"Sticks and stones may break our bones but words will break our spirit." Skeezie, Addie, Joe and Bobby have always been friends. They do everything together and know that, though life may not always be fair, at least they have each other to see them through the seventh grade. But that turns out to be more of a challenge than any of them had ...Read More"Sticks and stones may break our bones but words will break our spirit." Skeezie, Addie, Joe and Bobby have always been friends. They do everything together and know that, though life may not always be fair, at least they have each other to see them through the seventh grade. But that turns out to be more of a challenge than any of them had anticipated. Starting with Addie's refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance and her insistence on creating a new political party to run for student council, the friends are in for a rocky school year. Along the way they'll learn about politics and popularity, love and loss, and gradually come to be seen, not as the one-word jokes their classmates have tried to reduce them to, but as the full, complicated beings they are just beginning to discover they really are.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-05-19 PW called this story of four best friends, the target of cruel name-calling who decide they aren't going to take it anymore, "an upbeat, reassuring novel that encourages preteens and teens to celebrate their individuality." Ages 10-14. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-10-29 What do a 12-year-old student who moonlights as a tie salesman, a tall, outspoken girl, a gay middle schooler and a kid branded as a hooligan have in common? Best friends for years, they've all been the target of cruel name-calling and now that they're in seventh grade, they're not about to take it any more. In this hilarious and poignant novel, Howe (Bunnicula; The Watcher) focuses on the quietest of the bunch, overweight Bobby Goodspeed (the tie salesman), showing how he evolves from nerd to hero when he starts speaking his mind. Addie (the outspoken girl) decides that the four of them should run against more popular peers in the upcoming student council election. But her lofty ideals and rabble-rousing speeches make the wrong kind of waves, offending fellow classmates, teachers and the principal. It is not until softer-spoken Bobby says what's in his heart about nicknames and taunts that people begin to listen and take notice, granting their respect for the boy they used to call "Lardo" and "Fluff." The four "misfits" are slightly larger than life wiser than their years, worldlier than the smalltown setting would suggest, and remarkably well-adjusted but there remains much authenticity in the story's message about preadolescent stereotyping and the devastating effects of degrading labels. An upbeat, reassuring novel that encourages preteens and teens to celebrate their individuality. Ages 10-14. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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