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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Addie on the Inside

James Howe’s Addie on the Inside, a companion book to The Misfits and Totally Joe, is a touching novel in verse about the angst of the preteen years. Addie, a seventh grader who speaks her mind, is dealing with many issues. Her on and off again relationship with one of the most popular guys in school has her self esteem plummeting. Addie doesn’t understand why Becca, her childhood best friend, is picking on her. How will Addie survive when her grandmother moves out? She has been Addie’s confidant during these trying times. Things dramatically change when Addie covers her mouth with duct tape in a gesture to stay silent the whole day at school in honor of The Day of Silence. Howe poetically captures the voices of so many young adults trying to make it through those tough middle school years and the essence of emerging into the persons they will ultimately become. My favorite revelation in the book is when her grandmother discusses that “mean girls” always existed, but are now more powerful with today’s media networking – how true! No Name-Calling Week (, an anti-bullying campaign, was created as a result of Howe’s The Misfits. Other great books by Howe include the popular Bunnicula series, 13: Thirteen Stories that Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen, and the Sebastian-Barth Mystery series.

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