Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Addie On the Inside by James Howe
Summary from publisher:
Most of the kids at Paintbrush Falls think Addie Carle is outspoken, opinionated, and sometimes ... obnoxious. But someone needs to speak up.
There's always a cost to taking a stand, and as far as name-calling goes, Addie's heard it all. Until now, her tough exterior and her best friends - Bobby, Skeezie, and Joe - made the teasing easy enough to ignore. But dealing with a broken heart in more ways than one makes seventh grade harder than Addie expected. Maybe she doesn't want to be identified by the other kids' labels anymore. Maybe it would be okay to fit in every once in a while. Maybe there's more to Addie than even she has given herself credit for.
In this much-anticipated companion to The Misfits and Totally Joe, meet a strong, smart, and sensitive girl who is fighting her way out of the box that society wants to put her in and becoming the young woman she wants to be.
I love, love, loved Addie when I met her in The Misfits. I love her even more after reading this touching novel in verse. While having read the first book gives you deeper insight into Addie's personality, it is by no means a prerequisite for understanding and enjoying this book.
Addie is an outspoken middle-schooler with a tough exterior. What she doesn't let others see, however, is her soft inside, that place where she keeps her deepest thoughts and observations. Addie, like most middle school girls I know, wants to fit in (though in Addie's case it's not with the popular crowd), likes a certain someone, and is trying to figure out the type of adult she wants to become. Though she seems sure of herself to others, inside she's insecure and sensitive. When Addie's grandmother comes to visit, Addie finds a support system she didn't realize she needed, and finds a way to find herself.
I must say that I was a bit taken aback to realize that Addie's grandmother was roughly the age of my mom. That would make ME roughly the age of Addie's mom, something that has never really hit me before. It was interesting to see a grandmother portrayed as a Joni Mitchell-loving ex-hippie instead of a housecoat-wearing, cookie-baking granny. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, however, since my own daughter is just a year younger than Addie is in this book.
I wish I had read this book earlier, before school got out. I think this book would have been one of those books that got passed from girl to girl until the binding wore out. There's so much here that the typical seventh grade girl can relate to, and it's written in an approachable way without being preachy or didactic. I honestly forgot as I read that it was written by a man, not a woman who has been through Addie's same circumstances.
This book is definitely worth a read, and if you're in the mind to read The Misfits first, then all the better!