Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Addie on the Inside, by James Howe

If you've read The Misfits (and I'm glad that I did before I read this companion), you'll remember Addie. She's the bright, but slightly outspoken girl who's always protesting something, and ever so slightly out of step with her peers.

Here, we finally get to see what motivates her and why she is always standing up for causes, whether it is against homophobia, opposing domestic abuse, or just criticizing the inanity of her peers. We get to meet her supportive parents and her inspiring grandmother. But most of all, we get a direct view of her thoughts. Rather appropriately, these are expressed in verse.

While I was looking forward to reading this book, my first thought when I saw that it was mostly written in verse was to put it away. Middle school verse?! With a preachy anti-bullying message? I wasn't sure I could take it. I expected trite little pieces inspired by Kumbaya. But I was surprised with the strength of the writing and how quickly Addie's character won me over. With the help of some poignant verse on growing too old for childhood (and some absolutely devastating ones on her cats), I was totally hooked. I think that I'm going to have to go out and buy this one!

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