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The Misfits (The Misfits, #1)
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The Misfits (The Misfits #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  5,711 Ratings  ·  699 Reviews
Kids who get called the worst names oftentimes find each other. That's how it was with us. Skeezie Tookis and Addie Carle and Joe Bunch and me. We call ourselves the Gang of Five, but there are only four of us. We do it to keep people on their toes. Make 'em wonder. Or maybe we do it because we figure that there's one more kid out there who's going to need a gang to be a p ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published May 1st 2001)
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Susan Absolutely not boring, but I guess if you've never had anyone make fun of you or tease you viciously, you might not be able to relate to the misfits…moreAbsolutely not boring, but I guess if you've never had anyone make fun of you or tease you viciously, you might not be able to relate to the misfits of the story.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"Kids who get called the worst names oftentimes find each other. That's how it was with us. Skeezie Tookis and Addie Carle and Joe Bunch and me. We call ourselves the Gang of Five, but there are only four of us. We do it to keep people on their toes. Make 'em wonder. Or maybe we do it because we figure that there's one more kid out there who's going to need a gang to be a part of. A misfit, like us.
...I do not want you thinking that I or Addie or Joe or Skeezie feel sorry for ourselves. We do n
Mar 30, 2009 rated it liked it
By:James Howe total pages:288

Misfits by James Howe is about a group of middle school students who are best friends who have been teased by many people over the years. the main characters in this story are Addie, Bobby, Joe, Skeezy. Bobby used to be picked on because he is over weight Addie was teased because of her height and because she was very shy. Skeezy was teased because he dresses differently then most other people do. Joe was always teased because he is gay. These students found each o
Lisa Nimz
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any adult, and any child from the end of 5th on up
Shelves: young-adult
This is a wonderful book on many levels. The dialogue cracks me up. James Howe's characterizations are strong. He is realistic about the difficulties of school social life, but avoids scaring the will to live out of the reader. He is realistic, but not overly-dramatic.

What I love most about this book is how Bobby's thoughts are elucidated. He's growing into a manhood born of the strength of character it takes to consider others--something that requires a bravery rarely discussed. I would be fort
May 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Oaks
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Repeating the 7th Grade

I love stories dealing with people who don’t fit into a perfect mold. Add a group of 7th graders to the mix and you have the perfect middle school drama. James Howe may have aged up the voices of the main characters a bit, but it works. Typical school drama with socially aware kids kept me turning the pages. The story felt fun and light until real heart started showing up. The feels went off the chart during the big speech. The moments Bobby and his dad share on the pages
Madeline Greene
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bobby is a 12 year old tie salesman who is part of a group at his school. They are not the most popular kids and people always call them names, but they don't care what other people think. The gang of five consists of 4 kids; Addie, Bobby, Joe and Skeezie. Skeezie is the cool person of the group, hair slicked back and leather jackets. Addie is the independent person, and stands for her own opinion. Joe is the girly one of the group, always having one fingernail painted. Finally bobby is the laid ...more
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kids who get called the worst names oftentimes find each other. That's how it was with us. Skeezie Tookis and Addie Carle and Joe Bunch and me. We call ourselves the Gang of Five, but there are only four of us. We do it to keep people on their toes. Make 'em wonder. Or maybe we do it because we figure that there's one more kid out there who's going to need a gang to be a part of. A misfit, like us.

Skeezie, Addie, Joe, and Bobby -- they've been friends forever. They laugh together, have lunch tog
Sophie Rosenthal
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
In this book, Bobby, Addie, Skeezie, and Joe are the Gang of Five, a group of 4 bullying victims. They all use each other to stay strong, and away from bully's. They want to get rid of bullying and enforce freedom. So, to do that, they come up with the Freedom Party in their school election. The party represents minority's. When the party is told that they can't participate in the election, they come up with the No-Name Party. The No-Name Party represents everyone ever called a name. So they are ...more
Jul 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
I know that preachy, bullying-is-bad books are popular at the moment, but this is the worst one I've ever read. The moral of the book is supposedly that you should get to know your classmates as unique individuals rather than stereotyping them into categories like "nerd" and "jock," but the author has hypocritically thrown together every stereotype he could think of instead of creating interesting, dynamic characters. This book is insulting to every type of teenager.
Michelle Martineau
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet book about a group of friends who band together to push back against the negative way kids treat each other. I thought the ending was a little overly tidy with all the coupling between the characters, but a cute story. Good way for kids to think about a variety of ideas like name-calling, growing up questioning your sexuality and gender stereotypes, and other social issues. None of them are explored in great depth, but that didn’t bother me. Kids now may be puzzled by the lack of phones an ...more
Sep 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
I read this overnight in order to help my seventh-grade Godson with his back to school ELA assignment. The more I read it, the more annoyed I got. This book is rated as being age appropriate for 10-14 year olds, yet there is absolutely no way that children this age could wade through the tremendous amount of agenda-driven BS that makes up the majority of the first half of the book.

