Meet Joe Bunch. Lovable misfit and celebrity wannabe from Paintbrush Falls, New York. Like his longtime best friends Addie, Skeezie, and Bobby, Joe's been called names all his life. So when he's given the assignment to write his alphabiography -- the story of his life from A to Z -- Joe has his doubts. This whole thing could be serious ammunition for bullying if it falls into the wrong hands. But Joe discovers there's more to the assignment -- and his life -- than meets the eye. Especially when he gets to the letter C, which stands for Colin Briggs, the coolest guy in the seventh grade (seriously) -- and Joe's secret boyfriend. By the time Joe gets to the letter Z, he's pretty much bared his soul about everything. And Joe's okay with that because he likes who he is. He's Totally Joe, and that's the best thing for him to be. Here is an exuberant, funny, totally original story of one boy's coming out -- and coming-of-age.
James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers. Bunnicula, coauthored by his late wife Deborah and published in 1979, is considered a modern classic of children’s literature. The author has written six highly popular sequels, along with the spinoff series Tales from the House of Bunnicula and Bunnicula and Friends. Among his other books are picture books such as Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores and beginning reader series that include the Pinky and Rex and Houndsley and Catina books. He has also written for older readers. The Misfits, published in 2001, inspired the nationwide antibullying initiative No Name-Calling Week, as well as three sequels, Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis. A common theme in James Howe’s books from preschool through teens is the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (October 1, 2005)
Length: 208 pages
Grades: 5 - 9
Ages: 10 - 14
Lexile ® 910L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
* “The welcome return of the Gang of Five (though there are really only four) introduced in The Misfits…. This narrator is anything but an average Joe: he’s candid, memorable and—though he might find this hard to believe—totally charismatic.”—Publishers Weekly, *STAR
"Joe's voice is both real and funny, ensuring accessibility to a wide range of students, male or female, gay or straight."
--School Library Journal, February 2011
Awards and Honors
ALA Notable Children's Books
CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
Thumbs Up! Award Top Ten Title (MI)
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
ALA Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
Bank Street Best Books of the Year
Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Junior Title
Kirkus Editor's Choice
Maine Student Book Award Reading List
NYPL Best Books for Teens
NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts