Totally Joe

 
5.0
 
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Author(s)
Age Range
10+
ISBN
0689839588
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This book totally rocks
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Totally Joe is a totally awesome book with one of the most engaging (and, dare I say it adorable) characters Id seen in a while. Joe is in the seventh grade and hes gay. Hes also comfortable with himself because his family supports him (even though he hasnt actually come out to them at the beginning of the book) and his friends do too. Hes got his own sense of style and a great sense of self he knows who he is.

The book is told as Joes alphabiography (a biography written up by letter of the alphabet). Joe starts with Addie for A his best friend since forever. Addies a strong-willed character with lots of opinions and shes a staunch supporter of Joe. Throughout the book we also meet Colin, Joes first kind-of boyfriend (but no swapping saliva Joes is totally NOT up for that yet), who knows he likes Joe but cant quite be comfortable letting anyone else know.

And Joes other friends are a lot of fun as well, but a special new friend Zachary (who might be gay) comforts Joe when the social pressures get too much for Colin. Because, of course, (this is middle school) there are a group of kids who dont appreciate Joe for who he is.

This is a companion book to The Misfits, where we were first introduced to the idea of No Name Calling Week. Joe finally takes a stand and finds a way to stop the bullies when the school is celebrating their first ever No Name-Calling Day.

Theres lots of other stuff going on too how his parents help battle the school board when there are objections to setting up a GSA at the school, how the love lives of Joes friends are going, how much Joes Aunt Pam means to him.

Highly recommended for readers aged 9 and up and anyone involved in any way in middle school life (like teachers and parents too!). You dont have to be gay to enjoy this book, but if you do happen to be and are still questioning yourself (like Colin), reading about Joe could really help you out.
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