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Totally Joe (The Misfits, #2)
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Totally Joe (The Misfits #2)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  3,003 ratings  ·  298 reviews
"Everybody says you and Colin were kissing."

"What? That's ridiculous!"

"For heaven's sake, Joe, if you and Colin want to kiss, you have every right to."

"We did not kiss," I told her.

Addie shrugged. "Whatever."

What was it with my friends?


From the creator of The Misfits, the book that inspired NATIONAL NO NAME-CALLING WEEK, comes the story of Joe Bunch....
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published September 27th 2005)
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John Egbert
How this book makes me feel:

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INTRODUCTION

I can not describe in words. I just cannot. I hold so much distaste and venom for this book that I will dissect the following conversation printed on the book jacket to, indeed, show you just one reason why I hate Joe.


"Everybody says you and Colin were kissing."

"What? That's ridiculous!"

"For heaven's sake, Joe, if you and Colin want to kiss, you have every right to."

"We did not kiss," I told her.

Addie shrugged. "Whatever."

What was it with my f
...more
Emily
I work with middle schoolers, and every now and then I dabble a bit in adolescent literature. I have to say, I'm frequently disturbed by what I find in the genre. There are a lot of mass marketed young adult books filled with pain and angst. There are a lot of books about drug use, alcohol, abuse, pregnancy, STDs, and all of that crap that supposedly comes along with being a teenager.
I sort of understand why young adult lit can be so yucky and diactic much of the time. After all, you can't ignor...more
Eric
Joe is a quirky, very gay preteen boy at a small high school in upstate New York. He's been given an assignment from his English teacher to write an "alpha-biography" detailing his life from A-Z. Each chapter, written over the course of school year follows Joe in his process of coming out to his family, falling in love, breaking up, and standing up for himself. I really identified with him, though at times it reminded me of my own uncomfortable life growing up in small town Ohio and not feeling...more
Deb
This book is awesome! And I found it entirely by accident. I picked up a bunch of new books in my library, and recognizing the author as the "Bunnicula" author, grabbed this one. This book is VERY different, and deals with a much-needed, though sensitive, topic. Joe is in 7th grade and his teacher has assigned a year-long writing project -- an alphabiography. For each letter of the alpabet, Joe has to write about himself. Early in the alphabet, we learn that when Joe was little, he preferred Bar...more
Josiah
"There's no such thing as a wasted wish."

—Joe Bunch, "Totally Joe", P. 21

"A day can start out ordinary and end up being in the top ten."

—Joe Bunch, "Totally Joe", P. 184

I would give this four and a half stars, and for weeks I considered giving it five (I'm still considering it).
This book is somewhat difficult for me to review, as I disagreed with a lot of it personally. Still, I loved this story. It contains exceptionally funny material and empathetically heartbreaking moments that resona...more
Alicia
Joe's assignment is to write an alphabiography-- each chapter begins with the letter of the alphabet and in his biography, Joe describes his recent past, present, and near future of coming out. Although Joe is young, thirteen, the first-person narration really doesn't give it away unless he specifically refers to his birthday. Joe is dealing with the requisite popular boy who wants to be his boyfriend, but only when it's behind closed doors because he isn't confident. Joe realizes he's got a gre...more
Raina
Joe is 12. His teacher has assigned his class an "alphabiography" - each kid has to write about their lives using the 26 letters of the alphabet to inspire each entry.
Joe is gay. His friends and family know it before he does and in the course of his alphabiography he offically realizes this, comes out, and starts to make positive change in his school.
I enjoyed this as a portrayal of a relatively normal gay kid who has a relatively easy experience coming out. In some ways I think we need more st...more
Alicia
Joe Bunch's 8th grade English teacher has given his students an assignment to write an "alphabiography" over the course of the school year. With each letter of the alphabet representing a different chapter, Totally Joe tells the story of a year in the life of a gay adolescent boy. Joe falls in love, has his heart broken, comes out to his family, and finds love and support among his friends and family. Howe does such a wonderful job of writing in the voice of a 13-year old boy that the reader can...more
Shannon
Quick (read it in four hours quick), fun, and has a big heart.

Though Totally Joe suffered from some underdeveloped characters, other had some surprising depth. Joe was extremely stereotypical, and I felt it went a little overboard with the flamboyant gay teen, but after reading an interview with the author I understood what he was trying to do. Let's take the most stereotyped character, the one everyone knows about, and stick you in their head.

