Freebie Friday: The Misfits by James Howe
Posted by: Mary Burkey
Today is the 5th birthday of Audiobooker! Celebrate with Full Cast Audio’s The Misfits, an essential recording for every school and public library. To mark the fifth anniversary of my blog, I’ll be giving away FIVE freebie copies of The Misfits, hopefully to teachers and school librarians eager to introduce this title to their students. Just leave your name in the comments below, and I’ll announce the winners in two weeks. Howe’s powerful story about middle school misfits who band together to overcome the cruel taunts of their classmates holds even more importance today than when published over ten years ago. Especially significant is the audiobook’s interview with the author, where Howe shares his personal experiences that inspired the novel. Those who seek resources to reduce bullying in our schools have a tremendous resource in No-Name Calling Week, and the project’s bank of resource materials. Here’s more about the initiative:
No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled The Misfits by popular author, James Howe. The book tells the story of four best friends trying to survive the seventh grade in the face of all too frequent taunts based on their weight, height, intelligence, and sexual orientation/gender expression. Motivated by the inequities they see around them, the “Gang of Five” (as they are known) creates a new political party during student council elections and run on a platform aimed at wiping out name-calling of all kinds. The No-Name Party in the end, wins the support of the school’s principal for their cause and their idea for a “No Name-Calling Day” at school.
Motivated by this simple, yet powerful, idea, the No Name-Calling Week Coalition created by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children’s publishing, consisting of over 40 national partner organizations, organized an actual No Name-Calling Week in schools across the nation. The project seeks to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools, and to provide students and educators with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities.
The audiobook of The Misfits features a full cast of over twenty narrators, with teens providing the key roles, a perfect fit with Howe’s funny and touching totally tween voices. I’m especially thrilled to feature The Misfits today on Audiobooker. It was exactly five years ago, November 16, 2007, when I wrote the very first Audiobooker post. On that day, I had the great honor of presenting an audiobook panel at the National Council of Teachers of English convention with authors James Howe and Bruce Coville, founder & president of Full Cast Audio. Creating the original Audiobooker blog was my way of sharing the presentation outline & notes. Little did I think that I’d still be going strong five years later! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bruce Coville and the entire audiobook community for their support in the creation of both this blog and Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature, my book that is a direct result of that guidance. A tip of the birthday hat to everyone who has helped along the way!