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Totally Joe (The Misfits) Paperback – April 24, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is extremely diverse, and includes various individuals that challenge social norms, like Addie's vegetarian parents or Brian's widowed father or Skeezie's single mother. It also shows individuals like Aunt Pam who is implied to be a victim of some form of domestic abuse. The book doesn't wrap itself up in preachy diatribes on these topics, but instead weaves these elements into the average daily life of Joe Bunch.
Some critics have said that Joe's liberal family is too much of a fantasy, and to some extent that may be true.Read more ›
At the heart of this alphabiography assignment is the task to be self-reflexive. (Now what self-respecting feminist isn't into being self-reflexive?) However, despite Totally Joe being presented as a confidential, journal-type text strictly between Joe and his teacher, Mr. Daly, we know as readers that we are to match Joe's self-reflexivity with our own. (Isn't all reading about this?)
In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and have been quite disappointed to see reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist that critique it for its idealism and treats its optimism as a liability instead of an asset.
What ever happened to hope? to dreams? (Or, for to letting fiction be fiction?)
I believe in the power of imagination to bring about change. Utopia should not be a dirty six letter word.
Is everything in Totally Joe completely believable? Hardly. But if it were, wouldn't that be something?
The book is a delight; a blast, a visit to a slightly different planet where being queer isn't easy, but it isn't dangerous and the hardest part is figuring out how to find your way -- pretty much like any other adolescent.
Well written as usual, and a nice sequel to the Misfits, but so far from reality (at least the reality most of us grew up with) that it can almost be filed under Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Still, I very much liked it, and recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the Misfits.
But now that Joe's developed a crush on his classmate Colin, things are a bit different. For one thing, Colin is a little more hesitant about letting the other kids know he's gay. And for another, Joe's already getting harassed enough by school bully Kevin. Why add ammunition?
Yet at the same time, Joe sees his straight friends starting to pair up. Nobody thinks twice about seeing a boy and girl holding hands or kissing in the hallways, and it makes Joe sad. Why can't he be given the same respect? Why does anyone even CARE who he's romantically interested in? It's totally unfair!
Thanks to a year-long school project where Joe must write about something in his life for each letter of the alphabet - an "alphabiography" - Joe learns more about his own self and his changing feelings as he enters his teen years.
Howe's choice of format is both fun and more approachable for readers who may hesitate at tackling more typically formatted books. And while the book can definitely stand alone, there are many references to Joe's friends who are featured in other books of the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I waited TOO LONG to read this book (and "The Misfits" debut outing) and while I'm not sure where or if I'm even on the sexual orientation spectrum, I do know I get annoyed... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Taurean J. Watkins
This book is great! Humorous, Lovable, and Educational! I can't see an elementary student reading it, but a middle schooler, sure. All in all I loved it.Published 14 months ago by sagray09
This book is good for middle schoolers. This is because the middle school kids learn about gender defferences. That gives them an idea of what they kearn in 5th-7th grade.Published 15 months ago by Timothy Walding
The book was humorous and entertaining, but unfortunately it was shorter than I expected. Wish it would of been longer.Published 19 months ago by Shikamarurc
This is an excellent book, giving an inside view of the experience of being a gay teenage boy & finding a relationship with someone who cares about you as you are. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Patsy Nevins