Yes, Joe likes "girly" things. He likes clothes, co...more
Kirstin Glawe
This book is a multicultural children’s story that discusses the life of a middle school boy, Joe, who is gay. I loved the title page of this book because it catches the reader’s attention and is so significant to the story. The book is written as a alphabiography, or like a journal that goes through each letter where he has to write about something in his life, ending each letter with a life lesson. I thought that this was such a creative and interesting way to tell his story. It made the book...more
Mrs. Reed
My book club raised the question that our title character might be overly stereotyped, and I welcome insight from others who have read this. Personally, I think that part of the point of the book is that Joe is trying to be himself. One other character does sort of accuse him of being a stereotype, so I think that Howe acknowledges this.
Mostly, I think the point is that there are lots of books for athletes, lots of books for kids with divorced parents, lots of books for nerds, lots of books for...more
Kristian
this book is about a gay kid joe and he is a weird child. he plays with dolls a.k.a barbies and he enjoys it and he has a big crush on some high school popular boy named colin and he likes joe to but joe doesnt know that. after a party they both hook up and begin to date but everyone makes fun of them because they feel weird that a no body is going out with colin the joc. after some time a rumor goes around that them 2 were kissing but it was not true. they were bugging out and getting really an...more
Sean
Jun 16, 2012 Sean rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: glbt
A fun read. A bit too sweet perhaps. It seemed like the author asked himself, "How can I improve somebody's self-esteem today? I'll write a book!" But there are times in life when a boost in confidence is just what is needed. I can easily picture a kid needing the feel-good "be yourself" message this book offers. Some people have complained about the stereotypical portrayal of a gay kid in the character of Joe, but I have known kids just like him. They need to read about someone like them. What...more
Lydia
Howe has written a book of a 12 going on thirteen year old boy, who has always exhibited rather flamboyant gay behavior and has an assignment to write an alphabiography. Just the concept of having a pre-teen write such a thing is outstanding. This assignment leads Joe towards understanding himself, his environment, his family and his friends as he puts down "on paper" what occurs in his life (and yes, X is for Xylophone!). As Joe discovers he can be gay, that he can come out, that he does not ha...more
Sala Bim
This is a very sweet and uplifting read. It's such a necessary contribution to Young Adult literature as well as LGBT lit. and I wish there were so many more like it. It's a very encouraging and humorous tale of a young man's coming of age/coming out in an environment where he is both supported by some and realistically not by others. Joe is a boy like so many out there simply searching for the courage to love and be proud of himself even as he faces adversity and heartbreak. It's a witty and te...more
Sarah
Never has a book contained so many stereotypes.

1) The main character has a "special connection" with Cher.
2) MC is obsessed with fashion.
3) First boyfriend is the closeted jock.
4) Best friend is the feminist.
5) Halloween is favorite holiday because it involves dressing up.
6) The (implied) gay bully.
7) Likes dolls.
8) Dresses in drag
9) MC wears nail polish.
10) MC likes stereotypically feminine activities, such as cooking, clothes, etc.

Entire plot follows the stereotypical track of flamboyant main...more
Christie
Aug 18, 2014 Christie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
When Joe Bunch is given an ‘alphabiography’ as a seventh grade English project he thinks it’s lame. Joe’s teacher, Mr. Daly wants students to write about themselves from A-Z and that’s all well and good, except as Joe writes “I’m not exactly your average Joe.” But that, as it turns out, is just one of the many charms of Totally Joe by James Howe.

Howe is a prolific writer; he’s written over 70 books including the Bunnicula series. Totally Joe is also part of a series, The Misfits. Anyone who has...more
Maria
This would be a great book for someone around middle school age. Especially someone who is questioning their orientation, or who knows someone who is. Well-written with enjoyable characters with a light & humorous tone, my rating is more reflective of me than of the book itself. If I would have been closer to the ages of the characters when I read this, I would have loved it. Reading it as an adult, I simply wasn't the right audience, but that doesn't mean I don't think it would be a terrifi...more
Sage
I thought this book was (at best) meh.

reasons
1) STEREOTYPES- to quote my friend Kat "LIKETOTALLYHOMO" (yeah no spaces)

2) WRITING- (I'm sorry but I can't read something written like this)(it makes me think of math)

3) THAT SMILEY FACE THING- just a pet peeve...

4) "So how about extra credit?'- really? NO TEACHERS GIVE EXTRA CREDIT FOR USING "BIG WORDS"



LFPL Teen Services
Joe is assigned to write a biography in alphabetical order. As he does, he reveals what life is like for an openly gay twelve year old boy. Joe gets his first boyfriend, but is crushed when he breaks up with him. Joe discovers his family and friends are important, and that there is no equal to being yourselves.

