Monday, April 10, 2006
Totally Joe by James Howe
This book is funny and fresh, and a great example of first-person writing from the point of view of a 7th grade guy. His teacher assigned a big writing assignment--an alphabiography--in which Joe has to write his own autobiography by going through all the letters of the alphabet. Joe writes about his family, his current crush, his supportive group of friends, and about being harassed at school. Joe is dealing with normal 7th grade issues, but many of them are magnified by the fact that Joe is gay. Lucky for him he has a teacher he can confide in, and aunt who supports him unconditionally, a good group of friends, and a family that accepts him for who he is. If this book were about a straight middle school student everyone would love it. As it is, I know some people will not care for it. If you are ready for this kind of book, read it and enjoy. If you are not up for it now, read something else now and maybe try this one later. If you are able to get into the mind and heart of Joe, you will find a good hearted, smart, funny kid with a great story to tell.