Monday, August 14, 2006

The Misfits

"I wanted him to be a kid who sees himself as cool, who sees nothing wrong with being attracted to the boy who sits next to him in art class as opposed to the girl on the other side of him."

This is a direct quote from an Interview with James Howe author of "The Misfits". This book is geared towards middle school aged children, which for the most part are grades 7 and 8. So, we are talking about 12 - 13 year old school children.
The "him" in the opening quote is a character by the name of Joe who is an openly gay 7th grader. Joe, according to Mr. Howes, is a reflection of himself as a boy. Mr. Howes now as an adult is gay and it is not clear how or when he thought he chose to be gay. In another interview by Scholastic students Mr. Howe admits to marrying a women and having a child. His wife Debbie is described as his "late wife Debbie" which could mean many things. Mr. Howe could of lost his wife Debbie to an illness/accident, ect and then decided to act on his closeted boy-aged gay behavior after his loss or he could of divorced his wife due to the "lies" he was living in as a gay man married to a women or whatever the case may of been. The point here is Mr. Howe admits to being part of a traditional marriage and then acting on his gay behavior that was the result of whatever stressor in his life. Why did he decide to continue with this behavior after his "late wife Debbie" left him via the potential circumstances as described above? Why does he know need to promote and cohersively indoctrinate these "values" onto 12-year-old children?
Mr. Howe also introduces attraction, starting to date, and love in "The Misfits. Are these adult themes really appropriate for the schoolhouse curriculum? Have the "government run indoctrination camps (public schools)" ever advocated for and TAUGHT about attraction, dating and love to 12 year olds? Yes, the students talk about it amongst themselves in the halls but has it EVER been TAUGHT via books and stories? I mean, how much more agenda driven diversity lessons do our children need in order to graduate? Why is diversity and tolerance taught in the schools in the first place? Isn't that up to the parents of the children?
And yes of course there is a sequel to "The Misfits" that Mr. Howe is working on where the same characters go to the 8th grade.
"The Misfits", among other books written by Mr. Howe, are listed on the Great Books for Gay Teens website. A lot of Mr. Howe's work does not DIRECTLY deal with a homosexual theme as some deal with gender identity and how to deal with loss and challenges in life. These are good themes but a way to "warm-up" to younger readers to bait and hook their minds for his agenda driven gay "teachings" provided in his other works.
Look out for “The Misfits” in your child’s book bag this Fall. Already I have found out this book is going to be required reading at Melrose Middle School this upcoming school year. I will post more schools in the Massachusetts area as I engage in further research on the topic.


Blogger Lynne said...

Looks like it's on the 7th grade reading list in Melrose and the 6th grade reading list in Wakefield. Neither Stoneham nor Swampscot have it on their required reading lists.

I found this info by going to the Melrose Public library's website and searching the catalog.

12:37 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger SCIA said...


Thanks, I will look into that for other towns.

1:46 PM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Steve said...

Other then the radical right... this issue is NOT a big deal to the common person. The average child is exposed to many many things everyday (swearing, heteorosexual sex on tv, parents who lose their temper at little league...) which should be of ligitimate concern! This book has no agenda to indoctrinate children, that is just crazy. Do you think the same thing about books that teach acceptence of african americans, the underground railroad, and Dr. Martin Luther King? The purpose is to expose children of what others in different situations are going through. Why are you people so bigoted that teaching about compassion is such a bad thing? So please, spend your time researching something that REALLY matters. Thank god we live in Massachusetts...

1:03 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger SCIA said...


You said:

"Other then the radical right... this issue is NOT a big deal to the common person."

Funny, because more and more parents are PULLING their children out of public schools because of this type of indoctrinative garbage that they are "taught" in the schools.

You said:

"Do you think the same thing about books that teach acceptance of African Americans, the underground railroad, and Dr. Martin Luther King?"

You are comparing topics that are of VALUE to children to topics that have NO value to children such as homosexuality.

Show me the VALUES of teaching about homosexuality besides diversity and tolerance, which does NOT need to be taught in the schoolhouse but by the parents in the children's house.

You said:

"The purpose is to expose children of what others in different situations are going through."

Do the middle schools in turn teach the 12-year-olds the dangers of a homosexual lifestyle? No, Steve, they do not.

You said:

"Why are you people so bigoted that teaching about compassion is such a bad thing? "

When did we start teaching about compassion in schools and wrapping it up as a civil right so people see that it is a valuble lesson to be learned?

4:17 PM, August 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a conservative and am currently teaching this book in mypublic classrooms. The kids love it. It is funny and very reflective of the pop culture. It gives me the opportunity to explain day after day how wrong it is for teens to be drowning in sexual issues day after day. Most of the kids whole heartidly disagree with Joe's decisions, but are learning to try to accept people for who they are. I also tell them regularly that their hormones will balance at age 21. Why do they have to face these issues at 13? They now know to give their bodies a chance to develop before they are brainwashed that they have to "identify" who they are at such a young, premature age.
Why can't kids just be kids?

6:59 PM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...


You said:

"Why can't kids just be kids?"

I could not agree with you more. I myself like this book, but its author has such an agenda that it takes the pleasure out of reading it.

Great question and thanks for stopping by. How did you bump into my sight?


8:57 PM, April 30, 2007  

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