Peter
Jane
This is my all time fave book!!!!!!!!!!! It has a lot of voice and character. It is also a heart warming story that I personally love!!! READ THIS BOOK!!!
Kim
one thing that comes to my mind after reading this: joe is more mature than i am when when i was 12/13. the form of writing was good--this was written as an alphabiography, and i haven't had enough of this form. the snippet for each letter was short, sweet and funny, and like i said earlier, the footnotes were adorable, like finding little treasures. also, a young person relaying huge issues that are still impacting people's lives today, (homophobia, bullying, death of a parent, peer pressure),...more
Elisabeth
I am very happy with this book. Joe is a great character and very relatable. I was very pleased to find this book. It isn't often you see a book for kids/preteens about a gay character, especially shown in positive light. James Howe (who graduated from the High School I'm gonna be attending!) has made a great book.
There were parts that made me cringe (like the fact he is 12 for most of the book and there is a huge issue with boyfriends. But I'm not that much older than him and have some of the s...more
Kevin
A great story for middle school age kids who are LGBTQ.
Handd51
James Howe's writing style here is very light and funny. The books structure as a fictional "alphabiography", a supposed assignment for 6th grade to write abouthimself from a to z over the school year. 12-year-old Joe has been called names all his life, and hangs out with other kids outside the popular crowd. It is obvious from early in the book that Joe is already self-identified as gay. For a few weeks, he has a boyfriend who is not yet willing to be recognized as gay. By the end of the book,...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
I had quite a bit of fun with this one. It's cute and endearing without running into sappy and keeps moving along with a contagious excitement. The only things I can think to really complain of are the convenience of the alpha-biography form that is a sort of thin shell for a mostly chronological narrative (what kid actually starts a year long assignment in October?) and the lack of citations in the xylophone chapter. Really. I'm that kind of insane teacher that I would expect some type of citat...more
jiawei Ong
Totally Joe revolves totally around Joe. Joe is an average gay teenager attending a small high school at upstate New York. I like how James Howe thoughtfully structures the chapters from A-Z, matching the story of when Joe’s teacher assigns Joe the “alpha-biography” homework. The order of the alphabet chapters allows the reader to witness the course of Joe’s high school life, from hiding under his skin to being comfortable to stand up for who he is. I’ve read this book before in 6th grade, an...more
Telka
Totally Joe was about a gay boy named Joe. The story is written as an autobiography for his English teacher, Mr. D. Joe takes the story, and puts it in alphabetical form. I found this book really interesting in the way Joe tells his English teacher everything that he was thinking, and everything that had happend in his life so far. Joe grows up being a little boy who likes cooking, playing barbies, and of course dressing up! As Joe gets older, he has a group of friends at school, who really sup...more
Kaitlyn
this book is about a boy nmed Jodan Bunch! everyoone else calls him Joe! Joe is a gay 13 year old boy! this book is his alphabiography os A-Z! he has to do this progject for school.in the book Joe gets a Football player boyfriend named Colin! its his and his friends secret noone else knows. he deals with a lot peer pressure with his family and at school! he ends with a few problem with being gay! will Joe be able to deal with these problems?well read the book and u can find out!

i can realte to J...more
Christine
This book is about a thirteen year old gay teenager named Joe who was an outcast in his school. He falls in love with the popular guy named Colin. He soon realizes that Colin was also gay! and that he also liked Joe. They soon went out. Since Colin didn't want people to know that he was gay, their relationship was kept secret.

Colin cares about what people think about him in school. His popularity was very meaningful to him, but at the end, he figures that he should be himself. And that it is ok...more
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Do you think that this was a really good project to assign? 8 44 Aug 19, 2012 02:32PM  
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51424
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Howe has written more than eighty books in the thirty-plus years he's been writing for young readers. It sometimes confuses people that the author of the humorous Bunnicula series also wrote the dark young adult novel, The Watcher, or such beginning reader series as Pi...more
More about James Howe...
Bunnicula Howliday Inn The Celery Stalks at Midnight (Bunnicula, #3) The Misfits (The Misfits, #1) Nighty-Nightmare (Bunnicula, #4)

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“Life is short and there will always be dirty dishes, so let's dance.” 84 likes
“I hated that the soldier doll had my name. I mean, please. I didn't play with him much. He was another Christmas present from my clueless grandparents. One time when they were visiting, my grandpa asked me if G.I. Joe had been in any wars lately. I said, "No, but he and Ken got married last week." Every Christmas since then, my grandparents have sent me a check.” 48 likes
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