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Addie on the inside

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ©2011.
Physical Description:
206 pages ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
General Note:
"A Junior Library Guild selection."--Jacket flap.
Outspoken thirteen-year-old Addie Carle learns about love, loss, and staying true to herself as she navigates seventh grade, enjoys a visit from her grandmother, fights with her boyfriend, and endures gossip and meanness from her former best friend.
Reading Level:
Ages 10-14.

Middle School.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 4.5 7.0.

Accelerated Reader Grades 5-8 5 3 Quiz 145072 English fiction.


Call Number

On Order



In this "artfully crafted" ( Publishers Weekly ) companion to the bestselling The Misfits and Totally Joe , Addie Carle confronts labels, loss, and what it means to grow up.

The Gang of Five is back in this third story from Paintbrush Falls. Addie Carle, the only girl in the group of friends is outspoken, opinionated, and sometimes...just a bit obnoxious.
But as seventh grade progresses, Addie's not so sure anymore about who she is. It seems her tough exterior is just a little too tough, and that doesn't help her deal with the turmoil she feels on the inside as she faces the pains of growing up.
Told in elegant, accessible verse, Addie on the Inside is a thought-provoking look at a strong, smart, and sensitive girl struggling with the box society wants to put her in. Addie confronts experiences we can relate to: the loss of a beloved pet, first heartbreak, teasing...but also, friendship, love, and a growing confidence in one's self.

Author Notes

James Howe was born in Oneida, New York on August 2, 1946. He attended Boston University and majored in theater. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as a literary agent. His first book, Bunnicula, was published in 1979. It won several awards including the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award and the Nene Award. He is the author of more than 90 books for young readers including the Bunnicula series, the Bunnicula and Friends series, the Tales from the House of Bunnicula series, Pinky and Rex series, and the Sebastian Barth Mystery series. His other works include The Hospital Book , A Night Without Stars, Dew Drop Dead, The Watcher, The Misfits, Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known As Elvis.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-Seventh-grader Addie is comfortable with her outspoken self, even though she annoys and intimidates others. When she participates in the National Day of Silence in support of GLBT teens, she learns that being quiet isn't all bad. This perceptive novel in verse captures the ups and downs of navigating adolescence while being true to oneself. (Aug.) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Written in narrative verse that has the rhythm and punch of spoken-word poetry, this companion to The Misfits and Totally Joe intimately conveys the internal conflicts of seventh-grader Addie, whose outspokenness makes her a target for ridicule at school. As bold and confident as she may appear, Addie is filled with worries both external ("I worry how in the world/ the world will ever be okay. Then/ I turn off my alarm/ and get on with the day") and internal, particularly regarding her relationships with her boyfriend, DuShawn, and her catty former friend, Becca. Addie's attempts to organize a Day of Silence don't go as planned, but she gains support in unexpected places and, as someone seldom at a loss for words, she finds her self-imposed quiet revelatory. Howe's artfully crafted lines show Addie's intelligence and wit, and his imagery evokes the aura of sadness surrounding "this purgatory of/ the middle school years/ when so many things/ that never mattered before/ and will never matter again/ matter." Readers will empathize with Addie's anguish and admire her courage to keep fighting. Ages 10-14. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

This third Misfits novel focuses on smart, opinionated seventh-grader Addie. Addie founds a gay-straight alliance, treasures her grandmother's visit, deals with an on-again/off-again boyfriend, and struggles with a friend's confusing behavior, all while trying to understand why stating her beliefs is socially problematic. Howe taps into young people's feelings and situations with ease in this verse novel. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

