as Elvis, to tell Skeezie’s.

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How straightforward it is to effect readjust in fiction. One struggle of the delete button and a fast rewrite and Presto! the fate that an separation, personal, instance or an entire community have the right to be reversed or set on a whole new course. It is far from that basic in genuine life. Yet I hold rapid to my belief that each among us deserve to effect change in everything ways are open up to us. Ns am lucky to it is in a writer, come have methods to usage my indigenous to with others. The indigenous I offered to create The Misfits have changed my life and also may have changed others. But if i were not a writer, ns hope I would still be aware of just how words have the right to make a difference. What i say and also how i say that – even one indigenous – can impact how others see themselves and look in ~ the world.