Touted as a book about anti-bullying, the book touches on homophobia, racism, police brutality, and a number of oth
Genevieve Goldstein
In " The Misfits" by James Howe. I found out that Joe is gay, and that he likes Colin. Addie also likes Colin. Skeezie is the go-betweener for Addie. Or in other words, he puts notes in his locker for her. The teachers made them stop the Freedom party. They came up with the no-name party. It's to stop students from being called names and being bullied anymore. The only thing different is that DuShawn dropped out from being President. Now Addie is president and Joe is vice president. I wonder if ...more
Carolina Irato

I thought this book was really important because it relates to the world now. Freedom. The key to anything. "Freedom is what makes a happy ending" says bobby. This book is teaching us how a label doesn't show who you are. name calling is what the gang of five wants to put an end to. A lot of words have been called to a lot of kids. They are also showing how this election can impact the people who call the names. overall, this book was sending as really good life lesson/message.
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book didn't get any supergreat critical response when it came out, but I found it hilarious, engaging, and full of truly sympathetic (if not totally realistic) characters. Especially now that we're back in an election year, I bet it'd work pretty great for group discussion, and there are scenes in there that'd make for some killer Readers Theater (probably best for middle school-age kids). Rock on, Howe.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In chapter 18, Bobby talks to his dad about him liking a girl. At the end they end up talking about his mom. When this happened, it showed a lot about bobby and his dad as characters. Bobby says that he doesn't want to be like his dad when he's older and that shows that he wants to be better than what is dad is making him do like work for his family and live in a trailer.
Jun 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
I won't ever let my kids read this book. I don't want my kids to be told that being gay is okay when they are so impressionable.
Ian Tymms
A must-read for Middle Schoolers. Great Grade 6 book with lots to say about fitting in and tolerance. Thoughtful, compassionate and one of those great books that leaves you hopeful.
Cooper Sakaguchi
May 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
Are you kidding me James Howe? Really?
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"In other words: people who are misfits because they're just who they are instead of 'fits' who are like everybody else."

"Because when you get down to it, thinking of somebody as 100% human seriously gets in the way of hating them."

"Some people get a royal flush and some get a pair of deuces. And some people get nothing but a string of cards that no matter how they're played will never add up to a winning hand."

"The business of really knowing people, deep down, including your own self, it is not
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read. Very entertaining and provided a great insight on what a difference children can make in society.
Tate Colarik
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read.
Madeline Clements
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edtp-245
I really liked this book and the diversity of the characters in it. It went into student government which I'm normally not interested in, however this book kept me entertained. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to a friend.
Hannah Groeschen
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the best coming-of-age novels I have ever read. I felt connected to some of the characters, specifically Addie, and I was intrigued by the idea of approaching the topic of name-calling through a middle school election. Both of these things made The Misfits hard to put down.
Matthew Hampton
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
In "The Misfits", which takes place in Paintbrush Falls, New York, present time, the protagonist Bobby is in middle school and is an outcast because of his weight. He stays with his group of friends and other outcasts; Skeezie, the down to earth and mellow Elvis lover, Addie, a tall and very smart girl, and Joe, who is so creative and flamboyant that bullies follow him everywhere. Together, they call themselves the Gang of Five, and hold forums every Friday to talk about there issues.
Addie pr
Joseph Duncan
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
The "Sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never hurt me" statement is one of the most inaccurate sayings of all time. Words do hurt in any way, shape or form. The Misfits was one of the greatest books I've ever read. It was very inspiring, encouraging and amazing. The main character, Bobby, is an overweight boy in the seventh grade who has been bullied for years from name-calling. Although he has been called all of those names, he has three incredibly, great friends: Addie, Joe ...more
Lars Guthrie
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The same criticisms that could be leveled at Howe's 'Bunnicula' books apply to 'The Misfits,' I suppose. But one person's 'corny' and 'saccharine' can be another's 'funny' and 'sweet.'

'The Misfits' broadened my appreciation for Howe, with its sophisticated plot and themes aimed at the middle school audience, and its style, which alters between the first-person narration of seventh-grader Bobby Godspeed and the stage-format 'minutes' of the meetings of his ousider group at Paintbrush Falls Middl
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Misfits" by James Howe is a book about a group of seventh grade students who are labeled as misfits, and constantly bullied with foul names, but do not let it deter them from enjoying life.

The plot of this novel revolves around a group of five friends who decide to run for student body council together on a freedom ticket, meaning they create their own political party. This newly organized party runs on the assumption that everyone is sick and tired of being labeled and taunted with hurtfu
Amy Greenberger
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3rd-quarter
This book started out very good, but the ending was so unrealistic that it ruined the end of the book. I think that it gives false hope to kids who are having a hard time in middle school that once you grow up all of your dreams and even more will come true. This book was well written and got you very connected, but still had many flaws. Overall, this book was pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend it for someone else to read.
This book is about four kids who call themselves "the gang of five".
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is one that I found at the thrift shop and I chose it based off of the description and author. I've read Howe's Bunnicula books, but I didn't know that he wrote young adult books as well. This one might technically be considered "middle grade fiction" since the characters are 12 and in middle school.
The book is written from the perspective of Bobby Goodspeed and it's about him reflecting on the time in seventh grade when him and his friends (Addie, Joe and Skeezie) ran for student coun
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Class of 2015: The Misfits 2 4 Nov 29, 2014 02:21PM  
Class of 2015: The Misfits 1 4 Nov 15, 2014 02:58PM  
Class of 2015: The misfits 1 2 Oct 19, 2014 09:37PM  
Bullied...wrote about it. 1 3 Jan 17, 2014 10:51AM  
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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 about James Howe

Other books in the series

The Misfits (4 books)
  • Totally Joe (The Misfits, #2)
  • Addie on the Inside (The Misfits, #3)
  • Also Known as Elvis (The Misfits, #4)

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“Another thing I think about names is that they DO hurt. They hurt because we believe them. We think they are telling us something true about ourselves, something other people can see even if we don't. —Bobby Goodspeed” 28 likes
“Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit.” 24 likes
More quotes…