In this companion novel, Howe explores the interior life of the most outspoken member of the "Gang of Five" fromThe MisfitsandTotally Joe(2001, 2005).Told entirely in verse, the story follows 13-year-old Addie's struggles to define herself according to her own terms. Through her poems, Addie reflects on her life and life in general: her first boyfriend, what it means to be accepted and her endeavors to promote equality. Addie is at her most fragile when she examines her relationship with her boyfriend and the cruel behavior of her former best friend. Her forthright observations address serious topics with a maturity beyond her age. She contemplates the tragedy of teen suicide in "What If" and decries the practice of forced marriages in "What We Don't Know," stating "...And their mothers / have no power to change how it goes. They too / have been beaten and raped, sold and traded like / disposable goods, owned by men, while the only thing / they own is their misery..." Addie's voice gains confidence when she takes on the role of an advocate, as when she reveals her reasons for forming the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at school in "No One is Free When Others Are Oppressed (A Button on My Backpack)." Bolstered by the sage advice of her grandmother, Addie charts a steady course through her turbulent seventh-grade year.Readers will agree when, in the triumphant finalpoem, an assured Addie proclaims: "I am a girl who knows enough / to know this life is mine." (author's note)(Verse novel. 11-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Addison Carle navigates the seventh grade just like everyone else by leaning on the tenuous connections of friendship and first love, as allegiances form and fall away with equal unpredictability. Her on-again, off-again relationship with handsome, popular DuShawn makes her the subject of gossip and leaves her feeling both empowered and apprehensive. Meanwhile, she grows closer to her grandmothet, but there is increasing friction with her favorite teacher, and all of this contributes to a general sense of uncertainty. In this companion to The Misfits (2001) and Totally Joe (2005), Howe explores the tender thrills and insecurities of early adolescence in first-person poems. The verses themselves display a wide variety of styles, some rushing with the frantic pace of short, tight lines and others settling into contemplative rest. Howe maintains a consistent voice, however, without compromising the heartfelt urgency of Addie's words. This exploration of Addie's struggles and reconciliations makes a strong addition to its companion titles and stands on its own as a compelling and moving story about growing up and out.--Barthelmess, Tho. Copyright 2010 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

OVER the course of his amazingly prolific and varied writing career, James Howe, perhaps best known for his "Bunnicula" vampire rabbit series, has established himself as a beloved and elegant voice in children's literature. The first two of his "Misfits" books - 2001's "The Misfits" and 2005's "Totally Joe" - were masterworks of middle school angst, powerful in their ability to impart lessons about difference and empathy in highly readable stories that Disney-jaded preteens could both enjoy and relate to. "Addie on the Inside," the long-awaited third companion volume, is centered on Addie Carle, the one female member of the Gang of Five - actually, a group of four outcasts who hang out together and find in one another the friendship and acceptance they've been denied by their more socially integrated (read: conformist and jerkish) peers. The four friends are, as Bobby, the overweight narrator of the first book puts it, "people who are misfits because they're just who they are instead of 'fits,' who are like everybody else." Overachieving Addie is the group's brains, the prime motivator and the political conscience. She's forever worked up about this cause or that: "global warming and polar bears dying and war and more and more and more." She wants to make the world a better place, to be "part of the solution." But instead, she's stuck in a small town where her smarts, her drive and her admittedly inexhaustible outrage aren't much appreciated. In Howe's rendition of early teenage "purgatory," Addie is everything a girl shouldn't be: too smart, too tall, too flat-chested, too opinionated, too unconcerned with her appearance and too indifferent to the social codes that her more popular female classmates live by. In painting Addie thus, Howe, who narrated "The Misfits" and "Totally Joe" through the voices of two highly engaging male Gang of Five members, creates a kind of universal nerd-girl, a soul sister for future Elena Kagans. He works hard to give her a subtle mixture of bulldozing certainty and girl-specific vulnerability, including a former best friend who's turned popular and now tortures her, and a boyfriend who dumps her when her earnestness and intensity prove too much. Why, then, he chooses to tell her story in verse is a big, unhappy mystery - and makes the book, ultimately, very disappointing. Howe claims in a note to readers to have done so to better access Addie's inner voice. But the poems - some rhyming, some free form, some haiku - in fact push readers away, so that instead of reaching Addie on the inside, we are constantly confronted with a wall of style. Howe's unsuccessful attempt to show Addie's soft side seems to reflect a discomfort with trying to capture the inner world of a girl. This wouldn't be so frustrating had his previous books not set the bar for sensitive, perceptive and convincing writing so very high. Judith Warner is the author, most recently, of "We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication."